Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - DGPhil Kongress



Die Plenarvorträge, die von prominenten RednerInnen gehalten werden, widmen sich dem Thema "Norm und Natur" in unterschiedlichen Teildisziplinen der Philosophie.

Sonntag, 24.9.: Michael Quante (Münster)
Die aufgehobene Natur des Rechts

24.09.2017  |  18:30 - 19:45   | UL 6, Audimax


In seiner Schrift „Zur Judenfrage“ formuliert Karl Marx eine fundamentale Kritik an der Institution des Rechts. Es sei nicht als Medium individueller Selbstbestimmung und als Garant individueller Freiheit zu begreifen, sondern stelle ein Entfremdungsphänomen und eine entfremdende Institution zugleich dar. Diese Entfremdung, die Marx auch in seiner Kritik an den Menschenrechten aufzuweisen versucht, vollzieht sich im Verhältnis des Menschen zu seiner Gattungsnatur, im Verhältnis der menschlichen Individuen zueinander und im Verhältnis der menschlichen Person zu ihrer Existenzweise als leiblich-bedürftiges Wesen. Damit steht Marx im diametralen Gegensatz zu Hegel, der Recht als Abstraktion des personalen Willens von den Bestimmtheiten des natürlichen Willens und diese Abstraktion als notwendige Bedingung für individuelle Autonomie begreift.

Die Leitfragen dieses Vortrags lauten: Wie ist heute, im Rahmen komplexer moderner Gesellschaften, mit der Marxschen Fundamentalkritik des Rechts systematisch umzugehen? Muss man die Natur des Rechts als Befreiung oder Entfremdung des Menschen von seiner Naturhaftigkeit begreifen? Wird die Natürlichkeit des Menschen im Recht bewahrt oder negiert?

Die Aufhebung der entfremdenden Natur des Rechts diesseits der Marxschen Fundamentalkritik bleibt dem zentralen Wert personaler Autonomie verpflichtet. Damit ist vor allem zu klären, ob die Selbst-Entfremdung des Menschen, die Hegel in der Abstraktion des Willens von seiner natürlichen Bestimmtheit verortet, eine unhintergehbare Bedingung von Autonomie und Selbstverwirklichung darstellt.

Montag, 25.9.: Helen Steward (Leeds, GB)
‘Musts’ in the World: On the Very Idea of Natural Necessitation

25.09.2017  |  19:30 - 20:45  | UL 6, Audimax


The idea that certain things have to happen (or have to be the way they are) is both ancient and familiar. Arguably, it is central to the thesis of determinism; and also to certain construals of the concept of natural law. But philosophers have always found it difficult to give an account of what is meant by saying that something in the natural world has to occur; Hume, for example, as is well-known, could find no source in our experience of the external world which could account for the idea of causal necessity. Many debates have therefore proceeded by seeking to domesticate the concept in some way – to replace it, for example, with talk of lawlike regularities or constant conjunctions – to replace talk of what must happen with talk of what does, generally, happen, or of what has always happened. In discussions of determinism, this tendency has often been exemplified in the characterisation of determinism as a thesis according to which, for any given time, a complete statement of the (nonrelational) facts about that time, together with a complete statement of the laws of nature, entails every truth as to what happens after that time. In this talk I want to try to argue that this definition does not capture the concept most of us have in mind when we consider the thesis of determinism; and to consider what might be said in response to the resulting charge that unless we take this route, the concept of determinism is ultimately unintelligible.

Dienstag, 26.9.: Peter Adamson (LMU München)
Against Nature: Two Critics of Naturalism in the Islamic World

26.09.2017  |  19:30 - 20:45  | UL 6, Audimax


Thinkers of the Islamic world, whether Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, were heirs to the ancient conception of the universe as a quasi-political entity, ruled by God the way that a wise ruler governs the city. According to this conception, the laws of nature are set down by God as stipulations with universal scope, much as a human lawgiver sets down ordinances governing affairs in a given society. This parallel is drawn explicitly in several Greek works that were translated into Arabic, such as Alexander of Aphrodisias’ On Providence. The idea was then carried forward by al-Fārābī, among others. I will show that it was, however, also challenged forthrightly by several thinkers: my examples are Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (d. 925) and Judah Hallevi (d. 1141). Both of them seek to undermine Aristotelian science by questioning the cogency of appeals to nature as a manifestation of divine wisdom. Instead, they suggest, such appeals are otiose because we can explain created phenomena directly in terms of the divine will. In effect, this means that they depict God as one who intervenes regularly in the created world at the level of particulars, and reject the notion that God governs through universal laws.

Mittwoch, 27.9.: Rae Langton (Cambridge, GB)
How to Build a Norm by Presupposing a Nature

27.09.2017  |  19:30 - 20:45  | UL 6, Audimax


A speech act can build a norm: for example, promises and orders can alter the normative landscape in ways that are familiar, and much discussed. But some speech acts can build a norm a different way: by presupposing a nature. The use of generics in hate speech, for example, can introduce presuppositions about the natures of certain kinds of people. They can invoke a kind of social essentialism, attributing a stable underlying nature that exaggerates difference from ‘us’, homogenizes properties in ‘them’, and solidifies negative traits. This in turn can enact norms about the treatment appropriate towards members of the relevant groups. The phenomenon is of both philosophical and political interest. It enables assertions and questions to enact norms, just as readily as promises and orders. It is an exercise of purported epistemic authority, in the first instance, rather than practical authority. It enables social norms to be built in ways that are hard to notice, and hard, though not impossible, to answer. It means there is an unnoticed power in the hands of hearers and bystanders: the blocking of a speaker’s presupposition—‘Wait a minute!’ or ‘Whaddya mean?’—can be a distinctive form of counter-speech. 


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