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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Theoretical Philosophy

Sebastian Bender

Since October 2016, Sebastian Bender is a Lecturer (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the chair for theoretical philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin. He did his Magister Artium (M.A.) at Humboldt and then wrote a dissertation on Leibniz's conception of modality. While a doctoral student, he received a scholarship from the DFG project “Transformations of the Mind: Philosophical Psychology 1500-1750” and spent one year at Yale University in New Haven. After the dissertation, he was a postdoc at the excellence cluster Topoi as well as a Visiting Lecturer at Rice University in Houston, Texas. His research focuses on early modern philosophy (especially rationalism). He also has strong interests in metaphysics (especially the topics of modality, causation, and persistence), ancient and medieval philosophy, Immanuel Kant, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of law. He currently works on a project on early modern theories of causation as well as on several papers dealing with early modern philosophy (authors include Spinoza, Conway, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant).
 
 
 

Career and Education

Publications

Current Research Projects

Recent and Upcoming Talks

Teaching

Contact

Office Hours

 

Career and Education

Academic Positions

since 10/2016

Lecturer (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at Humboldt University

08/2015-05/2016

Visting Lecturer at Rice University (Houston, TX)

11/2014-07/2015 and 07/2016-09/2016

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Excellence Cluster Topoi at Humboldt University

Education

05/2015

Dissertation Defense (Thesis Title: Leibniz's Metaphysics of Modality)

2012-2013

Visting Assistant in Research at Yale University (New Haven, CT)

2011-2014 Dissertation Stipend from the Leibniz Prize Project “Transformations of the Mind: Philosophical Psychology 1500-1750”

06/2011

Magister Artium (M.A.) at Humboldt University (Thesis Title: The Principle of Continuity and Animal Consciousness in Leibniz)

2005-2011

Student in Philosophy (major), Musicology (1st minor), and History (2nd minor) at Humboldt University

2005

Abitur (high school degree) at Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium in Schwalbach am Taunus (Hessen)

 

Publications

Books

Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy. Edited together with Dominik Perler. New York: Routledge (2020). For further information click here.

Leibniz' Metaphysik der Modalität. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter (2016). For further information click here.

 

Articles

"Is Leibniz's Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles Necessary or Contingent?" Philosophers' Imprint (forthcoming).

"Perception: Reductivism and Relationalism." Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics—Special Issue on Robert Pasnau's book After Certainty (forthcoming).

"Leibniz and the 'petites réflexions'." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie (forthcoming).

"Berkeley on Causation, Ideas and Necessary Relations." In: Sebastian Bender & Dominik Perler (eds.): Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy. New York: Routledge (2020): 295-316.

"Introduction: Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy." (together with Dominik Perler). In: Sebastian Bender & Dominik Perler (eds.): Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy. New York: Routledge (2020): 1-17.

"On Worlds, Laws and Tiles—Leibniz and the Problem of Compossibility." In: Gregory Brown & Yual Chiek (eds.): Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds. Dordrecht: Springer (2016): 65-90.

"'Si omnia possibilia existerent…'—Why Leibniz Denies That All Possibles Can Exist.History of Philosophy Quarterly 33.3 (2016): 215-236.

"Interpreting Leibniz's Modal Language." In: Wenchao Li (Hrsg.): “Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer”. Vorträge des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses. Hannover, 18.–23. Juli 2016. Hildesheim, Zürich, New York: Georg Olms (2016): 439-449.

"Reflection and Rationality in Leibniz." In: Jari Kaukua & Tomas Ekenberg (eds.): Subjectivity, Selfhood and Agency in the Arabic and Latin Traditions. Dordrecht: Springer (2016): 263-275.

"Von Menschen und Tieren—Leibniz über Apperzeption, Reflexion und conscientia.Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 67.2 (2013): 214-241.

 

Reviews

Maria Rosa Antognazza (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Leibniz. New York: Oxford (2018). In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy (forthcoming). Early view.

Michael V. Griffin. Leibniz, God and Necessity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013). In: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 97.2 (2015): 265-269. Review.

 

Outreach

"Was genau machen eigentlich PhilosophiehistorikerInnen?Praefaktisch – Ein Philosophieblog (July 2019).

 

Current Research Projects

Causation and Containment. An Essay in Early Modern Metaphysics (book project)

Anne Conway on Species and Essences (paper)

Spinoza on Essence and Modality (paper)

Descartes's Argument for Modal Voluntarism (paper)

Leibniz and Kant on the Finite and the Infinite Understanding (paper; with Till Hoeppner)

Leibniz's Rationalist Account of Persistence (paper)

Rationalism and Theism (paper)

Localizing Violations of the Principle of Sufficient Reason in Leibniz - Leibniz on the Modal Status of the PSR (paper)

Leibniz and the Puzzle of Independence (paper)

Spinoza's Necessitarian Metaphysics (paper)

 

Recent and Upcoming Talks

"Divine Essence and Finite Essences in Early Modern Philosophy" The Modal-Explanatory Nexus: A Dialogue between the Contemporary and the Early Modern Era, HU Berlin (August 2019)

"Conway on Species and Essences" Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X, University of St. Andrews (May 2019)

"Leibniz on the Modal Status of the PSR" PSR Conference, University of Hamburg (March 2019)

"Spinoza on Essence and Modality" GAP.10 - Zehnter Kongress der GAP, University of Cologne (September 2018)

"Berkeley on Causation, Cognition, and Volition" Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy, HU Berlin (June 2018)

"Spinoza on Essence and Modality" Nordic Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy, University of Helsinki (May 2018)

"Comments on Robert Pasnau's After Certainty" Workshop at Sorbonne Université, Paris (March 2018)

"Author meets Critics Session on my book Leibniz' Metaphysik der Modalität" Séminaire Descartes, École Normale Supérieure, Paris (February 2018)

"Spinoza on Essence and Modality" Talk at Rice University, Houston, TX (Januar 2018)

"Is Leibniz's Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles Necessary or Contingent?" Colloquium at the Chair of Theoretical Philosophy, HU Berlin (Januar 2018)

"Spinoza on Essence and Modality" (Aristotelian) Possibilities and Necessities, Tutzing (Juli 2017)

"Leibniz and Kant on Representation and Minds" (with Till Hoeppner) Colloquium at the Chair of Theoretical Philosophy, HU Berlin (June 2017)

"The Modal Status of Leibniz's Principle of Identity of IndiscerniblesLeibniz on Mind and Metaphysics, Humboldt University, Berlin (June 2017)

"Leibniz and the Puzzle of Independence" Nature, Mind, and Action in Leibniz, University of Turku (June 2017)

"Leibniz and Kant on Representation and Minds" (with Till Hoeppner) The Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, University of Turku, Finland (May 2017)

"Localizing Violations of the Principle of Sufficient Reason—Leibniz on the Modal Status of the PSR" Colloquium at the Chair of Classical German Philosophy, HU Berlin (December 2016)

"Leibniz and Kant on Representation and Minds" (with Till Hoeppner) Halle Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle (November 2016)

"Interpreting Leibniz's Modal Language" X. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Leibniz-Universität Hannover (July 2016)

"Leibniz's Rationalist Account of Persistence" From Love to the Infinite. Workshop on Early Modern Philosophy, HU Berlin (July 2016)

"Leibniz's Rationalist Account of Persistence" Spinoza-Leibniz Workshop: Lessons from, and for, Philosophy's History, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (April 2016)

"Rationalism and Theism" Talk at the Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX (April 2016)

"Leibniz on the Modal Status of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" Harvard History of Philosophy Workshop, Harvard University, Boston, MA (March 2016)

"Leibniz and Possible Worlds" Talk at Brandeis University, Boston, MA (March 2016)

"The Modal Status of Leibniz's Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles" Wednesday Lunchtime Talk Series, Rice University, Houston, TX (February 2016)

"Localizing Violations of the Principle of Sufficient Reason—Leibniz on the Modal Status of the PSR" The History of Philosophy Roundtable, University of California San Diego (January 2016)

 

Teaching

At Humboldt University
Summer 2019 HS Persistence
Summer 2019 PS David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature
Winter 2018/19 HS Hume and Kant on Causation (syllabus, German)
Winter 2018/19 PS Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy (syllabus, German)
Summer 2018 HS Early Modern Theories of Modality (syllabus, in German)
Summer 2018 PS Introduction to Epistemology (syllabus, in German)
Winter 2017/18 HS Rationalism (syllabus, in German)
Winter 2017/18 PS Personal Identity (syllabus, in German)
Summer 2017 PS Proofs for the Existence of God (syllabus, in German)
Summer 2017 PS Introduction to Metaphysics (syllabus, in German)

Winter 2016/17

PS Theories of Modality (syllabus, in German)

Winter 2016/17

HS British Empiricism: Locke, Berkeley, Hume (syllabus, in German)

Summer 2015

PS Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy

Summer 2014

HS The Philosophy of G. W. Leibniz (with Stephan Schmid)

At Rice University

Spring 2016

PHIL 302/502: Early Modern Theories of Causation (syllabus)

Spring 2016

PHIL 202: History of Philosophy II (Early Modern Philosophy) (syllabus)

Fall 2015

PHIL 116: Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

Fall 2015

PHIL 105: Historical Introduction to Philosophy

 

Contact

Office: Unter den Linden 6, Room 3030

Email: benderse [at] hu-berlin.de

Phone: (+49) (0)30 2093 70496

Postal Address: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany

 

Office Hours

Office Hours: During term time my office hours are on Tuesday, 4-5pm (by appointment during the break). Please sign up per email in advance.

 

No office hours on October 15.