Universität Wien FIND
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180161 VO-L Subject, Mode, Force (2016S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie

How are we aware of ourselves and the contents of our minds and how do we express this awareness in speech? What is the relation between consciousness and self-consciousness? Are they independent or interdependent and if the latter, how? What do subjects do when they e.g. assert, hypothesize, order and promise something? How are theoretical forms of intentionality – perception, and thought and speech that aims to represent facts, what is the case – related to practical forms of intentionality – action and practical thought and speech that represents goals and directs our actions? Is the structure of theoretical inference and theoretical rationality parallel to the structure of practical inference and rationality, or are there fundamental asymmetries? For example, are there practical forms of deduction, abduction and induction? Do the subjects of perception, action, thought and speech have to be individuals, or can they also include collective subjects ranging from joint attention dyads to corporations and nation states?


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 18.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 08.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 15.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 22.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 29.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 06.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 13.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 20.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 27.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 03.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 10.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Friday 17.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß


Aims, contents and method of the course

These lectures will be quite demanding. We will cover a lot of ground. We will discuss and connect the philosophy of self-consciousness, of consciousness and intentionality, perception and action, of speech acts, practical and theoretical inference, and of collective intentionality. I will develop an account of consciousness and self-consciousness as essentially connected and of mode – what distinguishes e.g. belief and intention – and force – what distinguishes e.g. assertion and promise – as representational. A subject is never just aware of the world, but also always of its position relative to it and thus of itself. This position has temporal, spatial and causal, but also theoretical, epistemic or practical dimensions. For example, in asserting I arguably present myself as knowing what is the case, in ordering as knowing what to do. I go on to outline an account of theoretical and practical knowledge, rationality and inference as essentially parallel, criticizing standard accounts as theory-biased, as privileging the theoretical domain. In a final step I extend this picture of intentionality as essentially involving subjects’ awareness of themselves and of their position in the world to collective intentionality. The key here is the thought that when we perceive, act, believe and intend jointly with other creatures, we experience and represent them as co-subjects of such positions rather than as their objects. Audio recordings of the lectures will be made available on Moodle.

Assessment and permitted materials

There will be a written exam at the end of the lectures.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

You will be expected to be able to document your understanding of the readings and the main lines of argument discussed in the lectures.

Examination topics

The readings and the content of the lectures.

Reading list

Texts and excerpts from authors such as Austin, Anscombe, Davidson, Lewis, Geach, Hare, Evans, Frege, Peirce, Piaget, Searle, Tomasello and Wittgenstein. A list and the texts themselves will also be made available on Moodle.

Association in the course directory

BA 09
M3 B. Metaphysik/ Ontologie, Phänomenologie, Philosophie des Geistes
M3 C. Sprachphilosophie/ Hermeneutik, Logik

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36