Monday, June 07, 2010

"Current Topics in the Human Sciences," Technische Universität Berlin, June 18-19, 2010.

The conference seeks to analyze concepts that denote characteristics typically (though not necessarily exclusively) associated with being /human/. A guiding question is whether something can be gained from putting the category of the human back on the agenda of philosophy of science and inquiring into similarities and differences between questions and problems arising in various fields that study humans. Methodologically, two features are distinctive of the approach taken here: 1. We focus on specific concepts that denote the subject matters or methods of various human sciences, but that have also been objects of reflection within philosophy for a long time (for example practice, meaning, values, empathy). 2. We bring together * philosophers of science, who think philosophically about the research done about a given object of the human sciences (for example emotions, rationality, consciousness), * philosophers working in other fields, who think about the objects of the human sciences in the context of, say, philosophy of mind or ethics, * historians of philosophy (of science), who think about the ways in which our philosophical thinking about the concepts in question have developed. These two features are meant to stimulate discussions about (a) the extent to which philosophy is (or should be) informed by scientific studies of specifically human traits, (b) the extent to which philosophy of science is (or should be) in touch with more traditional philosophical debates, and (c) the extent to which the history of the philosophy (of the human sciences) can make a systematic contribution to current philosophy (of the human sciences). Visit the conference website here:

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