Summer Term 2021 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
    • Naming and Necessity
      A deep dive into Kripke's Naming and Necessity. Reading materials accessible here.
    • Classics in philosophy of language
      We are going to read and discuss the works of Frege, Russell, Quine, Grice and others on meaning. Our topics of investigation will include: (a) the relationship between truth and meaning, (b) the difference between implicature, entailment and presupposition, (c) the semantic contribution of singular terms, i.e. names and definite descriptions, to the meanings of complete sentences and (d) the analysis of belief-ascriptions (as well as other propositional attitudes). Reading materials accessible here.

    Winter Term 2020/21 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
      • Paradoxes and what we learn from them
        A paradox emerges when something that we don't accept seems to follow from things that we accept. So paradoxes tell us that either some of assumptions are false, or that our reasoning is invalid. They bent our minds because often we do not know which premises must go and our reasoning steps still seem valid. In this course, we are going to study several paradoxes in philosophy of language, epistemology and ethics to see what kinds of conclusions we should draw from them. 
      • Philosophy of language and its impact on other areas of investigation
        In this seminar, we are going to read a number of papers from the philosophy of language and use tools from this area to address philosophical questions in epistemology, philosophy of mind and metaphysics. 

      Summer Term 2020 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
        • Empiricism and rationalism in the modern era
        • Formal methods in philosophy

        Winter Term 2019/20 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
          • Introduction to Formal Epistemology
            In this course I will introduce the main topics and methods of the research field known as ‘formal epistemology’. We will see how modal logic can be used as a means of encoding epistemic principles of knowledge and belief, and apply it to the treatment of paradoxes such as the Knowability Paradox and Moore's Paradox. We will also go through the literature on Bayesianism, thus bringing the probability calculus to bear on epistemological issues, such as the problem of apparently rational but inconsistent beliefs and the relationship between categorical beliefs and degrees-of-belief. Reading materials accessible here.

          • Modal Logic and Philosophy
            This course will introduce the student to standard modal logic and explore its import to different areas of philosophy. We will explore applications of modal logic to issues in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. Reading materials accessible here.

          Summer Term 2019 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
            • Introduction to formal methods in philosophy

            • Textverständnis und Essaytraining.
              Geschult werden die Fähigkeiten der Studierenden, philosophische Texte strukturiert zu lesen, Argumentationsgänge präzise zu analysieren und klar gegliederte Essays zu verfassen.

            Winter Term 2018/19 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
              • Introduction to Formal Epistemology

              • Modal Logic and Philosophy

              Summer Term 2018 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
                • Introduction to Formal Epistemology

                • Knowledge and Skepticism
                  This course will feature an investigation into different types of skepticism and corresponding lines of defense against them. Special emphasis will be given to skeptical arguments to the effect that we lack knowledge or warranted belief of some kind. We are going to read both classical texts and contemporary approaches to these topics. 

                Winter Term 2017 (CONCEPT—University of Cologne)
                  • Introduction to Formal Epistemology

                  • Modal knowledge, imagination and reason
                    We can not only have knowledge of how things are in the world—but also of how they could be or how they must be. But how do we know what is possible and what is necessary? Knowledge of necessity is not gained by means of perceptual experience, as it was emphasized by Immanuel Kant. And sometimes we gain knowledge of what is possible even though experience does not present us with the relevant possible scenarios. If it is not experience that teaches us what is possible and what is necessary, what does? In this course, we will look into the literature on imagination as a guide to possibility, modal knowledge through suppositional reasoning  and problems with the notion of rational insight or intuition as a means of knowing necessary truths. 
                  Summer Term 2017 (LMU Munich)
                    • Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence (B.A./M.A.).
                      In this seminar we are going to explore some philosophical questions about the field of Artificial Intelligence. We will start by reviewing the first attempts to automate theorem-proving techniques (in the 50s and 60s) and the frustrated use of those results to emulate intelligence/rationality in general. Next we analyze the use of neural networks to compute several types of functions and the connectionist paradigm in cognitive psychology/AI. Finally, we will discuss the miscellaneous toolbox that is available to Artificial Intelligence practitioners nowadays—most importantly, machine learning techniques—with an eye to answering the question whether we are any way nearer to successfully simulating rational or intelligent agents.
                    Winter Term 2016/17 (LMU Munich)
                    • The A Priori (B.A./M.A. Seminar)