Philosophy is dialogue.
Accordingly, I structure my classroom as a forum for discussion, critical thinking, and close textual engagement.
In the academic year 2014/15, the overall rate of student satisfaction in my courses was 93,3%, in 2015/16 it was 91,4%.
“Indispensability Arguments for Realism” – MCMP, Munich University, 2017/18
The question whether or not we should be realists about domains whose central objects are abstract, such as mathematics, is hotly debated. One argument that has been suggested in response is known as the ‘Indispensability Argument’. First formulated by Quine and Putnam, the argument states that we ought to be ontologically committed to all and only objects quantification over which is indispensable to our best scientific theories. However, the method of basing ontological commitment on considerations about indispensability has also been fiercely criticized, for example for its implicit assumption of confirmational holism, and for its unwanted entailments for domains other than mathematics. Discussing the most central objections and defences, this course traces the debate about Indispensability Arguments from the 1960s until today.
“From Existence to Expression” – Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2015/16
This seminar for MA and advanced BA students explores some recent themes in the metaphysics of existence, identity, and perspective, as well as some central questions about the conceptualization and expression of reality. Click here for the syllabus and here for sample teaching materials.
“Mathematics, its Foundations, and their Implications” – Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2014/15
The first part of this graduate seminar provides an overview of foundational theories in the philosophy of mathematics (Kant’s account of mathematical knowledge; Frege’s and Russell’s logicist programmes; Carnapian positivism; Hilbert’s formalism; and the intuitionist views developed by Brouwer, Heyting and Dummett). The second part is dedicated to four central issues discussed in contemporary philosophy of mathematics: set theory and its ontological implications; mathematical Platonism; fictionalism; and structuralism. The third part of the seminar focuses on the question of mathematical truth and its relation to mathematical knowledge. Click here for the syllabus, here for sample teaching materials, and here for a student testimonial.
“Aesthetics and Critical Philosophy” – University of Oxford, Trinity College, 2009/2010
This undergraduate tutorial explores the ideas of five of the main thinkers in philosophical aesthetics (Kant, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Adorno), as well as some of the most central questions debated in contemporary philosophy of art: What is the relation of art and truth? What does aesthetic experience consist it? And how can we explain the expressiveness of art? Click here for the syllabus.
“Introduction to Political Philosophy: From Plato to Hobbes” – Munich University, 2006
Part I of this undergraduate seminar provides an overview of four central thinkers in political philosophy and their views on how a state should best be organised: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Hobbes.
“Introduction to Political Philosophy: From Locke to Rawls” – Munich University, 2006
Part II of this undergraduate seminar provides an overview of four central thinkers in political philosophy and their views on how a state should best be organised: Locke, Rousseau, Weber, and Rawls.