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Der Wilensbegriff zwischen antiker Moralpsychologie und modernen Neurowissenschaften

Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs

Dieses Buch nimmt eine umfangreiche Erörterung des Willensbegriffs vor. Es beschreibt ausführlich die ideengeschichtlichen Entwicklungslinien verschiedener Willenskonzepte seit der Antike bis in die Gegenwart. Dabei liegt der Fokus darauf, ob eine Epoche überhaupt einen Willensbegriff hatte,und wozu sie ihn verwendete. Die Darstellung ist wesentlich einer systematischen Perspektive verpflichtet, die historische Entwicklungsstränge als Kontrastfolie nutzt, um gegenwärtige Willensansätze argumentativ zu diskutieren. Der ideengeschichtlich-systematische Überblick über verschiedene Willenskonzepte mündet in einer Präzisierung und Klärung, sowie letztlich einer Kritik der aktuellen Debatte um die Freiheit des Willens. Leitende Fragestellungen des Buches sind: Welche Funktionen und Stellungen nimmt der Begriff des ›Willens‹ – besonders in der Philosophie, Psychologie und den Neurowissenschaften – ein und wie verhalten sich diese Funktionen zur Alltagssprache in den lebensweltlichen Kontexten?

The Practical Essence of Man

The 'Activity Approach' in Late Soviet Philosophy


Edited by Andrey Maidansky and Vesa Oittinen

For the first time, this book presents to Western readers a current in the late Soviet philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s known as the ‘activity approach’. It had to some degree a counterpart in so-called cultural-historical psychology, but whilst the work of Vygotsky and Leontyev was received in the West decades ago, its sibling in philosophy has remained virtually unnoticed. Started by Evald Ilyenkov and other young Moscow philosophers in the early 1960s, the activity approach soon became an intellectual mode, leading to several different interpretations of human activity and challenging Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy. The book depicts in detail the rise and fall of this remarkable phenomenon in Soviet Marxism.

Contributors are: David Bakhurst, Aleksandr Khamidov, Vladislav Lektorsky, Alex Levant, Pentti Määttänen, Andrey Maidansky, Sergei Mareyev, Elena Mareyeva, Vesa Oittinen, Edward Swiderski, and Inna Titarenko.

Gurdjieff and Music

The Gurdjieff/de Hartmann Piano Music and Its Esoteric Significance


Johanna Petsche

Pietro Pomponazzis Erkenntnistheorie

Naturalisierung des menschlichen Geistes im Spätaristotelismus


Paolo Rubini

The Renaissance philosopher Pietro Pomponazzi (1462-1525) is mostly known for denying the human mind’s immateriality (and immortality) in accordance with his radical understanding of Aristotelianism. Pomponazzis Erkenntnistheorie attempts to reconstruct his theory of cognition. The author, Paolo Rubini, focuses on Pomponazzi’s scattered views about the mind’s ontological status and cognitive capacities, puts them into the context of Aristotelian-Scholastic psychology, and interprets them by reference to Pomponazzi’s ‘naturalistic’ approach to the human soul. Particular interest is devoted to the role of representations in cognitive acts, the functional link between intellect and imagination, and the process of abstraction. The study is based on Pomponazzi’s published writings about immortality as well as on unpublished records of his lectures about Aristotle’s De anima.


Ritva Palmén

Richard of St.Victor (d.1173) developed original ideas about the faculty of imagination in a twelfth-century Parisian context. Related to the historical study of philosophical psychology, Richard of St. Victor’s Theory of Imagination acknowledges that the faculty of imagination, being a necessary precondition for human reasoning and a link between soul and body, plays an important role in Richard’s understanding of the human soul. Richard also deals with the interpretation of biblical language, metaphors, rhetoric, and the possibility of creative imagination. Considering all these aspects of the imagination in Richard’s texts improves our understanding of his theological epistemology and sheds new light on the theory of the imagination in the history of medieval philosophy in general.

Ockham's Assumption of Mental Speech

Thinking in a World of Particulars


Sonja Schierbaum

In Ockham’s Assumption of Mental Speech: Thinking in a World of Particulars, Sonja Schierbaum advances a detailed philosophical reconstruction of William Ockham’s (1287-1349) conception of mental speech. Ockham’s conception provides a rich account of cognition and semantics that binds together various philosophical issues and forms a point of departure for many later and even contemporary debates. The book analyses the role of mental speech for the semantics and the use of linguistic expressions as well as its function within Ockham’s cognitive theory and epistemology. Carefully balancing Ockham’s position against contemporary appropriations in the light of Fodor’s LOTH, it allows us to understand better Ockham’s view on human thought and its relation to language.

Metaphors, Narratives, Emotions

Their Interplay and Impact


Stefán Snævarr

This book argues that there is a complex logical and epistemological interplay between the concepts of metaphor, narrative, and emotions. They share a number of important similarities and connections. In the first place, all three are constituted by aspect-seeing, the seeing-as or perception of Gestalts. Secondly, all three are meaning-endowing devices, helping us to furnish our world with meaning. Thirdly, the threesome constitutes a trinity. Emotions have both a narrative and metaphoric structure, and we can analyse the concepts of metaphors and narratives partly in each other’s terms. Further, the concept of narratives can partly be analysed in the terms of emotions. And if emotions have both a narrative structure and a metaphoric one, then the concept of emotions must to some extent be analysable through the concepts of narratives and metaphors. But there is more. Metaphors (especially poetic ones) are important tools for the understanding of the tacit sides of emotions, perhaps because of the metaphoric structure of emotions. The notion that narrations can be tools for understanding emotions follows from two facts: narrations are devices for explanation and emotions have a narrative structure. Fourthly, the threesome has an impact on our rationality. It has become commonplace to say that emotions have a cognitive content, that narratives have an explanatory function, and that metaphors can perform cognitive functions. This book is the first attempt to articulate the implications that these new ways of seeing the three concepts entail for our concept of reason. The cognitive roles of the threesome suggest a richer notion of rationality than has traditionally been held, a rationality enlivened with metaphoric, narrative, and emotive qualities.


Gregory Minissale

Framing Consciousness in Art shows how the frames-in-frames in these different contexts question notions of vision and representation, linear time, conventional spatial coordinates, binaries of ‘internal’ consciousness and ‘external’ world, subject and object, and the precise anatomy of mental states by which we are meant to carve up the territory of consciousness. The phenomenological experience of art is certainly as important as the folk psychology which scientists and philosophers use to taxonomise ordinary first-person modes of subjectivity. Yet art excels in configuring the visual field in order to articulate and sustain a complex network of higher-order thoughts structuring art and consciousness.

Time, Memory, Consciousness and the Cinema Experience

Revisiting Ideas on Matter and Spirit


Martha Blassnigg

In this book cinema spectators are presented as ‘observing participants’, that is, agents who take part in their own perceptual processes. It takes experience into the centre of its investigation to propose the spectators’ active participation. It applies this to understanding cinema, from its outset, as a philosophical dispositif. To this end, the book explores crucial interconnections between the various constituencies that shaped moving image technologies and their reception at the nexus of science, art and popular culture at the end of the 19th century and some of the prevailing concerns about time, movement, memory and consciousness. It discusses in particular the interrelations between the works by the philosopher Henri Bergson, the physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey and the art-historian Aby Warburg’s intervention with the Mnemosyne Atlas. Bergson’s main themes germane to these concerns are discussed in detail in order to show how, during the perceptual processes, the seemingly contradictory tendencies of the mind — intellect and intuition — can help us understand the so-called ‘spiritual’ dimension of the emerging cinema from the perspective of the spectators’ cognitive engagement. This perspective invites us to include the experiential qualities of mental processes, such as the interaction between affect, thought and action and the interrelation between memory, perception and consciousness in the study of audio-visual media and elsewhere.

Vasily Sesemann

Experience, Formalism, and the Question of Being


Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

Born in Vyborg in 1884 by parents of German descent, Vasily (Wilhelm) Sesemann grew up and studied in St. Petersburg. A close friend of Viktor Zhirmunsky and Lev P. Karsavin, Sesemann taught from the early 1920s until his death in 1963 at the universities of Kaunas and Vilnius in Lithuania (interrupted only by his internment in a Siberian labor camp from 1950 to 1956).
Botz-Bornstein’s study takes up Sesemann’s idea of experience as a dynamic, constantly self-reflective, ungraspable phenomenon that cannot be objectified. Through various studies, the author shows how Sesemann develops an outstanding idea of experience by reflecting it against empathy, Erkenntnistheorie (theory of knowledge), Formalism, Neo-Kantianism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Bergson’s philosophy. Sesemann’s thought establishes a link between Formalist thoughts about dynamics and a concept of Being reminiscent of Heidegger.
The book contains also translations of two essays by Sesemann as well as of an essay by Karsavin.