Courses

This course helps you develop as a writer within the English speaking academic community by raising awareness of, practicing, and reflecting upon the conventions of written texts. In addition to addressing issues related to academic writing, the course will also focus on the other skills you will need to complete your...
Instructor: Borbála Faragó
Credits: 2.0
The purpose of this course is to introduce students into some contemporary debates over the nature and understanding of actions and agency. Although intentional actions are commonly explained with reference to agents’ goals, many contemporary philosophical and psychological accounts of action presuppose that the...
Credits: 2.0
The course gives an overview of key issues of ancient philosophy from the Presocratics to the Hellenistic Age. The course does not require or build on any specific previous knowledge of ancient philosophy. We will read and discuss a selection of texts from different authors and periods, focussing on their...
Instructor: István Bodnár
Credits: 2.0
How can cognitive science inform policy-making? Can policy be improved by taking findings of cognitive science into account?            Traditional policy making assumes that citizens are rational agents who always take the best decisions for themselves. Yet, findings in behavioral economics and cognitive psychology...
Instructor: Christophe Heintz
Credits: 2.0
This course addresses the concept of complexity. Complexity is an important issue in a diversity of scientific fields, be it mathematics, physics, life sciences, social sciences or humanities. The climate, organisms, diseases and societies are said to be complex. Socially important problems, such as the latest...
Instructor: Maria Kronfeldner
Credits: 2.0
Mind and matter don’t seem to fit in the same world; this is the essence of the mind-body problem. Space-filling solid stuff doesn’t seem to belong with invisible inner-experiencing. The neural processing of the brain is best known through third-person scientific investigation; whilst the subjective first-person...
Instructor: Philip Goff
Credits: 4.0
This course provides a foundation and an entry point into current debates in metaethics for students of philosophy. We will investigate questions such as: Do moral thoughts and moral sentences represent properties that exist in reality? If so, are these properties "natural" or sui generis? How can different theories...
Credits: 4.0
The course addresses both low-profile but very important strands in continental philosophy, like mainstream phenomenology and early hermeneutics, and the high-profile tradition marked by a sharp contrast with analytic approaches. Some of the main ideas in the later tradition to be discussed are: the idea that the very...
Instructor: Nenad Miscevic
Credits: 2.0
This course explores some of the central issues of political morality as they apply at the international level. Traditionally, political theory has discussed the problems of the relationship between the state and its citizens. In recent decades, its scope has been expanded to cover the morality of the relation between...
Instructor: Zoltan Miklosi
Credits: 4.0
The department arranges for about ten colloquia per semester, usually on Tuesdays, in which visiting or CEU faculty give talks on diverse topics followed by discussion with the audience. Students are required to attend at least seven of these meetings and are encouraged to participate in the discussion. No further...
Instructor: various
Credits: 1.0
In many areas of philosophy it is common to distinguish ‘categorical’ terms and properties from ‘dispositional’ ones. Often used examples for the latter are physical properties like fragility, solubility, conductivity, but also mental properties like having beliefs or being irascible. Dispositions are metaphysically...
Instructor: Ferenc Huoranszki
Credits: 2.0
In the reading seminar, students read and discuss recent work in a variety of philosophical areas. This is intended to help them keep abreast of recent developments and also widen and deepen their acquaintance withá a variety of philosophical subjects. The seminar meets every second week and is coordinated by a 2nd or...
Instructor: various
Credits: 1.0
The aim of the Work-in-progress Seminar is to provide a forum for doctoral candidates to acquire professional skills and receive continuous feedback on their work. The seminars consist of discussions of recent literature in the area of the candidates' research and presentations of the candidates' work in progress.
Instructor: Howard Robinson
Credits: 2.0
This course provides opportunity for philosophy doctoral students to discuss their research together on a regular weekly basis.
Instructor: Ferenc Huoranszki
Credits: 2.0
Ethics is broadly concerned with questions of how one ought to live. In this introductory course we will reflect on the moral and prudential aspects of ethics. First, we will look at some of the main theories of morally right conduct, including theories of utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics and feminist ethics...
Instructor: Emma Bullock
Credits: 2.0
In this course, students will get an in-depth knowledge about evolution as a historically changing and philosophically relevant concept that plays multiple roles in contemporary sciences, be it in biology itself, cognitive sciences, in sociology and anthropology, in economics, or in the humanities. The ultimate goal...
Instructor: Maria Kronfeldner
Credits: 4.0
The course deals with a few of the most fundamental problems of contemporary political philosophy, regarding the ground and scope of the authority of the state to make and enforce rules that bind its citizens. Most people would agree that the state indeed has such authority, and that citizens are usually under a moral...
Instructor: Zoltan Miklosi
Credits: 2.0
The purpose of this course is to introduce students into some contemporary debates concerning the metaphysical issue of free will and responsibility. The course is organized around the discussion of the following questions: do freedom and responsibility require alternative possibilities? Are agents able to do...
Instructor: Ferenc Huoranszki
Credits: 4.0
We will look at some of the major arguments for the existence of God, in both their historical forms, and in the more modern versions. This will include especially the ontological argument, the first cause argument, and the argument from design. Then we will move on to consider some of the properties traditionally...
Instructor: Howard Robinson
Credits: 2.0
The primary aim of this course is an in-depth discussion of parts of Aristotle’s De anima, a key text of the philosophy of mind in ancient philosophy. The course will contain an additional block seminar, offered by Chloe Balla of the University of Crete, on Plato’s Phaedo. This part of the course will not require...
Credits: 2.0
We’ll spend the first half of the course slowly reading the first half of Being and Time. In the second half of the course, we’ll read selections from Heidegger from either the second half of Being and Time or other later work by him, according to students’ interests. No prior knowledge of Heidegger is assumed.
Instructor: David Weberman
Credits: 4.0
We’ll spend the first half of the course slowly reading Gadamer’s Truth and Method (mainly the middle third of the book). The second half of the book will be an exploration of hermeneutics by looking at other writes on selected topics such as the interpretation of art, law, history, etc., depending on students’...
Instructor: David Weberman
Credits: 2.0
This course will give a broad overview of the fundamental concepts, findings, and methods in Cognitive Science, the interdisciplinary study of the mind. It will start with a short historical overview. The following five lectures will highlight important approaches to Cognitive Science that are represented at the...
Instructor: Guenther Knoblich
Credits: 2.0
The study of politics includes not only how the political world operates, but also how it ought to operate. The course focuses on John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice and some of the most important objections it has been presented with in the last thirty years. The course addresses some of these questions: what is a fair...
Instructor: Andres Moles
Credits: 4.0
The focus of this course is Kant’s theoretical philosophy: his epistemology and metaphysics. We will aim for a systematic reconstruction of Kant’s solution to various philosophical problems through a close reading of the texts, principally the Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) and the Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics...
Instructor: Mike Griffin
Credits: 2.0
The course offers a broad introduction to the main topics in the field of formal logic. It aims to familiarize the participants with its theoretical framework and terminology, while placing emphasis on their practical applications, especially as used within philosophy. 
Instructor: Edi Pavlovic
Credits: 2.0
MA students are required to enroll in thesis seminar in the Winter Term prior to their defense. Students must give presentations of their work and attend the presentations of others.
Instructor: Simon Rippon
Credits: 2.0
The course offers a close reading of two of Cusanus’ works: De coniecturis (On Conjectures) from 1441-2, and De visione Dei (On the Vision of God) (1453), completed at the request of the monks of the Benedictine abbey at Tegernsee. The translation will be accompanied by a running commentary, explaining the context and...
Instructor: György Geréby
Credits: 2.0
The course offers a general introduction into some of the major problems of contemporary analytic metaphysics. Metaphysics is a study of the most general categories in order to answer the questions what is real and what are the ultimate constituents of reality. In the course we’ll be addressing the following problems...
Instructor: Ferenc Huoranszki
Credits: 2.0
The two main features of our conscious mental life are perception and thought. In this course we shall deal with both.Perception: It is perception that enables us to build up our picture of the physical world. We will be looking at how it does this, and how it must be constituted in order to carry out this task. One...
Credits: 2.0
We shall study several central topics in contemporary philosophy of language. Each of these topics is central not only in focusing much discussion but also in influencing the discussion of other philosophical issues. Due to the variety of topics, none will be exhaustively discussed in the course, but the hope is that...
Instructor: Hanoch Ben-Yami
Credits: 2.0
The way science works raises deep and pressing philosophical questions. Is there a way to demarcate science from non-science? How is scientific knowledge made reliable? Is it giving us access to reality or is it merely a tool for successful prediction? The so-called “analytic” project (following Barker...
Instructor: Maria Kronfeldner
Credits: 2.0
Possible worlds are often invoked when discussing what's possible, necessary, contingent, impossible or counterfactually the case. We will begin our examination of the notion with a brief survey of the formal semantics for modal logic and the logic of counterfactuals. We will then look at the various debates on the...
Instructor: Mike Griffin
Credits: 2.0
This course is a survey of 17th and 18th-century philosophy meant to fulfill a core requirement in the 2-year MA program. The main aim of the course is to acquire knowledge of the central issues and arguments of the early modern period. Topics will include knowledge and skepticism, the nature of substance, the...
Instructor: Mike Griffin
Credits: 2.0
Format: The course is be offered as two 2-credit courses. The lecture is mandatory for students registered for the Specialization in Political Thought. It is possible to take the lecture without the concomitant reading class. However, it is not recommended to take the reading class without the lecture.Content:The...
Instructor: Matthias Riedl
Credits: 2.0
Format: The reading class is an exercise in the analysis of primary sources. It is meant as a seminar accompanying lecture "Religion and Political Thought: Europe 1200-1700". Therefore, this reading class should only be take in combination with the lecture. For details about the course content please see the syllabus...
Instructor: Matthias Riedl
Credits: 2.0
Einstein’s development of the theory of Special Relativity changed the way we think of temporal concepts generally and of simultaneity specifically. One central debate revolves around the conventionality or otherwise of simultaneity and temporal order (Reichenbach, Malament). Another important debate is on the reality...
Instructor: Hanoch Ben-Yami
Credits: 2.0
The first half of the course is more theoretical, focusing on the nature of ownership and self-ownership and its implications for how the tax system ought to be arranged. We will consider questions such as the following:Are there pre-legal property rights, i.e. moral facts about ownership which obtain prior to the law...
Instructor: Philip Goff
Credits: 2.0
The way scientists and scholars study human beings, their culture and society has often been considered to be different from the way other objects of science are studied, be it because of the reflexivity, freedom or the normativity involved in studying human beings. In addition, none of the academic disciplines is...
Instructor: Maria Kronfeldner
Credits: 4.0
We can achieve understanding at many different levels – from sensing that someone sitting next to us is cold to knowing that we agree or disagree with someone on, say, a certain environmental policy. This course will explore the individual level processes that can lead to understanding in human interaction and discuss...
Credits: 2.0

War

War involves widespread killing and maiming. For this reason it is of utmost importance to understand the morality that governs the conduct for and in war. Besides its practical importance war also raises many philosophical interesting issues. In this course we will explore some prominent aspects of war theory. We...
Instructor: Andres Moles
Credits: 2.0
The course will be based on a close reading of parts of the Philosophical Investigations. I intend to focus on the discussion of thought, imagination, consciousness and related concepts of the mental, found from around section 316 on. However, we may adapt the sections we read to students’ interests. We shall also...
Instructor: Hanoch Ben-Yami
Credits: 2.0