加布理爾教授是第三十位唐君毅訪問教授。他將以「思想的意義──人工智能的限度」為題主持公開演講；之後也會主持本系師生研討會，講題是 “Being Wrong—Subjectivity and Fallibility”。
Der Mensch im Mythos. Untersuchungen über Ontotheologie, Anthropologie und Selbstbewußtseinsgeschichte in Schellings „Philosophie der Mythologie“. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2006.
Skeptizismus und Idealismus in der Antike. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 2009.
Why the World does not Exist. Cambridge: Polity Press 2014.
Fields of Sense. A New Realist Ontology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2015.
I am not a Brain: Philosophy of Mind for the 21st Century. Cambridge: Polity Press 2015.
The Limits of Epistemology. Cambridge: Polity Press 2019.
The Meaning of Thought. Cambridge: Polity Press 2020.
Fiktionen. Berlin: Suhrkamp 2020.
Existence, Non-Existence, Fiction and the Imagination
2月26日 (星期五), 2:30 – 5:15pm, Zoom
3月5日 (星期五), 2:30 – 5:15pm, Zoom
3月12日 (星期五), 2:30 – 5:15pm, Zoom
There are many things: Classrooms, bosons, neurons, numbers, justice, time etc. At the same time, there also seem to be things whose existence can be disputed: values, colors, consciousness, God(s) and so forth. But what exactly are we asserting or denying when we ascribe existence or non- existence to some class of entities? What is it for them to exist or not to exist respectively? Specifically, how is it possible to refer to fictional and imaginary objects (such as literary characters and systematically distorted sensory presentations of ordinary objects of perception, not to mention hallucinated objects) without thereby overturning their alleged ontic status as non-existent? Ever since the founding gesture of philosophy, the concept of being has been threatened by a paradox, most prominently articulated in the Eleatics. The paradox culminates in the conclusion that it is impossible for anything not to be/not to exist in virtue of the fact that any assertion of its non-existence entails its existence qua target of an intentional state directed at the entity or kind of entity charged with non-existence.
In this course, we will look at various formulations of the paradox in order to become acquainted with contemporary strategies of solving or re-solving it by way of ontological theory-construction designed to make sense of assertions both of existence and non-existence alike. In this context, we will discuss the ontology of fictional and imaginary objects, because they can easily be used as litmus tests for the various ontological frameworks on offer in contemporary philosophy with a focus on so-called New Realism.
Being Wrong – Subjectivity and Fallibility
We are evidently capable of knowing how things are. In indefinitely many cases, how things are is implicitly or explicitly open to human thought and action. Reality is unconcealed. Yet, by virtue of our very ability to know, we are at the same time aware of the fact that we sometimes get things wrong. We are fallible. In my departmental lecture I will investigate the nature and scope of our fallibility on the basis of an assumption about subjectivity. This subjectivity assumption maintains that to be a fallible thinker means that we are subject to a constitutive and often wide-ranging ignorance as to which of our beliefs are actually true and which false. To be a subject is to be wrong about some things without ever being in a position to settle once and for all which of our beliefs are non-accidentally true (and thereby constitute knowledge) and which of our actions are morally good.
In my lecture, I will argue that human subjects are not only fallible knowers, capable of getting things right or wrong. Rather, what constitutes our individual perspective on reality (including on our individual perspective, which also belongs to what there is), is the fact that we are never in a position to set our epistemic record straight once and for all. We cannot replace all our false beliefs with true ones. To be someone is thus to be a bearer of false beliefs many of which remain undetected. If we had only true beliefs, we would merge with reality. Being and thought would form an indissoluble whole. Thus, being someone puts us at a partial distance from what there is, a distance which itself belongs to what there is. In light of these considerations, I will propose an epistemic account of reality according to which the category reality is essentially tied to our self-portrait as fallible thinkers. This will shed new light on the issue of realism in epistemology and ontology.