High level publications from Bergen philosophers
In this year's first edition of the journal "Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie" one of the highly regarded journals in the history of philosophy both Franz Knappik and Kristian Larsen are contributors.
Jens Kristian Larsen:
Measuring Humans against Gods: on the Digression of Plato’s Theaetetus
The digression of Plato’s Theaetetus (172c2–177c2) is as celebrated as it is controversial. A particularly knotty question has been what status we should ascribe to the ideal of philosophy it presents, an ideal centered on the conception that true virtue consists in assimilating oneself as much as possible to god. For the ideal may seem difficult to reconcile with a Socratic conception of philosophy, and several scholars have accordingly suggested that it should be read as ironic and directed only at the dramatic character Theodorus. When interpreted with due attention to its dramatic context, however, the digression reveals that the ideal of godlikeness, while being directed at Theodorus, is essentially Socratic. The function of the passage is to introduce a contemplative aspect of the life of philosophy into the dialogue that contrasts radically with the political-practical orientation characteristic of Protagoras, an aspect Socrates is able to isolate as such precisely because he is conversing with the mathematician Theodorus.
Franz Knappik / Erasmus Mayr:
“An Erring Conscience is an Absurdity”: The Later Kant on Certainty, Moral Judgment and the Infallibility of Conscience
This article explores Kant’s view, found in several passages in his late writings on moral philosophy, that the verdicts of conscience are infallible. We argue that Kant’s infallibility claim must be seen in the context of a major shift in Kant’s views on conscience that took place around 1790 and that has not yet been sufficiently appreciated in the literature. This shift led Kant to treat conscience as an exclusively second-order capacity which does not directly evaluate actions, but one’s first-order moral judgments and deliberation. On the basis of this novel interpretation, we develop a new defence of Kant’s infallibility claim that draws on Kant’s account of the characteristic features of specifically moral judgments.