000000 Knowledge Across Cultures and Languages (Wimmer)

Words for knowledge exist, and are widely used, in all known natural languages. But do people across the world think of knowledge the same way or are there important differences? The aim of this course is to look at how diverse cultural and linguistic communities think of knowledge. This will allow us to appreciate how different in some ways, but also similar in others, their conceptions are. The seminar will begin by covering work in experimental philosophy that highlights cultural similarities and differences in when humans intuitively say of others that they know. We then draw on anthropological work to learn about knowledge in the Ifa religious system (in West Africa) and amongst speakers of Ende (in Eastern Indonesia). Turning to differences in how words for knowledge are realized in the world's languages, we will compare English and German to a number of other languages, including, among others, Turkish and Korean. This part of the course will also involve a guest lecture by a linguist from Sweden, who is a worldleading expert on how human languages represent knowledge.
The seminar will be held in English. However, exams and questions may also be in German. In addition to the contentrelated learning goals, the seminar will also be about practising reading and discussing in English. Students who find their English to be somewhat ‘rusty’ are very welcome. The course will be based on individual articles and book chapters by a number of authors. All texts will be accessible via moodle.
030094 Gödel: The Unprovability of the Consistency of Arithmetic (Kürbis, Skurt)

Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem proved that if arithmetic is (omega) consistent, then it is not negation complete, that is, there is a sentence such that neither it nor its negation is provable in arithmetic. Gödel established this result by exhibiting a sentence of arithmetic, the socalled Gödel sentence, that is equivalent to the statement of its own unprovability in arithmetic. The second incompleteness theorem showed that if arithmetic is consistent, then it cannot prove the statement that expresses the consistency of arithmetic.
This course is an introduction to all formal aspects of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. We will begin with a recapitulation of fundamental results about first order logic, such as its completeness and the Löwenheim Skolem Theorem, and proceed to first order theories, in particular a fragment of number theory. Gödel’s method of the arithmetisation of syntax and its application to the formalisation of proofs in arithmetic will be presented in detail. We will then be ready to prove Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem. Afterwards we will consider the resources needed to prove the second incompleteness theorem. There will also be time to discuss the philosophical importance of Gödel’s results.
  
Literature:
George Boolos: The Logic of Provability (Cambridge University Press 1993)
Herbert B. Enderton: A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, 2nd edition (San Diego: Harcourt 2001)
Eliot Mendelson: An Introduction to Mathematical Logic, 6th edition (Boca Raton: CRC Press 2015)
030111 Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence: Concepts, Computation, & Connectionism (Werning)

This seminar delves into the philosophical questions surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI), with a focus on the fundamental concepts it employs, the computational nature of intelligence, and the role of connectionism in AI development.
Key questions explored:
What is intelligence? Can it be replicated in machines?
What is the nature of computation? How is it related to thought and reasoning?
Do AI systems possess concepts. Do they have cognition?
What are the philosophical implications of symbolic and connectionist approaches to AI?
Can AI achieve consciousness, free will, and true understanding?
What are the ethical and societal implications of advanced AI?
Through critical discussions, readings, and presentations, you will engage with:
Classical philosophers like Turing, Fodor, Searle
Contemporary thinkers in AI and cognitive science
Symbolic AI: Knowledge representation, reasoning systems, and compositionality
Connectionist AI: Artificial neural networks, deep learning, and large language models
Philosophical debates on consciousness, intentionality, and the mindbody problem
Aside from active participation, participants will be expected to give a presentation in English. Assistance regarding the English language will be provided.
030086 Gentzen: The Provability of the Consistency of Arithmetic (Seminar) (Kürbis, Kurt)

In 1936 Gentzen published the first consistency proof of Peano Arithmetic. To be precise, Gentzen proved the consistency of Peano arithmetic formalised in a version of his sequent calculus. Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem shows that the consistency of Peano Arithmetic cannot be proved within Peano arithmetic, if it is consistent. Consequently, Gentzen’s proof must make use of methods that do not form part of Peano arithmetic. Gentzen used transfinite induction over the complexity of proofs up to the ordinal ??0. This raises the philosophical question whether the method of proof can be regarded as finitary, as demanded by Hilbert’s Programme. Besides the proof, Gentzen’s article also contains philosophical considerations concerning this question. We’ll go through the entirety of Gentzen’s article. Time permitting, we also look at Hilbert and Bernays’ assessment of Gentzen’s proof in relation to Hilbert’s Programme.
030095 Andy Clark, “The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality” (Wiese)

About a decade ago, Andy Clark published an influential paper in which he argued for an approach to understanding the mind that he called “predictive processing” (Clark, 2013). According to predictive processing, the brain uses a probabilistic model of its environment to make predictions about sensory signals and their hidden causes. Predictive processing does not constitute a novel approach to studying the mind, but seeks to unify many existing approaches under a single principle: prediction error minimization.
In this seminar, we will read and discuss Clark’s most recent book, The Experience Machine. While Clark’s earlier (2016) book on predictive processing, Surfing Uncertainty, mostly addressed cognition and action, Clark (2023) also considers conscious experience.
If possible, it is recommended that you purchase a copy of the book (Clark, 2023).
030120 Colloquium: Philosophy of Language, Logic, and Information (Liefke, Rami)

This colloquium serves the discussion of current topics at the semantic interface of logic, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of information. The colloquium will combine talks by international experts with presentations of local researchers and (PhD/MA) students. Students will be given the opportunity to present their (ongoing) work in English. A detailed schedule will be available by endMarch at https://www.ruhrunibochum.de/philinf/colloquium/index.html.en.
030120 Topics in Philosophy of Language, Logic, and Information: Attitudes and their objects (Liefke, Rami)

Assume that Gregor imagines turning into a beetle. Intuitively, this is different both from Gregor imagining a beetle and from Gregor imagining (turning into) a vermin (even if all beetles are vermin). This seminar introduces current philosophical research on mental states like imagination and their metaphysical objects (e.g. possibilities, fictional entities). To facilitate access to this area, the seminar will combine topical introductions (by Kristina Liefke and Dolf Rami) with presentations by wellknown researchers (e.g. Alex Grzankowski, Justin D'Ambrosio, Friederike Moltmann). Students will have the opportunity to earn a ‘kleine Studienleistung’ [3 CPs] (by writing a summary of one of the expert presentations, or by giving an inclass talk) and a ‘große Studienleistung’ [6 CPs] (by additionally writing a research paper).
030114 Introduction to Formal Epistemology (Wang/Straßer)

Formal epistemology aims to address both old and new epistemological problems using mathematical methods. This introductorylevel course will cover selected topics in formal epistemology. The main focus will be on different types of formal representation models of qualitative and quantitative beliefs and their rational relations. Specifically, the course will explore basic epistemic and doxastic logic, AGM belief revision theory, the Dutch book argument, epistemic decision theory, and the Lottery paradox. Moreover, this course aims to balance breadth and depth of understanding. Students will learn how to read formal theorems and proofs and play with mathematical concepts. A familiarity with firstorder logic is a prerequisite. Some knowledge of basic set theory and probability calculus would be beneficial, though these will be taught during class. The course will be conducted in English. In principle, there will be no required readings. I will give lectures on important concepts and theorems with my lecture notes referencing the following literature.
030128 EXTRA Research Colloquium “Metaphilosophy, Experimental Philosophy, and Argumentation Theory” (Horvath)

In this colloquium in seminarstyle, we will discuss current topics from argumentation theory, epistemology, experimental philosophy, and metaphilosophy, broadly construed. The colloquium will also host a number of talks by external guests, many of which are leading experts in their field. Students at the advanced bachelor, master, or doctoral level are especially welcome in the colloquium, and they can also acquire the normal range of credit points. Moreover, student participants will have the option of presenting their own work, e.g., related to their thesis, in English.
030125 Research Colloquium: Rationality and Cognition (Brössel)

In this seminar, we study research articles (some of which will be workinprogress) from the intersection of normative epistemology and descriptive epistemology (i.e., psychology and cognitive science). We investigate formal models of perception, rational reasoning, and rational action. Students at the master's or doctoral level will be given the opportunity to present their research in English.