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Philosophy Reading Group

In the Philosophy Reading Group we discuss current philosophical research papers in an informal setting. For all meetings, papers are circulated and read in advance, whilst some sessions feature guest speakers from other universities with whom we discuss their work in progress. Everyone with an interest in philosophy is most welcome to attend.

Invitations to the Reading Group are distributed via a special mailing list. If you would like to be included in the list, wish to suggest a reading for one of our meetings or require further information about the reading group, please contact Sebastian Köhler (

Terms 2021

Winter Term

25th March | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
B. Carter: The Anthropic Principle and its Implications for Biological Evolution

Please write to Sebastian Köhler if you like to joint the meeting and to get the paper.

Past Terms


24th February | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Christopher McCammon: Domination: A Rethinking


16th December | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Guest: James Brown (Edinburgh): On Scepticism About the Unity of Practical Reason

25th November | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Guest: Vuko Andrić (Bayreuth) Does Democracy Require Reducing the Legislative Power of Present Persons on Behalf of Future Persons?

7th October | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Guest: Domink Klein (Bayreuth/Bamberg) The epistemic quality of democratic decision-making procedures. Interaction effects between selfish, individual beliefs, and the epistemic quality of collective decisions

16th September | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Robert Taylor: Rawlsian Affirmative Action

19th August | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Marilyn Frye: Oppression

27th July | 17.00-18.30 | via Zoom
Sally Haslangers: 
„Gender and Race. (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?“

10th June | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Nick Bostrom: Are you living in a computer simulation?

15th April | 17.00 - 18.30 | via Zoom
Regina Rini (York, Toronto), 2019: Deepfakes and the Epistemic Backstop

18th March | 17.00 - 18.30 | S3.07
McPherson, Tristram & Plunkett, David 2020. Conceptual Ethics and the Methodology of Normative Inquiry. In Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics, Alexis Burgess Herman Cappelen and David Plunkett [eds.] Oxford: Oxford University Press (a pdf of the book)

26th February | 17.00 - 18.30 | IA Lab, 4. OG, Turm A
: Christine Tiefensee (Frankfurt School), The Moral Arbitrariness of Making No Difference

Winter Term 2019

25th September |   5pm - 6.30pm | S1.01
Danaher, John forthcoming. Welcoming Robots into the Moral Circle: A Defence of Ethical Behaviourism. In Science and Engineering Ethics

30th October | 5pm - 6.30pm | S3.07
Enoch, David 2014. Why I am an Objectivist About Ethics (And Why You Are Too). In The Ethical Life, Russ Shafer-Landau [ed.], Oxford: Oxford University Press

20th November | 5pm - 6.30pm | S3.09
Guest: Friedericke Asche. Title of the paper: Climate change as a moral problem

11th December | 5pm - 6.30pm | S1.13
Guest: Hanno Sauer. Title of the paper: Mechanisms of Moral Evolution: What Drives Moral Progress? 

Summer Term 2019

20th February |   5pm - 6.30pm | S1.12
Guest: Benjamin Ferguson (VU Amsterdam). Exploitation and Awareness.

13th March | 5pm - 6.30pm | S1.13
Crenshaw, Kimberle 1989. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. In The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140: 139-167.

9th April | 5pm - 6.30pm | S1.13
Awad, Edmond et al. 2018. The Moral Machine Experiment. In Nature 563: 59-64.

8th May | 5pm - 6.30pm | S1.09
Guest: Johannes Himmelreich (Stanford). Responsibility for Killer Robots.

Winter Term 2018/2019

11th September
Swift, Adam 2008. The Value of Philosophy in Non-Ideal Circumstances. In Social Theory and Practice 34: 363-387.

9th October
Graham, Peter 2014. Functions, Warrant, History. In Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue, A. Fairweather and O. Flanagan [Eds.], 15-35 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6th November
Persson, Ingmar and Savulescu, Julian 2008. The Perils of Cognitive Enhancement and the Urgent Imperative to Enhance the Moral Character of Humanity. In Journal of Applied Philosophy 25: 162-177.

11th December
Braham, Matthew and van Hees, Martin 2012. An Anatomy of Moral Responsibility. In Mind 121: 601-634.

Summer Term 2018

15th March
Marmor, Andrei 2015. What is the Right to Privacy? In Philosophy and Public Affairs 43: 3-26.

26th April
Kok-Chor, Tan 2008. A Defense of Luck Egalitarianism. In The Journal of Philosophy 105: 665-690.

24th May
Guest: Joe Mazor (LSE), Income Redistribution, Body Part Redistribution, and Respect for the Separateness of Persons.

14th June
Field, Hartry, 2003, “No Fact of the Matter”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81: 457–480.

Winter Term 2017/2018

19th October
Bradley, Richard and Drechsler, Mareile 2013. Types of Uncertainty. In Erkenntnis 79: 1225-1248.

16th November
Nyholm, Sven 2018. Attributing Agency to Automated Systems. Reflections on Human-Robot Collaborations and Responsibility-Loci. In Science and Engineering Ethics. 24: 1201-1219.

7th December
Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper 2007. Nothing Personal: On Statistical Discrimination. In The Journal of Political Philosophy 15: 385-403.