Justification and Genesis: Systematic and Historical Perspectives
Oscar Joffe, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philosophie
A popular view among philosophers is that matters of genesis are to be sharply distinguished from matters of justification – why, one might wonder, should the philosophers' task of mapping the possible justifications for a view involve them in merely historical questions about who first had it and when? We will look at the philosophical history of the distinction between an idea's causal background and its rational credentials, and at philosophical works which point to places where it seems to break down. Topics include Kant's quid facti/quid juris distinction, Nietzsche and Williams on genealogy, contexts of discovery and justification in the philosophy of science, debunking arguments in ethics, genealogy in epistemology, and recent work on the historiography of analytic philosophy. A guiding thought of the group is that philosophers and historians might fruitfully work together on this question, so students from these and adjacent fields are particularly encouraged to participate.