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Profile: Matthias Kiesselbach (Humboldt-University, Berlin)
  1. Matthias Kiesselbach (2014). The Normativity of Meaning: From Constitutive Norms to Prescriptions. Acta Analytica 29 (4):427-440.
    This paper defends the normativity of meaning thesis by clearing up a misunderstanding about what the thesis amounts to. The misunderstanding is that according to it, failing to use an expression in accordance with the norms which constitute its meaning amounts to changing the expression’s meaning. If this was what the thesis claimed, then it would indeed be easy to show that meaning norms do not yield prescriptions and cannot be followed. However, there is another reading: what is constitutive of (...)
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  2. Matthias Kiesselbach (2011). Constructing Commitment: Brandom's Pragmatist Take on Rule-Following. Philosophical Investigations 35 (2):101-126.
    According to a standard criticism, Robert Brandom's “normative pragmatics”, i.e. his attempt to explain normative statuses in terms of practical attitudes, faces a dilemma. If practical attitudes and their interactions are specified in purely non-normative terms, then they underdetermine normative statuses; but if normative terms are allowed into the account, then the account becomes viciously circular. This paper argues that there is no dilemma, because the feared circularity is not vicious. While normative claims do exhibit their respective authors' practical attitudes (...)
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  3. Matthias Kiesselbach (2011). Hobbes's Struggle with Contractual Obligation. On the Status of the Laws of Nature in Hobbes's Work. Hobbes Studies 23 (2):105-123.
    This paper argues that throughout his intellectual career, Hobbes remains unsatisfied with his own attempts at proving the invariant advisability of contract-keeping. Not only does he see himself forced to abandon his early idea that contractual obligation is a matter of physical laws. He also develops and retains doubts concerning its theoretical successor, the doctrine that the obligatoriness characteristic of contracts is the interest in self-preservation in alliance with instrumental reason - i.e. prudence. In fact, it is during his work (...)
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  4. Matthias Kiesselbach (2010). Zwischen Partikularismus Und Generalismus: Ethische Probleme Als Grammatische Spannungen. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 35 (1):2010.
    This essay argues that there is room for a third position between moral particularism and moral generalism in their orthodox forms. The view proposed in this essay is inspired by the later Wittgenstein's conception of grammar and holds that formulations of ethical principles can be interpreted as grammatical statements, while ethical problems can be interpreted as instances of grammatical tension. On this reading, situations in which ethical principles turn out to conict come out as moments in the evolution of language. (...)
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  5. Matthias Kiesselbach (2009). Warring Tautologies: Moral Dissent From a Cognitivist Perspective. Ethic@ 8 (1):125-145.
    It is commonly thought that the prevalence of moral dissent poses a problem for the moral cognitivist, forcing her to diagnose either a lot of misunderstanding, or a lot of unexplained observational error. Since mere misunderstanding can be ruled out in most cases of moral dissent, and since the diagnosis of widespread unexplained error is interpretively unstable, prevalent dissent has pushed many philosophers towards non-cognitivism. In this essay, I argue that once a diachronic, pragmatist theory of language along the lines (...)
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