Volume 9, Issue 2, 2011

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäckers's Program of a Transcendental Foundation of Physics
Gernot Böhme, Institute for Philosophy, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, born at Kiel in 1912, died five years ago, 2007, in his adopted hometown Starnberg in Bavaria. Many obituaries have been written about his life and work, his role in Germany's nuclear weapon project during the Nazi regime, his attempts toward founding a global ethics, and the radical pacifism that he developed lately. The following reminiscences from a conversation of the author with the late von Weizsäcker refer to his activities in a field that was hardly established when he entered it: the philosophy of physics. Three tightly related issues are at the core of von Weizsäcker's thinking in this respect: the logic of temporal propositions, the quantum measurement problem, and the role of the (human) subject in physics.

Causation in Moral Judgement
Michael Kurak, Humanities and Social Science, College of Art and Science, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia

Research on moral judgment is refueling public interest in an old debate concerning the general foundation of morals. Are moral judgments based on reason or on feeling? Recent research in moral psychology and neuroscience concludes that moral judgments occur rapidly, automatically, and largely without the aid of inference. Such findings are utilized to criticize moral theories that require deliberation to precede moral judgment as its cause. The main targets of this criticism are the moral theories of Piaget and Kohlberg, but Kant's moral philosophy is also criticized for this failing. This essay defends Kant from this charge by clarifying the role of deliberation in his moral theory and by demonstrating that, for Kant, moral judgment invokes a self-organizing system that has the capacity to rapidly determine the moral permissibility of any desired purpose - real or imagined. Further support for Kant's moral theory is gleaned from recent work on self-organization in the brain.

The Structure-Phenomenological Concept of Brain-Consciousness Correlation
Johannes Wagemann, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany

Based on a short presentation of the unexplained relation of brain and consciousness, the mereological fallacy is addressed as a main point of criticism on typical, especially materialistic attempts of solution. Facing the risk of an unreflected mixing of different descriptive levels, purified phenomenologies of brain and consciousness have to be elaborated. Comparing the analytical results, not only incommensurable aspects but also superordinated structure factors can be shown which allow us to formulate a first feature-based relation. Because this interim result does not disclose any evidence for a neurally based constitution of consciousness, an investigation of the structure-phenomenology of Herbert Witzenmann is embarked on as an intrinsic approach to consciousness research. Spurred on by cognitive borderline situations, this approach is motivated and elucidated referring to its method and outcome. Following its path, it becomes possible to interpret certain findings of neuroscience and systematic self-observation in the sense of cross-border effects and to establish a trans-categorical correlation in the context of logical constitution. This innovative concept of correlations is illustrated by aspects of rhythmicity, topology and plasticity. The attempt to position structure-phenomenology between monism and dualism leads to a dynamic integration of this polarity. Implications for human constitution and philosophy are sketched shortly. Finally, an outlook is given on possible projects of trans-disciplinary research.

Last revision: 22 Feb 2011