Philosophy Seminar

Thursday 26th October 2017
Tanner Room

The second of a series of Philosophy Seminars, which have been organised by Michael Krausz, Adjunct Fellow at Linacre, will take place on Thursday 26th October.

Peter Hacker, “Human Nature”

Abstract: The genre will be synoptic-analytic. My theme is the nature of human beings as rational, language-using animals, related to but different from the rest of animate nature. I shall talk about the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, on the one hand, and to the brain, on the other. I shall attempt to dissolve the mind/body problem and to demonstrate the mereological fallacy in cognitive neuroscience. If time permits, I shall also discuss animal thinking and human thought.


P. M. S. Hacker is an emeritus Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, where he was a Tutorial Fellow in philosophy from 1966 to 2006.  He was an undergraduate at the Queen’s College, Oxford, a graduate student at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He has held visiting chairs in north America, both British Academy and Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships, and a chair at the University of Kent from 2013-16. He is the author of nineteen books and over a hundred and fifty papers.  His main interests lie in the philosophy of Wittgenstein, the history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of cognitive neuroscience.  Among his books in the 21st century are Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies (Oxford University Press, 2001); Wittgenstein: Comparisons and Context (Oxford University Press, 2013); Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (co-authored with M. R. Bennett; Blackwell, 2003); Neuroscience and Philosophy – brain, mind and language (co-authored with M. R. Bennett, D. Dennett, and J. R. Searle; Columbia University Press, 2007), History of Cognitive Neuroscience (co-authored with M. R. Bennett, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008); Human Nature: the Categorial Framework (2007); The Intellectual Powers: a Study of Human Nature (2013), and ’The Passions: a Study of Human Nature (forthcoming 2017) published by Wiley-Blackwell, which are the first three volumes of a tetralogy on human nature.