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Research

Research Projects

My research interests are in early modern epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and aesthetics (German, British, and French sources). My main current project concerns theories of self-consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century British and Continental philosophy. The project consists of three parts. Part I is completed and the results are published in a monograph The Early Modern Subject. Self-consciousness and Personal Identity from Descartes to Hume, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2011 (xvi, 484 pp.) (2nd edition). Parts II and III also are under contract with Oxford University Press. Working titles: The Enlightened Subject. Sameness and Self from Condillac to Thomas Brown and The Transcendental Subject. Subjectivity and Identity from Kant to Reinhold.

Awards, Grants, Visiting Fellowships

  • 2016 (May): Grant for an academic events series Kant in Graz in summer semester 2016 - the Province of Styria (€ 1.460,-). 
  • 2015 (November): Grant for an academic events series Kant in Graz in winter semester 2015/16 - the Province of Styria (€ 2.750,-). 
  • 2015 (May): Grant for an international symposium (organized by Dr. Jutta Valent) Christian Ehrenfels: Philosophie - Gestaltpsychologie - Kunst in November 2015 - the Province of Styria (€ 2.000,-).
  • 2014 (December): Research award of the federal state Styria "Forschungspreis des Landes Steiermark 2014" (€ 10.900,-) for the publication The Early Modern Subject. Self-Consciousness and Personal Identity from Descartes to Hume (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2014).
  • 2013 (September to January 2014): Grants for a conference about Immanuel Kant (organized with G. Motta) in September 2014 - Fritz Thyssen Foundation (€ 7.500,-), the Province of Styria (€ 2.700,-), and the Kant-Gesellschaft e.V. (€ 500,-).
  • 2013 (April): Elected Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), philosophical-historical section.
  • 2012 (October): Austrian Science Fund (FWF) - Research grant (€ 241.857,-) for the stand-alone project: The Enlightened Subject: Sameness and Self from Condillac to Reinhold.
  • 2012 (July to August): Awarded "Additional Member of Common Room" of the Queen's College, Oxford, for the period of a research trip to Oxford from 5 July 2012 to 8 August 2012.
  • 2011 (October): Fritz Thyssen Foundation, grant for a conference about Johann Nicolas Tetens in February 2012 (€ 5.000,-).
  • 2007 (October to December): Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, Humboldt-University, Berlin.
  • 2004 (October to January 2005), 2005 (December to February 2006): Visiting Scholar, Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.
  • 1997: Travelling fellowship, Australian Academy for the Humanities (for October to November 1997).
  • 1996 (October to February 1997), 2000 (January to June): Visiting fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh.
  • 1996: Large research grant, Australian Research Council (for July to December 1997). Amount awarded: AUS$ 30,000.
  • 1996: Research fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra (July to December 1997).
  • 1995 (December to April 1996): Visiting Scholar, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA.
  • 1995 (February): Travel fellowship, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford.
  • 1993 (January to July), 2000 (July to December), 2002 (July to October): Research fellowship, Duke August Library Research Centre, Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

Papers Presented (Selection)

  • 'Apperzeption und Selbstbewusstsein bei Leibniz'. 300 Jahre nach Leibniz. Symposium at the Department of Philosophy, University of Graz (June 2016).
  • '(Un-)Gleichheiten in der Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts'. Evening lecture at the interdisciplinary and international colloquium for doctoral candidates on 18th century studies in Admont (May 2016). 
  • Commentaries on presentations of doctoral candidates. Interdisciplinary and international colloquium on 18th century studies in Admont (May 2016)
  • Commentaries and answers at a video-conference Meet the Author Video Series of the University of Western Ontario / Canada, U. Thiel The Early Modern Subject (OUP 2011, 2014). (April 2016).  
  • 'Materialismus und Unsterblichkeit der Seele in England. Von Locke bis Thomas Cooper'. Intentional conference Das Problem der Unsterblichkeit der Seele in der Philosophie, den Wissenschaften und den Künsten des 18. Jahrhunderts. Kant-Forschungsstelle at the University of Trier (March 2016).
  • 'Empiricism and "original" Self-consciousness prior to Kant'. Guest lecture at the "Invited Symposium: Self-consciousness in Modern Philosophy" at the conference of the American Philosophical Association, Chicago (March 2016).
  • Moderation of one section and contributions to the discussion at the conference Textrevisionen at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz (February 2016). 
  • 'Zur Theoretischen Philosophie John Lockes'. Guest lecture, Department of Philosophy, University of Zurich (5 November 2015). 
  • 'Kant und der Materialismus im 18. Jahrhundert - Person und Natur'. Keynote talk at the XII. International Kant Congress, University of Vienna (September 2015). - Chair of two sections at the congress.
  • Commentaries on presentations of doctoral candidates. Zürich Doctoral Workshop 'Identity and Individuation in Early Modern Philosophy'. Department of Philosophy, University of Zurich (June 2015).
  • 'Locke and Early Modern Conceptions of the Identity of Objects and Persons'. Zürich Doctoral Workshop 'Identity and Individuation in Early Modern Philosophy'. Department of Philosophy, University of Zurich (June 2015).
  • Chair and contributions to the discussion about the metaphysics of Christian August Crusius. International Conference Christian August Chrusius (1715-1775). Philosophie im Spannungsfeld zwischen Vernunft und Offenbarung, Göttingen (March 2015).
  • 'Apperception and the I before Kant: Jean Bernard Mérian'. International Workshop on the 'I-Concept', Columbia University, New York (March 2015).
  • 'Kant und Tetens über die Einheit des Bewusstseins'. Talk at the Philosophisches Seminar at the University of Bonn (January 2015).
  • 'Persons as Modes'. International conference Locke's Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (November 2014).
  • 'Kant and Tetens on the Unity of the Self'. International conference Kant and his German Contemporaries, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada (October 2014).
  • 'Materialism and Subjectivity in Eighteenth-Century Philosophy'. International conference Varieties of Early Modern Materialism, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (June 2014).
  • 'Phänomenales und Substantielles Ich bei Condillac'. 300 Jahre Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, Symposium at the Department of Philosophy, University of Graz (May 2014).
  • 'Feder und der Innere Sinn'. International conference Johann Georg Heinrich Feder (1740-1821). Empirismus und Popularphilosophie zwischen Wolff und Kant. Goethe and Schiller Archive, Weimar (March 2014).
  • Contributions - Symposium on Udo Thiel, The Early Modern Subject. Self-Consciousness and Personal Identity from Descartes to Hume (OUP 2011) - to the following talks: 'Is Locke's Revolution Really Subjectivist?' (Martin Lenz, Groningen); 'Consciousness in Early Modern Philosophy. Some Remarks on Thiel's Account' (Christian Barth, HU Berlin); 'Bundles, Selves, and the "New Hume"' (Falk Wunderlich, Mainz); 'The Idea of Development. Some Questions and Comments on Thiel's Methodology' (Ursula Renz, Klagenfurt). Mainz Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (November 2013).
  • Contributions to 'Ontology of the Mind', 'Intentionality' and 'Consciousness', as an invited speaker at the conference Transformationen des Geistes. Philosophische Psychologie 1500-1750. Abschlusstagung der Leibnizpreis-Forschungsgruppe, Humboldt University of Berlin (October 2013).
  • 'Materialismus und Subjektivität bei Diderot'. 300 Jahre Diderot, symposium at the Department of Philosophy, University of Graz (June 2013).
  • 'Consciousness and the Self: Hume and Strawson'. Talk at the Department of Philosophy, National University of Singapore (December 2012).
  • 'Consciousness as a "Service Concept" in the Eighteenth Century'. Oxford Philosophical Concepts Workshop about "Consciousness", Harvard University (October 2012).
  • 'Locke and French Sensibility'. International Conference Sensibility in the Early Modern Era, University of Sydney (August 2012).
  • 'Awareness of Awareness. Early Modern Perspectives'. Keynote Talk at the International Conference Subjectivity, selfhood and agency in the Arabic and Latin Traditions: An international conference on the history of philosophical psychology and moral psychology, Uppsala (August 2012).
  • 'Rousseau über das Selbstgefühl'. Rousseau nach 300 Jahren, Symposium at the Department of Philosophy, University of Graz (June 2012).
  • 'Enlightenment Conceptions of Personal Identity'. Austro-Croatian Philosophical Symposium and Workshop Meeting: Identity in the Context of Practical and Theoretical Philosophy, Center for Advanced Academic Studies, Dubrovnik (April 2012).
  • 'Mind and Character. Hume's "Practical Philosophy" and the Bundle View of the Self'. Invited paper, to be read at an International Conference Normes, vertu et autonomie dans la philosophie des 17e et 18e siècles, University of Neuchâtel (October 2011).
  • 'Hume on Consciousness and the Mind as a Bundle of Perceptions'. Read at the 13th Congress of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of Graz (July 2011) and invited Keynote Talk at an international conference Belief and Doubt in David Hume, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague (September 2011).
  • 'Der Bewusstseinsbegriff bei Locke, Hume and Reid'. Invited talk at the Department of Philosophy, University of Mainz (June 2011).
  • 'Person und Charakter. Zum Verhältnis von Theoretischer und Praktischer Philosophie bei Hume'. Read at an international workshop on the Philosophy of David Hume, University of Graz (June 2011).
  • 'Reid and Conceptions of Consciousness from Descartes to Hume'. Invited talk at an international conference Early Modern Conceptions of Consciousness, Humboldt University, Berlin (May 2011).
  • 'Hißmann und der Materialismus'. Invited talk at an international conference Materialismus in der deutschen Aufklärung: Der Philosoph Michael Hißmann (1752-1784), University of Mainz (February 2011).
  • 'Die Stoische Okeiosislehre und Frühneuzeitliche Bewusstseinstheorien'. Read at Philosophy and its Past: Spätantike - Mittelalter - Frühe Neuzeit. Ein Symposium für Wolfgang Gombocz, University of Graz (January 2011).
  • 'Lehrer and Reid on Consciousness'. Read at an international workshop, The Philosophy of Keith Lehrer. Knowledge, Art and Consciousness, University of Graz (2010).
  • 'Musik und Sprache. Das Philosophische Problem'. Invited contribution at an international symposium with Albrecht Wellmer on Music and Language, Musik und Sprache. Ein Symposium mit Albrecht Wellmer, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Graz (2010).
  • 'Leibniz as a Critic'. Invited talk at an international symposium on Leibniz at the Centre for Intellectual History, University of Sussex (2010).
  • 'Reid on Consciousness'. Invited Plenary Talk at an International Conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, Thomas Reid from His Time to Ours, Aberdeen and Glasgow (2010).
  • 'Bundles and Selves. Hume in Context'. Invited Plenary Talk at an International Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy, Mind in Nature, Humboldt University, Berlin (2010).
  • 'Locke über Bewusstsein und Reflexion'. Read at a workshop Lockes Philosophie des Geistes und der Sprache, Humboldt University, Berlin (2009).
  • 'Sulzer über Bewusstsein im Kontext'. Read at an International Conference Johann Georg Sulzer - Aufklärung zwischen Christian Wolff und David Hume, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung, University of Halle-Wittenberg (2009).
  • 'Locke and the Transitivity of Identity'. Subfaculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford (2007); Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt University, Berlin (2007); University of Graz, Austria (2008).
  • 'Selbstbewußtsein und Personale Identität: Platner im Kontext der Aufklärungsphilosophie'. Read at an International Conference of Ernst Platner (Ernst Platner (1744-1818). Konstellationen der Aufklärung zwischen Philosophie, Medizin und Anthropologie), University of Munich (2006).
  • Workshop on 'Mediating Identities', University of Bamberg, Germany (2005).
  • 'Der Begriff der intuitiven Erkenntnis bei John Locke'. Read at the Philosophisches Institut, University of Mannheim, Germany - as a part of a series of invited lectures (2004).
  • 'Gegenstandsbewußtsein und Selbstbewußtsein bei Wolff und seinen Kritikern'. Read at the first International Conference on Christian Wolff, Halle, Germany (2004).
  • 'Lockean Selves in the French Enlightenment'. Read at an international conference on John Locke, Griffith University, Brisbane (2004), and at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (2006).
  • 'Das Subjekt der Praxis bei Hume'. Read at the Philosophy Department, University of Hamburg (2003).
  • 'Hume on the Self in Context'. Read at the Philosophy Department, University College Dublin (2002), and at the Philosophy Department (Faculty of Arts) at the ANU (2003).
  • 'Erinnerung und Identität in der Philosophie des 17. Jahrhunderts'. Read at the 'Sonderforschungsbereich' Erinnerungskulturen, University of Gießen (2001).
  • 'Gegenstandsbewußtsein und Selbstbewußtsein in Aufklärung und Gegenwart'. Read at the annual conference of the German Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (DGEJ) in Wolfenbüttel (2000); University Wuppertal (2001); University of Mannheim (2001).
  • 'Bewußtsein und Person'. Read at the 'Sonderforschungsbereich' Institutionalität und Geschichtlichkeit, University of Dresden (2000).
  • 'Concepts of Apperception: from Leibniz to Kant'. Read at the Tenth International Congress on the Enlightenment, Dublin (1999).
  • Response to a paper by Professor Anne Jaap Jacobson, entitled 'Hume's Theory of Ideas'. Read at the 26th Hume Society Conference, University College Cork (1999).
  • 'Kant's Notion of Self-consciousness in Context'. Read at a conference 'Early Modern Thought, 1543-1794'. University of Sydney (1999). A revised version of this paper was read at the 9th International Kant Congress, Humboldt University, Berlin (2000).
  • 'Locke und der Begriff der Person in der Philosophie des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts'. Read at a conference 'Person. Geschichte - Theorie - Praxis', University of Essen, Germany (1999).
  • 'Consciousness of Self and Consciousness of Objects: Eighteenth-Century Developments'. Read at the 29th annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA (1998).
  • 'Kant and Eighteenth-Century Theories of Self-Consciousness'. Read at Boston University (1996).
  • 'Between Wolff and Kant: Merian's Theory of Apperception'. Read at a Meeting of the North American Kant Society, Loyola University, Chicago (1996).
  • '"Epistemologism" and Early Modern Debates about Individuation and Identity'. Read at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1996). Read to the Seventeenth-Century Philosophy Group, at a meeting at King's College, London (1997).
  • 'Materialism and Personal Identity in Eighteenth-Century Philosophy'. Read at the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University (1996). Revised versions of this paper were read at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh (1996; European Enlightenment Project Seminar); Department of Philosophy, University of Reading (1996); the annual conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (St. John's College, Oxford 1997); Department of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen (1997); The Annual Conference of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (Auckland, 1997); Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (1997); University of Tasmania, Hobart (1997) - as a part of series of invited lectures; Philosophisches Institut, Universität Mannheim, Germany (1997); Philosophisches Institut, Universität Göttingen, Germany (1997).
  • 'Varieties of Inner Sense. Pre-Kantian Theories in Germany'. Read at the Department of Philosophy, University of Marburg, Germany (1994).
  • 'Towards Kant's Theory of Apperception'. Read at the annual conference of the Australasian Society for the History of Philosophy (1994).
  • 'The Concept of Consciousness in early Eighteenth-Century Philosophy'. Read at a meeting of the Philosophical Society of the University of Zürich (1993); Duke August Library Research Centre in Wolfenbüttel, Germany (1993).
  • 'Leibniz and the Cartesians on Consciousness'. Read at a conference on 'Cartesian Themes' at the Australian National University (1992).
  • 'Trinity and Human Personal Identity'. Read at an international conference on 'Religion, Reason & Nature in Early Modern Europe. Rational Religion and Natural Philosophy, 1600-1750' at Flinders University, Adelaide (1992); Conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, University of Lancaster (1993); Department of Philosophy, University of Tasmania, Hobart (1997).
  • 'Hume's Notions of Consciousness and Reflection in Context'. Read at the 17th International Hume Conference of the Hume Society, ANU (1990); Department of Philosophy, University of Bochum (1991).
  • Cambridge Platonism and the Problem of Consciousness'. Read at the Department of General Philosophy, University of Sydney (1988); School of Philosophy, University of New South Wales (1989).
  • 'Analytic Philosophy, Problematic History, and the Interpretation of Kant'. Read at the Critical Philosophy Conference, University of Sydney (1984).

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Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dr.phil.

Udo Thiel

Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dr.phil. Udo Thiel Department of Philosophy

Section History of Philosophy
Heinrichstraße 33 / ground floor

Phone:+43 316 380 - 2296
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9707


Consultation hours: On appointment via E-mail

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