JProf. Dr. Lena Kästner

Teaching Experience

mission statement


My main motivation for teaching is to help students discover topics that fascinate them, ignite their intrisic motivation and guide them towards critical thinking and developing their own thoughts to empower them for their future careers. My goal is to provide them with foundational concepts in the field as well as the tools they need to further explore what they are interested in. I train them to present their own views in coherent and structured ways, and make them comfortable in engaging with abstract and complex topics, within and beyond the boundaries of their home discipline. In teaching writing, I focus on training students to write clear and concise papers presenting well-supported arguments.

I teach students at all levels and supervise undergraduate, graduate and PhD theses nationally as well as internationally. My classes range from introductory undergraduate classes covering classical philosophical topics to advanced research-related graduate seminars for Masters students and PhD candidates. Many of my students have interdisciplinary backgrounds, mostly in philosophy, psychology, education, computer science or neuroscience. I teach theoretical philosophy in its full spectrum with a focus in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science; besides, I also teach basic empirical research methods. Teaching about topics at the intersection of philosophy and empirical research I especially enjoy. I greatly enjoy interactive and discussion-based teaching using a variety of methods, especially problem-based ones. Both content and format of my classes are tailored to their audience.

In 2016, I was awarded the Berlin Higher Education Teaching Certificate. My class “Epistemology of Neuroscience” was selected as a case of best teaching practice by the Berlin Center for Higher Education Teaching (BZHL).

lectures

 winter 2020/21 Introduction to Philosophy of Science Saarland University
(BA level)
summer 2020 Einführung in die Philosophie des Geistes
[Introduction to Philosophy of Mind]
Saarland University
(BA level)
summer 2019 Einführung in die Philosophie des Geistes
[Introduction to Philosophy of Mind]
Saarland University
(BA level)
winter 2015/16 From Hempel to Mechanisms: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science Max Planck Institute for Human Development
(PhD level)

graduate courses

summer 2020 Philosophy of Psychiatry: Contemporary Readings Saarland University
winter 2019/20 Alive and Kicking?! – A New Take on the Identity Theory Saarland University
summer 2018 Explaining the Mind: New Mechanists’ Accounts Ruhr-University Bochum
winter 2017/18 Predictive Processing: Perception and Other Applications Ruhr-University Bochum
summer 2017 Prediction Machines – A New Theory of Mind and Brain? Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2016/17 Philosophy of Logic Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2016  Causality Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2016 Strange Beliefs: A Neurophilosophical Look at Faith and Delusions (co-taught with Henrik Walter (Charité)) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2015/16 Thought Experiments Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2015/16 Scientific Explanation Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2015 Epistemology of Neuroscience Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2014/15

Woodward’s Interventionism

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2014/15 Concepts
(co-taught with Astrid Schomäcker)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2014/15

Current Issues in Mind and Brain Research
(lecture series, co-organized with Richard Moore)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2014

Mind Your Body

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2014

Mechanistic Explanations in the Life Sciences

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

undergraduate courses

 winter 2019/20 Scientific Explanations in Philosophy and Beyond (interdisciplinary class with guest lectures from psychology, linguistics, computer science and
philosophy)
Saarland University
summer 2019 Geist, Gehirn und Körper
[Mind, Brain and Body]
Saarland University
winter 2018/19 Die empirische Erforschung kognitiver Phänomene
[Empirically Investigating Cognitive Phenomena]
Ruhr-University Bochum, Saarland University
summer 2018 Das Neue Organon: Francis Bacons Sicht der Wissenschaft [The New Organ:
Francis Bacon’s Take on Science] Ruhr-University Bochum
winter 2017/18 Einführung in die Wissenschaftstheorie
[Introduction to Philosophy of Science]
Ruhr-University Bochum
summer 2017

Early Indian Philosophy

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2016/17 Descartes’ Meditations – A Contemporary Perspective Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
summer 2015 Introduction to Philosophy of Science Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
winter 2012/13 Philosophy Meets Cognitive Science
(lecture series, co-organized with Albert Newen and  Markus Werning)
Ruhr-University Bochum