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Theoretical Philosophy

Research in Theoretical Philosophy

 

News

Last updated August 2018.

Guest Professor in Theoretical Philosophy:

This fall (Aug-Dec) Kelly Trogdon (Virginia Tech) joins our subject for an extenden research stay. Trogdon will be working primarily with the researchers in the Metaphysical Explanation group.

Upcoming events:

Here are a couple of the events organized in theoretical philosophy (or by theoretical philosophers) this Fall.

Aug 27-28: 4th workshop on Metaphysical Explanation (in Lund) (worskhop website here).

Oct 15-16: Nordic graduate course in philosophy (open to PhD- and MA-students from a Swedish university, and for BA-students from Gothenburg (given that they have a suitable background in metaphysics)). People not taking the course are also welcome to attend (let us know by e-mailing Anna-Sofia at anna-sofia.maurin@gu.se). The course called God(s) and Fundamentality and is led by guest researcher Ricki Bliss (Lehigh). More information here.

Nov 27-28: 4th meeting of the Nordic Network in Metaphysics featuring presentations by junior and comments by senior academics from universities tied to the network. For more information about the network go here. For more information about this meeting (including instructions if you’re interested in submitting an abstract), go here.

Contents

What is Theoretical Philosophy?

A Very Short History of the Subject

Seminars

Research 

Researchers 

Contact

What is Theoretical Philosophy?

The division of philosophy into a practical and a theoretical discipline can arguably be traced back as far as to Aristotle. At most philosophy departments in Sweden (as well as in the other Nordic countries) this division has become institutionalized. Courses in theoretical and practical philosophy are taught separately and are given separate degrees. PhD-positions, professorships, lectureships and various research positions are likewise for the most part separately announced, which means that to be eligible to apply for a position in theoretical position, you are normally expected to have (the equivalent of) a PhD in theoretical philosophy or, if the position is as a doctoral student, it means that you are expected to write your PhD-thesis on a subject-matter that qualifies as in theoretical philosophy.

Theoretical philosophy is usually defined in terms of the topics it covers. The topics normally included under this heading are metaphysics/ontology, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and logic. In Gothenburg, logic is however a separate research subject with its own professor.

A Very Short History of the Subject

The history of theoretical philosophy at the University of Gothenburg dates back to 1893, when the first professor of philosophy, Vitalis Norström (1856–1916), was appointed. Like his two immediate successors, Malte Jacobsson (1885–1966) and Gunnar Aspelin (1898–1977), Norström moved freely between theoretical and practical philosophy in his research, but taught mainly in theoretical philosophy. The first professor of theoretical philosophy was the internationally renowned Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945), who served at Gothenburg between 1935–1941, having left Germany after the Nazis came to power in 1933. It is however fair to say that the subject’s modern history starts with the 1951 appointment of Ivar Segelberg (1914–1987). Segelberg’s main philosophical interests were analytic ontology, and phenomenology in the tradition of the early Husserl. Segelberg served as professor for almost three decades and came to have a formative influence upon his students, three of whom, Mats Furberg (1933–), Dag Westerståhl (1946–) and Helge Malmgren (1945–), also became professors in theoretical philosophy in Gothenburg. Whereas most of his students attest to Segelberg’s importance for their intellectual development, few came to study the same problems he did. Furberg is a philosopher of language, Westerståhl is a philosopher of logic and Malmgren is a philosopher of mind. Furberg and Malmgren are now retired. Westerståhl is currently working as a professor emeritus at Stockholm University. The current professor is Anna-Sofia Maurin (1969–). With her appointment, ontology has once again become a main topic of research in Gothenburg.

Seminars

The research seminar in theoretical philosophy convenes once a week (normally on Wednesdays 10-12 in room T340). The seminar features presentations both by local researchers/PhD students, and by invited guests. A schedule for the seminar can be found here. To get updated information about the seminar, including titles, abstracts and (when applicable) papers, please join our mailing list (by e-mailing Pia Gårdmo at pia.gardmo@ling.gu.se and ask to be put on the list hogreseminarium@filosofi.gu.se).  

Research

Theoretical philosophy is normally thought to comprise studies in at least the following areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. The kind of research we do here in Gothenburg covers more or less all of those areas, and also includes cross-disciplinary research.

Some of our researchers lead externally funded research projects. Among other things, professor Anna-Sofia Maurin, is the principal investigator for the project Metaphysical Explanation, financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (more info here), docent Ana Maria Mora Marquez leads a project on Aristotelian argumentation, financed by Knut and AliceWallenbergs fond, and docent Susanna Radovic works in a project on expertise, evidence and ethics in decisons on compulsory care (more info here). The project is interdisciplinary and part of the research environment CELAM, for which Radovic is also the director.

For more information about the sort of research we do, please go to the websites of our individual researchers (listed below).

Our Researchers and PhD-students

Anna-Sofia Maurin, professor

Susanna Radovic, docent

Ana María Mora Marquez, docent

Anders Tolland, senior lecturer

Felix Larsson senior lecturer

Martin Kaså, senior lecturer

Filip Radovic, senior lecturer

Alexander Skiles, visiting research fellow

Naomi Thompson, visiting research fellow

Kelly Trogdon, guest professor (Fall semester 2018)

Robin Stenwall, visiting research fellow

Andrew Brenner, postdoc

Gustavo Fernandez Walker, postdoc

Alla Choifer, PhD student

Ylwa Sjölin Wirling, PhD student

Stellan Petersson, PhD student

Alva Stråge, PhD student

Maximilian Zachrau, PhD student

 

Martin Filin Karlsson, PhD student (finished January 2018)

Susanna Salmijärvi, PhD student (on a break)

Contact

We are located at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science (Olof Wijksgatan 6). Snail-mail should be sent to the following address:
Box 200
405 30 GÖTEBORG

If you need to contact any of our researchers, please follow the links to their respective webpages. There you will find the relevant contact information. For general questions about theoretical philosophy you may contact the subject’s professor Anna-Sofia Maurin (anna-sofia.maurin@gu.se).


Artwork by Jean-Louis Maurin

Jean-Louis Maurin
Jean-Louis Maurin

Contact Information

Anna-Sofia Maurin

Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg

Visiting Address:
Olof Wijksgatan 6

Phone:
031-786 6969

Page Manager: Monica Havström|Last update: 8/24/2018
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