I obtained a BPhil and DPhil in philosophy from Oxford. I taught at the universities of Oxford and Munich before coming to UEA. I have been a Heisenberg Research Reader, Golestan Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Central European Institute for Advanced Study / Collegium Budapest. Please go to the next tab to read about my research.
Key Research Interests
My current research focuses on philosophical intuitions: intuitions which are used as evidence for philosophical theories or engender philosophical paradoxes and problems. In collaboration with colleagues from psychology, computational linguistics, and computer science, I am pursuing an interdisciplinary research programme that is currently emerging from experimental philosophy: The ‘sources project’ seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophical intuitions that help us assess their evidentiary value. I study intuitions at the root of classical paradoxes about the mind and perception. I am particularly interested in the role of (a) stereotypes and (b) analogy and metaphor, in automatic cognition.
My recent and forthcoming papers on the topic include:
- Eugen Fischer and Paul Engelhardt: Intuitions' linguistic sources: stereotypes, intuitions, and illusions, forthcoming in: Mind and Language
- Eugen Fischer, Paul Engelhardt, and Aurelie Herbelot: Intuitions and illusions. From explanation to assessment. In E Fischer & J Collins (eds.): Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method. Routledge 2015
- Mind the metaphor! A systematic fallacy in analogical reasoning. Analysis 2015
- Philosophical Intuitions, Heuristics, and Metaphors. Synthese 2014
The second focus of my work is on therapeutic aims and methods in philosophy, and on when and why they need to complement familiar forms of philosophical argument and analysis. In particular, I have developed some meta-philosophical and methodological ideas first mooted by Wittgenstein and J.L. Austin, with the help of findings from cognitive psychology and concepts from cognitive psychotherapy. This line of research has redeveloped the notions of ‘philosophical problem-dissolution’ and ‘therapeutic philosophy’ within a post-linguistic paradigm. Major publications include:
- Philosophical Delusion and its Therapy. Outline of a Philosophical Revolution, Routledge 2011 (Paperback 2013)
- How to Practice Philosophy as Therapy: Philosophical Therapy and Therapeutic Philosophy, Metaphilosophy 42 (2011), 49-82
- Diseases of the Understanding and the Need for Philosophical Therapy, Philosophical Investigations 34 (2011), 22-54
- Wittgenstein’s Non-Cognitivism – Explained and Vindicated, Synthese 162 (2008), 53-84
- Austin on Sense-Data: Ordinary Language Analysis as ‘Therapy’, Grazer Philosophische Studien 70 (2005), 67-99
I have also done some exegetical work on Wittgenstein. I am co-editor (with Severin Schroeder) of the monograph series “Wittgenstein’s Thought and Legacy” (Routledge) and of the collection: Erich Ammereller & Eugen Fischer (eds.): Wittgenstein at Work. Method in the “Philosophical Investigations”. Routledge 2004 (Paperback 2010).
I am happy to supervise work on any of these and directly related topics.
- Philosophy of mind
- Philosophy of psychology
- Philosophy of philosophy (epistemology and methodology of philosophy)
- Classical Empiricists
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
- Eugen Fischer has been a Golestan Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, NIAS, 2005/2006, a Senior Research Fellow at Collegium Budapest/Institute for Advanced Research, 2006/2007, and has held a Heisenberg Research Readership of the German Research Council from 2005 to 2009.
- Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council's Peer Review College 2007-10, reviewer for the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Croatian Science Foundation, and Swiss National Science Foundation..
- Referee for the Oxford University Press, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, and various international journals, including Dialectica, Erkenntnis, Inquiry, Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, Mind, Philosophia, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Philosophical Explorations, Philosophical Investigations, and Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung
- Research Director, Philosophy
- Ethics Officer, PPL
- Director of Postgraduate Research (2014/15)
- Director of the Postgraduate Taught Programmes for the School of Philosophy (2008-14)