Much of the excitement of current philosophy arises from reflection on the nature of the subject and the exploration of new methods. UEA philosophers contribute to key developments and debates in methodology and philosophy of philosophy:


The Role of Intuitions in Philosophy. The role of intuitions in philosophy and related disciplines (e.g., linguistics). The currently central debate in mainstream metaphilosophy asks: what are intuitions? Do philosophers use them as evidence? Can philosophers rely on their own intuitions? Do intuitions have evidentiary value?

We consider also how intuition shapes philosophical thought, more broadly.

 

Experimental and Naturalistic Philosophy.


 How can philosophers use empirical methods and findings? How can one practice philosophy as a science without scientism? Naturalist philosophers build on findings from other subjects. Experimental philosophers complement these by own empirical work. What methods can they use? What philosophical conclusions may they draw? UEA pioneers the use of methods from psycholinguistics and the digital humanities, in experimental philosophy, with applications in epistemology and ethics.

 

Logical Methods in Philosophy. 


Early analytic philosophers hoped that introducing logical method in philosophy would lead to as much progress as the introduction of mathematical methods in physics. While aspirations have been scaled down, logical methods have been developed significantly further and continue to be central to methodological concerns: How are idealization and simplification possible in philosophy without falsification? Can logical methods explain the universality and necessity of philosophical statements as traditionally conceived? How to be a naturalist without being an empiricist?

  • O. Kuusela (2018):Logic as the Method of Philosophy. Oxford University Press
  • J. Collins (2015): Truth and Language, Natural and Formal. In D. Achourioti, H. et al. Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Dordrecht: Springer
  • O. Kuusela (2008): The Struggle against Dogmatism. Harvard University Press.

 

Therapeutic conceptions of philosophy. 


UEA philosophers have taken the lead in developing non-theoretical and therapeutic conceptions in the wake of Wittgenstein: How do philosophical problems arise? (How) can we ‘dissolve’ them? How can philosophy proceed without theories? (When) do we need to complement conventional philosophical argument by something worth calling a ‘therapy’?

We also examine proper methods for the study of ancient philosophy, and the methodology of the social sciences:

  • C. Rowett (2013): A Portable Presocratics Primer? British Journal for the History of Philosophy.
  • R. Read et al. (2008): There is no such thing as a social science. Ashgate

 

Conferences 


Recent events include three international conferences: