Metaphysical Explanation

—Project Leader: Anna-Sofia Maurin

In this project, we aim to investigate the nature of metaphysical explanation. This central notion in metaphysics is underexplored in its own right. By considering metaphysical explanation by analogy with more familiar forms of explanation, we hope both to elucidate the notion, to justify its continued use in metaphysics and elsewhere, and to shed new light on questions about fundamentality, grounding, truthmaking, and explanation generally. The project is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. This is a 3-year project (2017-2019), and involves a core of five researchers, and a scientific ‘board’ of nine. For more information about this project, who we are, and what we intend to do in the next few years, follow the links provided above.

Disclosing the Fabric of Reality – The Possibility of Metaphysics in the Age of Science

—Project Leaders: Camilla Serck-Hanssen, Frode Kjosavik,

During the last decades, metaphysics has been revived as a philosophical discipline, with lively debates and a number of competing approaches. Our project is intended as a systematic inquiry into both the enablements and constraints of metaphysics. The project is unique in (1) the central role it ascribes to science; (2) its focus on self-reflection and methodological meta-questions; and (3) its use of philosophical resources provided by three great thinkers that were fully conversant with and actively engaged with the sciences of their day, namely, Kant, Husserl and Frege. These philosophers were critical of naïve and speculative metaphysics, i.e., those kinds of metaphysics that are not sufficiently self-critical and science-oriented.

The Epistemology of Metaphysics: From Rationalism to Nominalism

—Project Leader: Tuomas Tahko, University of Helsinki

How is metaphysical knowledge possible in the first place? The purpose of this project is to put together a research group that will be able to tackle each of the research areas necessary for a well-rounded analysis of the epistemology of metaphysics.

Essential Knowledge

—Project Leader: Tuomas Tahko, University of Helsinki

The Essential Knowledge project aims to determine the metaphysical foundations for any attempt to answer questions related to the issue of what makes the world natural.

The Metaphysics of the Good Life: Leibniz on the Human Good, Perfection, and Happiness

—Project Leader: Peter Myrdal, University of Turku

Dynamistic Ontologies of Moral Agency from Kant to Nietzsche

—Project Leader: Valtteri Viljanen

The project examines the interplay between basic views of reality as powerful in nature and theories of moral agency in the history of modern philosophy.

McTaggarts Paradox

—Project Leader: Valdi Ingthorsson

The  aim of the project is to critically appraise the last century of debate about McTaggart’s Paradox.

Scientific Essentialism: Modernising the Aristotelian Account

—Project Leader: Valdi Ingthorsson

This project focuses on a particular problem for contemporary Essentialism. The problem is that it is generally assumed—in accordance to Aristotelian traditions—that causal influence is unidirectional, i.e. that causal connections involve the action of one object with active powers (the agent) on another object that merely has the passive power to receive the influence (the patient). As I have pointed out in previous research, then it is an established fact in modern physics that unidirectional actions do not exist: all interactions are reciprocal. This fact puts into doubt the validity of the distinction between active/passive powers, and between agent/patient, and thus invites the possibility that current metaphysics labours under the influence of potentially misleading conceptions.


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