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Philosophy research

The research of Philosophy staff at Stirling falls broadly within the analytic tradition, and is organised around three clusters of strength: Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy; Mind and Knowledge; and Philosophy of Logic and Language, including history of analytic philosophy.

Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy

The themes explored in this cluster include the nature of practical reason; the universality of moral and other practical claims; human rights as a legal and a moral concept; the nature and purpose of rights and duties, including human rights and property rights; and aspects of the Kantian, Aristotelian, and Human traditions.

Recently funded projects include Human Rights, Ownership, and the Individual, a British Academy mid-career fellowship held by Rowan Cruft (2016-17). Simon Hope has ongoing research projects with philosophy colleagues at the University of Ghana.

The cluster runs its own occasional interdisciplinary discussion group (the Stirling Political Philosophy Group), hosting talks from local and visiting speakers.

Mind and Knowledge

The concerns of this cluster reach from the epistemology of mathematics to the philosophy of cognitive science.  Core work in epistemology focuses particularly on basic perceptual knowledge and the self-knowledge involved in action and perception.  Within the philosophy of mind we have interests in the metaphysics of persons, the character of subjectivity, and scientific understandings of cognition that extend the mind into the environment.

Recent projects include AHRC Fellowships for investigating self-knowledge in action, and forms of idealism.

Philosophy of Logic and Language, including history of analytic philosophy

In the philosophy of logic we have strengths in proof theory and inferentialist approaches to semantics.  A concern with formal methods in philosophy includes the foundations of probability, formal epistemology, and the metaphysics and epistemology of modality.  The cluster also includes a notable strength in the history of analytic philosophy, with several members of staff publishing on Frege, Russell, the early Wittgenstein, and Ramsey.

Recent AHRC Fellowship projects have focused on neo-Fregean approaches to arithmetical knowledge and ontology, and on the relation between logical and ontological categories.

The Stirling Early Analytic Groups holds workshops each semester, bringing together interested specialists from across Scotland with visiting speakers from further afield.

Research opportunities

To discuss research ideas in Philosophy, please contact Professor Peter Sullivan on p.m.sullivan@stir.ac.uk.

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