The research of Philosophy staff at Stirling falls broadly within the analytic tradition, and is organized around three clusters of strength:
The themes explored in this cluster include the nature, purpose and normative grounding of the criminal law; human rights, particularly how the scope and force of different rights reflects the distinct kinds of considerations in which they are grounded; the philosophy of J. S. Mill.
Recent funded projects include: Criminalization, an AHRC Research Grant project led by Antony Duff; Institutionalizing Values, an AHRC Network., and Rights and the Direction of Duties, an AHRC Research Grant project led by Rowan Cruft; an RSE Workshop project on moral and political problems surrounding organ donation policies.
The Stirling Political Philosophy group meets fortnightly during semesters, hosting talks from local and visiting speakers.
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.
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.
The quality of philosophical research at Stirling was recognized in an outstanding result in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, when 70% (of 3* or 4*) of our work was classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top ten research departments in Philosophy in the UK.