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Event Series Event Series: Masterclass on Synthetic Philosophy

Masterclass on Synthetic Philosophy

April 19 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

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Three-session masterclass delivered online by Arché Professorial Fellow Catarina Dutilh Novaes, via Teams and in Edgecliffe, Room G03 on (UK time zone):

April 12 10:30am-12noon 

April 19 10:30am-12noon 

April 26 10:30am-12noon 

This 3-session masterclass will introduce an approach in philosophy that is now known as ‘synthetic philosophy’: “the enterprise of bringing together insights, knowledge, and arguments from the special sciences with the aim to offer a theoretically (reasonably) unified, coherent account of complex systems and connect these to a wider culture or other philosophical projects (or both).” (Schliesser, 2019) It is related to, but interestingly different from, naturalism in philosophy and empirically-informed philosophy. Current practitioners of synthetic philosophy include Daniel Dennett, Kim Sterelny and Peter Godfrey-Smith. With the growing fragmentation of scientific knowledge into hyperspecialized disciplines, there is much need for over-arching, comprehensive perspectives that provide unified accounts of complex phenomena drawing on various disciplines, and philosophy is arguably ideally placed for this purpose.

Session 1: What is synthetic philosophy?  

General presentation, historical precedents, contrast with other styles of philosophy.

Session 2: The dialogical roots of deduction as an example of synthetic philosophy 

Presentation of the book The Dialogical Roots of Deduction as a project of synthetic philosophy.

Session 3: How to design a synthetic philosophy research program 

Practical discussion of how to design and carry out a research program, focusing on methodological considerations.

This masterclass is open to non-St Andrews research postgrads as well – for info and the link to the online meeting, e-mail Viviane Fairbank vf45@st-andrews.ac.uk.


April 19
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Catarina Dutilh Novaes


Edgecliffe G03