“What Kind of Mind? Engaging Children and the Public with Research on Animal and Infant Minds from Philosophy and Psychology (Ball)” £53,200
AHRC funded project
2017-20 Scottish Graduate School in the Arts and Humanities Award (Hawley) £28,000
Funding for a Ph.D. student worth £28,000 (plus match funding from the University).
2017/18 Leverhulme Research Fellowship for project ‘Wholes: more than just the sum of their parts’ (Cotnoir) £45,067
The fellowship will support the research for a book that argues that whole objects are unified yet genuinely new — distinct from mere sums of their parts. The book will put forward an original metaphysics of the structure of ordinary objects.
Mind Association Senior Research Fellowship for project, Blame: Epistemic and Moral (Brown) £50,000
The project focuses on the way in which we can be blamed for failing to follow epistemic standards or norms governing belief or action.
2017/20 Leverhulme Project Grant for a project on ‘Theories of Paradox in Fourteenth-Century Logic: Edition and Translation of Key Texts’ (Read) £155,655
The aim is to produce critical editions from the medieval manuscripts of the texts on Insolubles by Paul of Venice, Walter Segrave, John Dumbleton and Peter of Ailly, with English translations of the first three and commentary.
What’s so special about first-person thought’ (Project lead Stephan Torre (Aberdeen)
The Network is comprised of researchers from University of Aberdeen, ConceptLab, Institut Jean Nicod, Logos, University of Oxford, University of St. Andrews, and Tufts University seeking to understand the nature of first-person thought.There is a deep disagreement over the philosophical significance of first-person thought. Many philosophers take it to be well-established that thoughts about the self fundamentally differ in nature from thoughts about other individuals and raise deep philosophical questions. Others maintain that their colleagues have succumbed to an attractive, yet unmotivated, myth and in fact there is nothing special or philosophically profound about first-person thoughts.
This radical difference of opinion cries out for further exploration: is there really something special about first-person thought?
The project is structured into three phases, each attempting to answer distinct questions about the nature of first-person thought: The first phase of the project will aim to clarify and demarcate what unique problems are raised by the phenomenon of first-person thought. The second phase of the project will consider the relation between the phenomenon of first-person thought and the more general phenomenon arising from so-called Frege puzzles. The third phase of the project will employ the results of the first two phases to address implications for the nature of thought and the self.
For more information, please visit the project website.
2016-17 Templeton funded grant on self-control (Hawley) £44,000
Conceptual Engineering (Cappelen, Linnebo, Serck-Hanssen) £2.5 million
Herman Cappelen, in collaboration with Oystein Linnebo and Camilla Serck-Hanssen, has received a £2.5 million, 5 year grant from the Norwegian Research Council for a project on Conceptual Engineering.In any inquiry, whether scientific or practical, we use concepts to frame questions about reality. An obvious way in which the inquiry can be successful is by yielding answers to the resulting questions. A far less obvious form of success has to do with asking the “right” questions, formulated using the “right” concepts. It is clear that many great leaps in human insight and understanding have been associated with the forging of “better” concepts, which has enabled us to ask “better” questions: in physics, the differentiation of weight and mass; in mathematics, the Cantorian notion of “size” or number; in economics, the articulation of the present concept of money; in social science the concept of gender, as opposed to sex. These are illustrations of how conceptual progress has been made in the past. Our project has three parts: one part aims to develop a general theory of conceptual engineering, another focuses on the engineering of formal concepts, and a third is concerned with social/political concepts such as ‘combatant’ and ‘privacy’. The NFR Project Conceptual Engineering is a part of the ConceptLab. For more information about ConceptLab see here.
Rethinking Mind and Meaning: A case study from a co-disciplinary approach (Ball, Cappelen, Gomez (PI), Seed, Wilson, Zuberbuhler) £200,000 awarded in total
In what sense are non-verbal creatures such as animals and human infants capable of thought? Can they reason? Are they able to use sophisticated concepts such as knowledge, causality or intentionality in their dealings with the physical and social world? If they can already do these complex things, what makes adult human thought unique? This project brings together researchers from the humanities (e.g., linguistics and philosophy) and the sciences (e.g., psychology and biology) in a co-disciplinary effort to make progress on such fundamental questions about the nature of thought, the human-animal divide, and the nature of meaning and communication.
Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2014-16) for a project on The Importance of Being Competent: Ethics and Epistemology (Hawley)
Being earnest is important, but it isn’t everything. Becoming trustworthy – as a practical agent and as a source of information – involves becoming competent, which in turn involves developing an awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Central to good promise-making is the art of avoiding reckless promises, however well-intentioned. Central to treating other people with respect is the art of identifying their commitments, and fairly judging whether they are competent to meet those commitments. My project is an extended philosophical investigation of these claims, resulting in a monograph.
More information is available on the element on transformative experiences.
Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (Thakkar)
In September 2014 Dr Mark Thakkar will take up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for three years to work on a new edition and English translation of John Wyclif’s Logic. His mentor during the Fellowship will be Professor Stephen Read. Written in the 1360s, the Logic blends philosophy with science and theology, covering topics like optics, geometry, digestion, planetary motion, atoms, time, space, and God’s foreknowledge. Its breadth should have made it a valuable source for intellectual historians, but it has hardly been studied because the nineteenth-century edition is so defective as to be frequently unintelligible. Advances in medieval scholarship, including the discovery of better manuscripts, will enable Dr Thakkar to make it more readable and widely discussed than it has been for six hundred years.