Main research interests

Philosophy of language, philosophy of logic and mathematics

The department is particularly strong in this area. The central works in logic by Dag Prawitz and Per Martin-Löf are modern classics. Prawitz is presently writing a book together with Peter Schroeder-Heister (Tübingen) on general proof theory. Pagin and Westerståhl, partly in collaboration, are doing work on compositional semantics that is at the front line of the field (several handbook articles). Westerståhl is internationally renowned for his work on general­ized quantifiers, and was appointed leading researcher by the Swedish Research Council (2005-2010). His book with Stanley Peters, Quantifiers in Language and Logic, OUP, 2006, 2008) is a standard reference in the field. Presently he is doing research on generalized quanti­fiers in language and logic, in particular possessive quantification (joint work with Stanley Peters), logical consequence and logical constants (joint work with Denis Bonnay), and “Saussurean compositionality” for grammars generating syntax-semantics pairs (Saussurean signs).

Pagin, and Glüer and Pagin, also have several contributions to the area of formal semantics. In particular, Glüer and Pagin have developed a framework for semantics—switcher seman­tics—that has been applied in possible world semantics, and that is currently gaining attention. They are currently preparing a book manuscript on this topic, under contract with Oxford University Press. In addition, Pagin works on semantic complexity, the semantics-pragmatics interface, assertion (with an entry in Stanford Encyclopedia), communication, pragmatic enrich­ments, semantics for non-extensional contexts, empty singular terms, and vagueness.

Hattiangadi, Glüer, Pagin, Prawitz, Häggqvist, Wikforss and Åkerman all work on various aspects of general meaning theory. Prawitz is currently working on a project within the theory of meaning concerning what gives an inference or a deduction its epistemic force. Hattiangadi, Glüer and Wikforss all work on the question of the normativity of linguistic meaning and mental content, and have several prestigious publications in the area, including articles in Mind and Stanford Encyclopedia (Wikforss and Glüer), and a monograph entitled Oughts and Thoughts: Rule Following and the Normativity of Content (Hattiangadi) published by Oxford University Press (2007). Glüer, Pagin, Häggqvist and Wikforss all work on the seman­tics of natural kind terms. Wikforss has published several articles on questions of internalism and externalism in semantics, including a survey article in Philosophy Compass. Häggqvist works on teleosemantics, with a recent survey article in Philosophy Compass. Glüer is an international authority on the philosophy of Davidson, with contributions to several encyclo­pedias and handbooks, including a monograph published by  Oxford University Press (2012). Åkerman recently finalised a project entitled ‘Mental States and Utterance Content’ financed by the Swedish Research Council. He has several publications (recent and forthcoming) on vagueness, context sensitivity and indexicals, in journals like Mind & Language, dialectica, Philosophical Quarterly, and Philosophy Compass, and in a new anthology on the Sorites paradox to be published by Springer.

Hattiangadi is currently working on a new monograph provisionally entitled The Fundamentality of Intentionality, in which she will defend the view that the intentional and semantic properties of mental and linguistic representations – their meaning, content, truth or falsity – are fundamental and cannot be reductively explained in non-semantic terms.

Malmnäs does work on probability theory, the foundations of decision theory and the analysis of complex decision making. He is in charge of a program on decision, risk- and policy analysis.

Epistemology, philosophy of mind and action

Häggqvist works on modal epistemology, and is internationally known for his work on thought experiments. Glüer works on perception, where her position is gaining widespread attention, in particular because of her recent article in Mind & Language. Glüer and Wikforss also work on issues concerning the nature of belief and epistemic rationality. Wikforss is currently working on the epistemology of self-knowledge, and she has a contract with Oxford University Press for a book on knowledge of content and belief. Glüer and Wikforss has re­cently received funding from VR (the Swedish Research Council) for a five-year project entitled “The Nature of Belief” (this is the first five year project in philosophy ever financed by VR).

Janvid has several international publications in epistemology, with a special focus on a priori justification, defeasibility, scepticism, epistemic value and understanding.  He is currently working on an externalist account of defeaters.

Carlshamre is currently involved in a project supported by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, where he works on the semantics and epistemology of narratives.

Several people work on the philosophy of action. Glüer works on Davidson’s action theory. Grönroos, Murdoch and Quarfood all work (or have worked) within the project ‘Under­standing Agency’, funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, which deals with questions concerning agency from a historical perspective.  Murdoch is a member of the gov­erning board of this research program.

Philosophy of science, metaphysics

Needham is internationally renowned for his work in philosophy of chemistry (with a collabo­rative recent entry in Stanford Encyclopedia). He has published both on the history of philoso­phy of science (including work on the Aristotelian and Stoic views about the nature of chemical substances, and work on Duhem’s philosophy of science), and on mereology and chemical substances (with a recent publication in Nous criticizing Kripkean micro-essential­ism). He is presently working on issues concerned with the “same substance” relation under­lying distinctions of chemical kinds, and the nature of chemical bonding and the bearing of philosophical doctrines of realism associated with ideas of preservation of reference through theory change on the notion of molecules. He also works on the general notion of reduction, and on metaphysical issues concerning space and time.

Dugald Murdoch's book on Niels Bohr's philosophy of Physics for Cambridge University Press is a leading text in its field, and has been highly praised in numerous reviews. Carlshamre works on philosophy of the humanities, and is currently writing a textbook on the topic. Häggqvist works on the nature of natural kinds, partly in collaboration with Wikforss.

History of philosophy, aesthetics

Dugald Murdoch has an international reputation in the history of philosophy, being joint translator of the philosophical works of Descartes for Cambridge University Press, and author of prestigious articles on Descartes and Hume in top-ranked journals such as The Philosophical Review, the Journal of Philosophy, and the Philosophical Quarterly, as well as contributions to leading encyclopaedias and compendia.

The department has several researchers working on ancient philosophy. Grönroos works on Plato’s and Aristotle’s conceptions of voluntary action, as well as on Aristotle’s stance on reason’s role in motivating actions. Grönroos has also written on Plato and works on the question of the role of pleasure in the virtuous life. Malmnäs is translating Aristotle’s Analytica Priora into Swedish.

Quarfood’s research is concerned with the interpretation of Kant's philosophy, especially with regard to teleology, the antinomies and the role of Aristotelian logic in Kant's thought.

Carlshamre writes on Hegel, and is currently working on a commentary on Hegel’s ‘Phenome­nology of Spirit’. Svensson has worked on the philosophy of Wittgenstein, especially on ‘On Certainty’. Wikforss and Glüer have also written on Wittgenstein, in particular on Wittgenstein’s ideas about meaning and rule-following. Foultier works on the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and has translated Simone de Beauvoir's philosophical essays into Swedish.

Pettersson has written about the phenomenology of photography; about the role of causality in photography; and about an often-neglected aspect of picture perception, namely how we apprehend occluded portions of depicted objects, and objects that lie outside the pic­ture frame. He is presently working on issues concerned with pictures and our apprehension of them, in particular our apprehension of less canonical pictorial contents, including absences, empty space and psychological properties.

Carlshamre also works on aesthetics and is one the board of an interdisciplinary graduate school in aesthetics. Two of the graduate students belong to this school (Brück and Forsberg) doing work in philosophy of art, literature and music.