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About us Faculty of Philosophy Research

Philosophical Research

Philosophical research in Groningen has a strong reputation as shown by the excellent marks it has received in recent years from international assessment committees. According to the latest committee outcome, headed by Prof. Frank Veltman, 'Groningen has maintained its well-established and justified reputation for research excellence' and continues to be 'an exceptionally attractive place to work'.

Two NWO Spinoza Prize laureates

The highest distinction in Dutch Academia, the Spinoza Prize, has been awarded to Professor of Ethics and its History Pauline Kleingeld in 2020, and to Professor of the History of Philosophy Lodi Nauta in 2016.

The research in Groningen covers a wide area, and it is carried out in the following three departments.

Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

The members of this department work on a variety of subjects, but always at the forefront of their field. Some study the intersection of philosophy and the behavioral and social sciences such as cognitive science, psychology, and economics. Others work in social philosophy, political philosophy, or ethics, be it metaethics, normative ethics, or applied ethics. The department takes pride in fostering dialogue between different philosophical approaches, ranging from game-theory to critical theory, and from Kantianism to error theory. The research results are widely disseminated, both through high-profile academic publications and through contributions to public debates.

History of Philosophy

Research in this department covers the whole history of philosophy, from antiquity to contemporary philosophy. Philosophy was traditionally closely connected to science and religion, so our historians carefully take these connections into account. But philosophy also has a history of its own, and it is fruitful to compare ideas and concepts from the past with current ones. Our historians of philosophy share the conviction that the study of philosophical arguments must rest on a sound textual basis, while, on the other hand, they realize that the understanding and editing of texts always needs an interpretative framework.

Since October 2015, the department hosts the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought , which concentrates not only on medieval and early modern philosophical debates, but also on the relations with other areas of the history of philosophy and science.

Theoretical Philosophy

Our theoretical philosophers are specialized in epistemology, philosophy of science, logic, theory of argumentation, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. They are engaged not only in the philosopher’s core business, viz. conceptual analysis and explication, but they also use methods taken from the empirical and the formal sciences. Thus philosophy of mind is intimately bound up with biology, psychology and the cognitive sciences in general, whereas philosophy of science is concerned with statistical and other methods in physics and the social sciences. Furthermore, mathematical and other formal methods are not restricted to logic, but are also employed in epistemology, philosophy of language, and argumentation theory.

Last modified:01 December 2022 1.05 p.m.
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