Potential MA topics in History of Philosophy
Areas of expertise
The Chair of History of Philosophy has developed expertise to supervise MA projects in the following areas:
- Ancient Greek philosophy
- Early Modern philosophy
- 19th- and 20th-century German philosophy
- 20th-century French philosophy (Foucault, Derrida)
Egge Kulbok-Lattik: potential topics of supervision
I am happy to supervise these on various topics in cultural policy which is interdisciplinary research on society, comprising historical sociology, cultural history, cultural sociology, cultural theory, ethnology and political science, just to mention some of its different angles. Below are some examples, topics and suggestions which are available on request.
The models of cultural policy in Europe and Estonia before and after the World War II
What is cultural policy? Interactions between cultural field and civil society,economy and politics in the era of modern nation-states?
Eisenstadt, Shmuel N. (2002). Multiple Modernities. In: Multiple Modernities, New Brunswick.
Giddens, Anthony (2009). The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford Univeristy Press.
Isar, Yudhishthir R. (2009). Cultural Policy: Towards a Global Survey, In: Culture Unbound, 1,pp 51–65.
The formation and development of Estonian cultural policy in (1860-1940)
What were the socio-historical preconditions and reasons for cultural emancipation and national awakening of Estonians? How Estonian public sphere developed on the example of Estonian community houses in the second half of 19th of century?
Arendt, Hannah. (1959). The Human Condition. New York, Doubleday.
Guibernau, Montserrat (2007). The Identity of Nations. Cambridge, Polity Press.
Hroch, Miroslav (1996). From National Movement to the Fully-Formed Nation: The Nation-Buidling Process in Europe. In: Becoming National. (Eds) G. Eley and R. G. Suny. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 60-77.
Instruments and implementation of the Soviet cultural policy in Estonia (1940-1991)
In what goals and how the Soviet cultural canon and cultural policy was designed? How the instruments of Soviet cultural policy were implemented in Estonian cultural field?
Arnason, Johann (2000). Communism and Modernity. In: Multiple Modernities, 2000, Daedalus, 129, 1 ProQuest Research Library
Hoffmann, David (2003). Stalinist Values: The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity, 1917-1941. New York: Cornell University Press.
Slezkine, Yuri (1994). The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State promoted Ethnic Particularism. In: Slavic Review, summer 1994, Vol. 53, No. 2, pp 414-452.
The ambivalence of Soviet cultural policy. Soviet cultural education and mass culture.
What kind of dialectics existed inside the official discourse of Soviet cultural policy ? What kind of dynamics, and tensions existed between alternative and official discourse?
Hoffmann, David, L., (2011). Cultivating the Masses. Modern State Practices and Soviet Socialism, 1914-1939. Cornell University Press.
Warshovsky Lapidus, Geil (1984). Ethno-nationalism and Political Stability: The Soviet Case. In: World Politics, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Jul., 1984). Cambridge University Press, pp 555-580.
Šmidchens, Guntis (2014). The power of song: nonviolent national culture in the Baltic singing revolution, London: University of Washington Press, pp 160-208.
Below is a short overview of the research projects that the Chair of History of Philosophy is involved with – these topics are opportunities to offer students hands-on research experience and supervision.
1. Determining religious disagreements. Religious disagreements are common and often embody exclusivist views. Questions about truth and objectivity can be seen as transcendental and unanswerable. In philosophy of religion, these issues transform into questions about the rationality of particular religious beliefs, which – to some extent – can be defended or opposed by means of philosophical argument. We assess the rationality of religious beliefs by analysis of historical case studies, especially by looking at religious disagreements in Early Modern metaphysics. The aim is to determine whether philosophical analysis of religious doctrines can provide a rationale for religious beliefs and in turn contribute to solving religious disagreements, which can then be seen as genuine disagreements.
2. Resolving peer disagreements. In contemporary epistemology revisionists claim that one should withhold judgment when peer disagreement occurs (i.e. disagreement with someone with roughly the same evidence and the same intellectual abilities). The non-revisionists argue that one has no such obligation. We will offer a historical perspective on this currently hotly debated topic. We analyze arguments by Ancient sceptics for their revisionist position and show that they are relevant for the contemporary discussion of peer disagreement. An important premise for the sceptics’ revisionist argument is the principle according to which one has the epistemic duty to treat one’s beliefs impartially. Contemporary non-revisionists tend to deny this principle of impartiality, e.g. by invoking the notion of “intellectual self-trust”.
Conceptions of the Soul and Immortality in the British Thought from 1640 to 1740.
The project is concerned with the conceptions of human soul put forward by British thinkers in the period of 1640-1740. In particular, it proposes to study their philosophical-theological accounts of the soul in its post-mortal states. Modern scholarly literature on the Early Modern conceptions of the soul focuses mainly on the soul in its present, embodied state. In this way, the modern scholarship tends to ignore an important aspect of their views, for Early Modern philosophers were equally interested in soul’s immortality and afterlife. They produced numerous accounts of the separate/intermediate as well as final state of the soul. No systematic research has been done on these accounts to be found in the works of British thinkers. The project aims to expound, compare and analyze the views and arguments concerning the future states of souls in their textual and intellectual context.