Potential MA supervisors in Theoretical Philosophy
Below is a list of the research projects that the Chair of Theoretical Philosophy is involved with – these topics are opportunities to offer students hands-on research experience and supervision:
M. Jimena Clavel Vázquez: potential topics for supervision
I am happy to supervise research in any of the following fields:
- Philosophy of cognitive science (particularly, embodied approaches to cognition)
- Philosophy of perception
- Philosophy of imagination
Simon Barker: potential topics for supervision
I am happy to supervise various topics in epistemology and especially social epistemology. Below are a few examples, but if there are any other topics you would especially want to write upon, feel free to email me at simon76 [ät] ut.ee.
Epistemology of disagreement
- Disagreement between individuals and peer disagreement
How should you respond when you realise that someone disagrees with you? Under what conditions should you become less confident in what you believe, and under what conditions is it permissible to stick to your original beliefs?
- Group disagreement
Can we make sense of the idea that groups can disagree? How should groups respond to disagreement? Is disagreement between and within groups ever a good thing?
- Deep disagreement
Sometimes we disagree because we follow different epistemic norms, or because we are committed to fundamentally conflicting world views. Is there a rational way to resolve such ‘deep disagreements’? Does the possibility of deep disagreement force us into epistemic relativism?
- Voicing disagreement
Often we realise that we disagree with someone else, but say nothing. But, is it ever the case that we should say something? It seems that there may be instances in which we should do so from a moral or practical perspective, but can there be purely epistemic reasons to voice disagreement?
- Disagreement between individuals and peer disagreement
Epistemic trust and self-trust
Trust is a distinctly interpersonal relationship – I trust someone, not because I have evidence that I can depend upon them, but because I presume they will be motivated by my dependence upon them, and even when doing so makes me vulnerable to their breaking that trust. But are there epistemic forms of trust? And, if there can be epistemic trust, can there also be epistemic self-trust? What role might either play in the ways that we come to believe the things we do?
Epistemic Injustice and oppression
Just as in other ways, the epistemic dimensions of social systems and interactions are often structured by imbalances in social power and the different forms of oppression that such imbalances give rise to. In this light, a growing body of work has emerged at the intersection between epistemology, feminism, critical race-theory, and other related fields, which seeks to identify and challenge distinctly epistemic forms of injustice and oppression. What are these injustices, where do they arise, and how can they be addressed?
Alex Davies: potential topics of supervision
I am available for supervision on topics within philosophy of language, epistemology, some topics in philosophy of science (anything related to Thomas Kuhn), and some topics in political philosophy (autonomy, education, freedom of speech, extreme speech (e.g. pornography)). If you want to get a sense of my work then take a look at my PhilPapers page. If you have an idea for something you'd like to write or write about then please email me (davies [ät] ut.ee) and let's discuss it.
Vivian Puusepp: potential topics of supervision
I am happy to supervise theses on cognitive philosophy and philosophy of mind. I am also keen on interdisciplinary topics that fall between philosophy and psychology. Below are some examples, other topics and suggestions are available on request.
1. Social cognition and interpersonal relationships
What cognitive processes enable people to interact with, relate to and understand other people? Why do we care about what other people feel or think? Do we ever get other people’s mental states right? How did social cognition evolve and how does it develop in childhood? What is special about human social cognition?
Bohl, Vivian. 2014. How do we understand others? Beyond theories of mindreading and interactionism. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.
2. Self and self-consciousness
Does being conscious imply being self-conscious in some sense? How to explain our sense of self? Do we really have selves and if so, in what sense? Are selves socially constructed?
Gallagher, Shaun & Zahavi, Dan. 2014. Phenomenological Approaches to Self-Consciousness. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Bruno Mölder: potential topics of supervision
I am happy to supervise theses on various topics in philosophy of mind and psychology. Below are some examples, other topics and suggestions are available on request.
How do we understand other people? Do we apply an implicit theory, simulate others’ thoughts or is social cognition rather an embodied and interactive affair?
Ravenscroft, Ian, "Folk Psychology as a Theory", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Gordon, Robert M., "Folk Psychology as Mental Simulation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Experience of time
There are several philosophical puzzles concerning subjective time: What does it take to experience the world as flowing continuously from one instant to another? How can we experience change? Is the subjective present extended in time?
Interpretivism in the philosophy of mind
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the interpretivist position, the view that interpretation is central for propositional attitudes and possibly other mental states? Most famous versions of this view have been propounded by Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett.
Psychological and social mechanisms of disagreement
What are the psychological and social mechanisms underpinning disagreement? What role do emotions and social cognition play in disagreement?
Experimental philosophy of mind
What can the empirical results of the experimental philosophy tell us about mind and consciousness?