This chair covers a broad spectrum of topics within theoretical philosophy, including epistemology and metaphysics. The main focus, however, is on three areas. First, the history of analytic philosophy – especially Wittgenstein (several projects in this area are funded by the SNF or the University). Secondly, the philosophy of language, in particular ‘pragmatist’ approaches to meaning and the question of whether there is something intrinsically normative to language and meaning. Thirdly, the philosophy of mind. In this field, we pursue substantive research on animal minds and the human-animal divide (notably in connection with the SNF Pro*Doc Project The Anthropological Difference). A related interest concerns the nature of concepts. This topic links the philosophy of language with the philosophy of mind, and it is also important to the history and methodology of analytic philosophy.
In both teaching and research we pay attention to historical aspects. Our main focus, however, is on substantive philosophical issues. Furthermore, we discuss philosophical problems and theories partly against the background of pertinent scientific research, yet without denying their distinctive character. Finally, it is a particular ambition to promote young academics through the doctoral stage and beyond.