Past projects

Past research projects

Topics in the Philosophy of the Humanities and Social Sciences (ToPHSS)
ToPHSS aims to cross boundaries between disciplines of the humanities and social sciences concerned with ‘the human’, that is with human beings, humanity, society, culture, history, and more. It focuses on methodological and ontological issues, in particular on those concerned with contested categories of the humanities and social sciences, and of those primarily on the categories of human, individual and person.

The Human and the Sciences of Nature: Chinese and Comparative Perspectives
Lecture Series
AY 2016/17–2017/18
Organizer: Curie Virag

The Human Project
This project aimed to undertake an in-depth study of the following two questions in philosophy and the history of philosophy:

How do human beings differ from other natural beings?
What are the functions, special traits and characteristics that distinguish human beings from objects and other living creatures?

This five-year project was funded by MAG Zrt.

Perspectival Thoughts and Facts (PETAF)
The FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network PETAF was the first research and training network exclusively in philosophy ever to be financed by the European Commission. It served as a European research and training platform for joint philosophical research on perspectival thought, its linguistic expression and its consequences for our conception of objective, mind-independent reality. PETAF’s research programme, which ran for four years (2010–2014), addressed both general issues in metaphysics and in logic and semantics and specific issues in more specialised areas in which perspective-bound cognition plays a pivotal role, i.e. the philosophy of space and time, the philosophy of alethic and epistemic modality, the philosophy of subjectivity and consciousness, and the philosophy of norms and value.

The members of the PETAF training network were:
Universitat de Barcelona
University of St. Andrews
Université de Genève
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
University of London
Stockholms Universitet
Central European University
University of Aberdeen

In September 2011, CEU hosted a PETAF Workshop on Subjectivity.

RESPECT Research Project
Towards a "Topography" of Tolerance and Equal Respect. A comparative study of policies for the distribution of public spaces in culturally diverse societies. Tolerance has been increasingly invoked as the inspiring ideal of a number of social policies in European democracies. Appeals to tolerance have animated especially the political debates on those policies addressed to accommodate minorities’ requests. Among such requests those for the allocation of public spaces have recently acquired pride of place in the political agendas of many European and extra-European countries (e.g. the allocation of space for Roma sites; Muslims’ requests to build places of worship and housing policies for migrants). Despite such a generalized political and societal relevance of the notion of tolerance, some problems may occur when policies inspired by it are implemented. In particular, the implementation of tolerance-inspired spatial policies may result in the marginalisation of differences and thus risk undermining social cohesion. What conception of tolerance may be invoked to limit such a risk?

To answer this question, we shall test the hypothesis that grounding tolerance on equal respect for persons may contribute to the development of spatial policies capable of resolving the tensions between tolerance and social cohesion in culturally diverse societies. In particular, the project pursues 4 objectives:

  • to develop a conceptual taxonomy to clarify the relations between tolerance, respect and spatial issues;
  • to study the ways in which appeals to tolerance have informed the development of spatial policies;
  • to investigate the influence of cultural diversities on the interpretations of tolerance in different national contexts;
  • to extrapolate from the above studies an overall view of the connections between tolerance and equal respect.

Our findings will be of interests to national CSOs, European, national, regional and municipal authorities, as well as to the international academic community engaged in the study of urban integration in different social, religious, cultural, and political contexts.