Research

Some main research areas

Questions of metaphysics, both in a contemporary and historical perspectives

  • issues about freedom of the will
  • metaphysics of time
  • modality in early modern philosophy

Philosophy of mind

  • perception
  • philosophy of psychology
  • consciousness and its place in nature
  • arguments against physicalism and externalism

Ethics and Metaethics

Political philosophy

For more information, consult the department's publication list, profiles of individual faculty members and the list of research areas.

Current and recent research projects and networks

PLM Network

CEU is a founding member and for two years was the coordinator of PLM, Philosophy of Language and Mind, a network of philosophical centres, institutes, and departments in Europe.
The main purposes of PLM are to further philosophy of mind and language in Europe generally, and to provide a platform for cooperation between members, primarily in research, but possibly also in research training.
The members of the PLM network are:

In September 2013, CEU hosted the Second PLM Conference.

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 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.

Online lectures by faculty members

  • Hanoch Ben-Yami and Philip Goff on Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument, March 3, 2016. Link to podcast.
  • Interview with Hanoch Ben-Yami on Descartes, taken after his talk at Kent University, February 2012. Link to the podcast.
  • Katalin Farkas, on 10 October 2011 at the Forum for European Philosophy at the LSE - on the Extended Mind. Link to the podcast.
  • Janos Kis in March 2011 on constitutional change and the current crisis in Hungary. Link to the video.