Chair of Theoretical Philosophy
The Chair of Theoretical Philosophy teaches 20th and 21st century analytic philosophy and logic, with special emphasis on theoretical philosophy (philosophy of logic and mathematics, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics). Currently our research focuses on the methodology of analytic philosophy, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of logic and language.
Area of specialisation: Philosophy of mind, metaphysics
I have BA in Philosophy and BSc in Psychology (1997), as well as an MA in Philosophy (1999) (all from Tartu), MPhil in Philosophy (Cambridge, 2000) and a PhD in Philosophy (Konstanz, 2007). I have worked in UT’s philosophy department continuously since 2005. I have been the Head of the Department of Philosophy since 2016 and since 2019, the Head of the Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics.
My main research interests include
- Interpretivism in philosophy of mind
- Folk psychology and its relation to the scientific conceptions of the mind
- Time consciousness
I would be happy to supervise students on these themes and in the following additional topics:
- Experimental philosophy of mind
- Experience and metaphysics of time
- Understanding other people
I regularly teach courses on the Philosophy of Mind and Introduction to Metaphysics. In addition I have taught special courses on the Experience of Time, the Metaphysics of Time, Theory of Mind, Explanatory Gaps, the Philosophy of Psychology, Phenomenological Philosophy of Mind and the Philosophy of Donald Davidson as well as Introduction to Epistemology and Introduction to Philosophy.
I have given several public talks (including one at TedxTartu in 2012) and published newspaper articles. Over the years I have published interviews with contemporary philosophers such as John Perry, Ruth Garrett Millikan, David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, François Recanati, Stephen Stich, Patricia Smith Churchland and others.
Mölder, Bruno (2022). Interpretivism and Mental Fictionalism. In T. Demeter, T. Parent, A. Toon (Eds.). Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. London: Routledge.
Mölder, Bruno (2017). Mind Re-ascribed. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 10.2, 55−104.
Mölder, B. (ed.) (2016). Mind and Folk Psychology. Studia Philosophica Estonica, Vol. 9.1.
Mölder, B., Arstila, V., Øhrstrøm, P. (2016). Philosophy and Psychology of Time. Springer.
Mölder, B. (2014). Constructing Time: Dennett and Grush on Temporal Representation. In: V. Arstila, D. Lloyd (Eds.). Subjective Time: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Temporality (217−238). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Mölder, B. (2010). Mind Ascribed: An elaboration and defence of interpretivism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Timing Research Forum (TRF) http://timingforum.org/
Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie (GAP) https://www.gap-im-netz.de/de/
European Society for Philosophy and Psychology https://www.europeanspp.org/
The Nordic Society for Phenomenology https://nordicsocietyforphenomenology.wordpress.com/
Area of specialisation: Philosophy of language, epistemology, autonomy, free speech
I received my MPhil from King's College, University of Cambridge (2007) and my PhD from King's College London (2012) both in Philosophy. I briefly taught formal logic at Middlesex University 2011-2012 before joining the Department of Philosophy at Tartu in 2012. I've led two research projects funded by the Estonian Research Council: "Verbal and Ontological Disputes in Everyday Life" (2012-2014) which aimed to show in what circumstances disagreements which seem to be about "mere semantics" are actually substantial disagreements, and "Speech that silences speech: mechanisms and solutions" (2015-2016) which investigated how the free speech of some can silence the free speech of others (taking its cue from Catharine MacKinnon's work, and its development within analytic philosophy).
I have published in epistemology, philosophy of language and political philosophy. But the lion's share of my research concerns the use of context-sensitive constructions in linguistic communication and how their use complicates communication and information distribution. How does the structure of social media complicate the use of context-sensitive language in online communication? How does organizational design affect how those inside an organization interpret legal documents used in that organization? I also have a growing interst in experimental philosophy and more generally the use of data to help answer philosophical questions. + Epistemology of Testimony, + Free Speech and Harmful Speech, +Philosophy of Language. You can see an overview of my work at my philpapers website: https://philpeople.org/profiles/alex-davies-1 (where preprints of all of my papers are available to download).
I regulary teach Introduction to Phillosophy, Formal Semantics, Logic, and Philosophy of Language. I also run graduate seminars related to my research agenda (most recently on the epistemology and psychology of polarization) and I supervise students at all levels: BA, MA and PhD. I'm very keen to do collaborative work with students from different backgrounds with skillsets that let me step more into data-based philosophy (using for instance experimentally collected data, corpora, and/or data grabbed from open-sources on the net).
I have also been translating the open-source logic textbook "For all X" into Estonian, and I have been working on a textbook in Estonian on the Philosophy of Language (which draws upon the differences there are between on the one hand the standard languages of analytic philosophy (English and German) and on the other hand Estonian. For instance: a classic topic in the Philosophy of Language is the meaning of the definite article "the". Yet Estonian has no definite article. So how should one teach this material? Or again: there is an array of scope ambiguities that arise in English (e.g. in "Everyone loves someone") which are absent in Estonian--why is that? And how should one teach scope ambiguities when the standard examples don't work in Estonian?
-interview with Robert Simpson (UCL) on the practice of "no platforming" (available in English here: https://philpapers.org/rec/DAVNLA-5).
-popularized summary on the "Research in Estonia" website of his paper "A liberal anti-porn feminism?" (https://researchinestonia.eu/2018/06/18/legislation-needs-sensitive-app…), a paper that also received attention at the Philosophical Inquisitions blog (https://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-dilemma-for-a…).
-interview on "The Waker Show: Science, Business, Philosophy" (https://open.spotify.com/episode/3pLeRhsOVnpHumOa6BjaN2?si=73a471b1c396…).
"Communicating in Contextual Ignorance" Synthese 1-21. forthcoming, +"Identity display: another motive for metalinguistic disagreement"
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8): 861-882. 2021.+"Testimony, recovery and plausible deniability: A response to Peet"
Episteme 16 (1): 18-38. 2019.+"A Liberal Anti-Porn Feminism?" Social Theory and Practice 44 (1): 21-48. 2018.
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Area of specialisation: Theoretical philosophy
I rejoined the philosophy department in Tartu (which I was also affiliated with from 2015 to 2019) in December 2021 as a research fellow in theoretical philosophy. Before that I did my postdocs at Hokkaido (2020-2021), Hiroshima (2019-2020), and Harvard (2017-2019). I completed my PhD in philosophy in 2014 and my masters degree in anthropology of religion in 2010, both at the University of Tartu.
My main areas of research include philosophy of mind, aesthetics and epistemology. In philosophy of mind, I am especially interested in desire, imagination and their interaction. I have also published on folk psychology, with a focus on the attribution of propositional attitudes. In aesthetics, I work on the rules of aesthetic appreciation and on fringe domains of aesthetic value, e.g., food and paracinema. My epistemological interests cover issues regarding self-knowledge and the epistemic powers of imagination.
I have taught introductory courses in philosophy, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language, special courses on self-knowledge, desire and philosophical methodology, and I have co-taught graduate seminars on aesthetics and on the role of imagination in science.
I have contributed to blogs Junkyard: A scholarly blog devoted to the study of imagination (https://junkyardofthemind.com/) and Imperfect Cognitions: Blog on delusions, memory distortions, confabulations, biases and irrational beliefs (http://imperfectcognitions.blogspot.com/). I have also introduced my research on food porn on the Estonian Public Broadcasting radio, and given mini-lectures about philosophy to students at Sapporo Asahigaoka Senior High School, Japan and Hugo Treffner High School, Estonia.
Tooming, U. Forthcoming. How to keep up good appearances: Desire, imagination, and the good. European Journal of Philosophy. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12722
Tooming, U. & K. Miyazono. 2021. Vividness as a Natural Kind. Synthese, 199, 3023-3043.
Tooming, Uku. 2021. Politics of folk psychology: Believing what others believe,” THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 36(3), 361–374.
Tooming, Uku. 2021. Aesthetics of food porn,” Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía. Vol. 53, No. 157, 123–146
I received both my MA (2009) and PhD (2014) in Philosophy from the University of Tartu. During my studies, I was a visiting student at the University of Konstanz, University of Copenhagen, and UCLA. After completing my PhD, I spent a year at the University of Bochum as a postdoc. I have been working as a Research Fellow in Theoretical Philosophy since 2015. I was a member of European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences and the Humanities (https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en/funding/european-platform-for-life…). I am currently on maternity leave.
I work on issues in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and phenomenology, with a particular focus on social cognition and emotions. I try to untangle the most basic human social cognitive mechanisms that enable humans to socially interact and understand each other. What is the role of mindreading in human social cogniton? What about emotions - in what sense can we share them? How do basic social capacities develop and what goes wrong with social cognition in pathological cases such as autism or personality disorders?
I teach various introductory courses, courses related to Philosophy of Mind (Introduction to Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Emotions) and Readings in Buddhist Philosophy.
I have published newspaper articles on various topics, book reviews and translations in Estonian. I have introduced my PhD thesis on human social cognition on the radio talk show "Labor" (In Estonian) and given an interview on empathy for the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy (http://cultureofempathy.com/).
Puusepp, Vivian (2018). Can the problem of the observability of other minds be solved in the lab?: Comment on “Seeing mental states: An experimental strategy for measuring the observability of other minds” by Cristina Becchio et al. Physics of Life Reviews, 24, 81−83.
Bohl, Vivian (2016). No joint ownership! Shared emotions are social-relational emotions. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 9.1.
Bohl, Vivian. (2015) Continuing debates on direct social perception: Some notes on Gallagher’s analysis of “the new hybrids.” Consciousness & Cognition, 36, pp. 466-471. Preprint.
Bohl, Vivian. 2015. We read minds to shape relationships. Philosophical Psychology, 28:5, pp. 674-694. (Published online: 12 March 2014.) Preprint.
Bohl, Vivian; Gangopadhyay, Nivedita. 2014. Theory of mind and the unobservability of other minds. Philosophical Explorations, 17(2), pp. 203-222.
Bohl, Vivian; van den Bos, Wouter. 2012. Toward an integrative account of social cognition: Marrying theory of mind and interactionism to study the interplay of Type 1 and Type 2 processes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, pp. 1-15. Published online: 11 October, 2012.
Area of specialization: Epistemology, esp. social epistemology
I received my BA in Classics from Royal Holloway, University of London (1998) and my MA in Philosophy from King's College London (1999). I completed a PhD in Classics at Royal Holloway in 2008 before deciding to return to studies and retrain in Philosophy, receiving my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Sheffield in 2020. I joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tartu in 2020 as ASTRA Visiting Lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy.
My main research interests are in social epistemology and particularly non-ideal approaches that have come to that domain by way of feminist epistemology, philosophy of race, and other disciplines. I am particularly interested in disagreement, epistemic injustice, trust and self-trust, and the epistemic dimensions of mental health.
I teach courses in epistemology, social epistemology, philosophy of mental health, and social media.
Barker, S. (2020) 'Bucking the trend: The puzzle of individual dissent in contexts of collective inquiry' in J. Adam Carter & F. Broncano-Berrocal (Eds.) The Epistemology of Group Disagreement. London, UK: Routledge.
Barker, S. (2020) Principles of disagreement, the practical case for epistemic self-trust, and why the two don’t get along. Trames 24(76/69), 3.
Barker, S., Crerar, C., & Goetze, T. S. (eds.) (2018) Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements (Vol. 85). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.