Research

Department of Philosophy, Matej Bel University, Slovakia  

There are eight faculty at the Department and seven PhD students. The Department offers programs in Philosophy and Social Philosophy. The research and teaching cover different areas of Analytic and Continental philosophy. Half of the Department’s faculty carries out their research (or communicates) in English. Contact person and chair of the Department: Michal Šedík (michal.sedik@umb.sk)

Current Research 

Current research

Aims

Outputs

Collaborators

Causation in the methodology and the philosophy of science Duration: (2008-2010) To propose alternative approaches to causation that will secure its place in the world and not just in the world’s representations. The reason is that philosophers became pessimistic about causation and often find its place in the world’s representations but not in the world itself. On the other hand, causation is a respectable category in the philosophy of science, but it requires some formal and material changes due to contemporary physical theories. However, how far can these changes go? How far can the alternative theories depart from common sense? A special edition of the Czecho-Slovak journal Organon F on causation (Website: http://www.klemens.sav.sk/fiusav/organon/index_en.php indexed in the Philosopher’s Index, papers mostly in English). Conferences, colloquia and an introductory book.   The Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Slovakia, supported by the Slovak Ministry of Education
Self-cognition and self-care in the Socratic tradition Duration: (2008-2010)  To analyze self-cognition and self-care in the Socratic tradition. The impact of these Socratic themes on Greek ancient philosophy. To clarify the Socratic notion of the good life and its differences in relation to the Aristotelian and Platonic traditions.    The book Problem of epistémé in ancient philosophy (the relation between theóretiké, praktiké and poetiké). A special edition of the Slovak journal Filozofia on cognition of self-care in Socratic tradition (Website: http://www.klemens.sav.sk/fiusav/filozofia/ indexed in the Philosopher’s Index). Conferences, colloquia.  The University of Presov, Slovakia; The University of Silesia, Poland;The University of Wroclaw, Poland;Masaryk University, Czech republic. Supported by the Slovak Ministry of Education
Narrative philosophy of history  Duration (2008-2009) To introduce some relevant texts of narrative philosophy of history in a reader to students of philosophy and history programs. The reader will contain Slovak translations of English papers supplemented by short introductions summing up the main ideas. The texts deal with the question of the acceptability of historical relativism to historians. An anthology of classics of narrative philosophy of history The Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Slovakia

Prospective Research 

Spacetime and ontology

How can spacetime help us to solve some old ontological problems (esp. constitution of particulars and individuation)?
Wittgenstein’s Tractatus How would Tractarian metaphysics solve some new ontological problems (persistence, identity, particulars, etc.)?
Causation and justification Is there a link between causation and justification? Are there causal reasons for our beliefs which are not logical but still sufficient?
Verisimilitude What does it mean to say that one theory is closer to the truth than another one? In what sense (if any) can verisimilitude be dependent on language? How can Tarski’s semantic theory of truth help us here?
Democracy and freedom in Ancient philosophy Is there any universal concept of democracy and freedom in Ancient philosophy?
Narrative philosophy of history How did narrative philosophy of history (White, Ankermsit) change our understanding of the nature of history? Can a narrativist “middle road” approach to history writing be acceptable to historians? In what sense can narrativist philosophy of history change the position of history in contemporary culture?
Methodology of teaching philosophy in high schools How can new technologies (internet, computer and visual programs) help improve the teaching of philosophy in high schools?

Potential faculty collaborators  

Milos Taliga

Papers available at: http://www.ff.umb.sk/app/user.php?ACTION=PUBLICATION&user=taliga e-mail: milos.taliga@umb.sk

    Epistemological and methodological problems (justifiability of scientific knowledge, progress in science, truth in the philosophy of science, the role of corroboration in empirical science, verisimilitude (truthlikeness) in empirical science and rationality in science). Causal relations between sensation and belief. Induction and the demarcation criterion. Davidson’s coherence theory of truth and Tarski’s semantic theory of truth and the problem of conceptual dependence of truth and/or verisimilitude. Critical rationalists, esp. K. Popper and D. Miller. Writings of pragmatists and post-positivists (esp. W. James, R. Rorty, W. Quine, H. Putnam, D. Davidson). 
Martin Schmidt

Papers available at: http://www.ff.umb.sk/app/user.php?ACTION=PUBLICATION&user=schmidt e-mail: martin.schmidt@umb.sk

  Metaphysics - particulars (The Bundle and the Substratum theories), identity and individuation, persistence. Space and time – passage of time, particulars in spacetime, spacetime and individuation. Causation – how is causation justifiable in science, metaphysics of causation. Wittgenstein – metaphysics of Tractatus, a modern interpretation of the Tractarian ontology.  
Juraj Šuch

Papers available at: http://www.ff.umb.sk/app/user.php?ACTION=PUBLICATION&user=such e-mail: juraj.such@umb.sk 

  Narrativist philosophy of history (White, Ankersmit). Problem of relativity of historical knowledge. History in postmodern culture.  Problems of teaching philosophy in high schools (critical thinking and philosophy, development of additional resources to teachers).
Ulrich Wollner

Papers available at: http://www.ff.umb.sk/app/user.php?ACTION=PUBLICATION&user=wollner e-mail: ulrich.wollner@umb.sk

  Ancient philosophy (techné in Plato’s philosophy; early Plato’s dialogues; beauty in Plato, Aristotle and the Hellenistic philosophy; Plato’s and Aristotle’s political philosophy). Political philosophy – French (Joseph de Maistre, Alexis de Tocqueville) and British (Edmund Burke) political conservatism, political thought of French New Right (Alain de Benoist).