This research project in philosophy is funded by the Academy of Finland (2011 - 2014), and its responsible leader is professor Leila Haaparanta.
The main site of research is the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tampere. Parts of research are also carried out at the University of Helsinki at the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, and the Department of Political and Economic Studies.
have traditionally thought that the ability to make judgements is an
ability reserved for rational beings. Considering judgements in
philosophy presupposes considering the ways in which they are justified.
Philosophers are not merely interested in what kind of knowledge claims
are made; they are also interested in how those claims are supported.
This support must fulfil certain criteria. As rational beings human
beings are the ones who are responsible for both giving the needed
criteria, and also for evaluating how judgements and their
justifications meet those criteria. The project deals with this core
area of philosophical research. Its main theme is the theory of
judgement, which is studied both historically and systematically: the
members of the project will make excursions into the twentieth century
philosophy, seeking to lay the foundations for a new theory of judgement
and human rationality, mainly via the individual projects of the
group’s members. A special theme in the project is fictional discourse
and rationality. The researchers who focus on the theme will use
examples taken from literary fiction, but they will also contribute to
the philosophy of literature; the focus will then be on fictional
assertions and on the rationality of fictional characters and fictional
worlds. Thus, to complement or even overcome the limits of the more
traditional means, i.e., logic and the theory of argumentation, they
will also examine human rationality by means of fictional discourse. The
comprehensive theory toward which the research group will develop its
views also includes considerations on suspending judgement and the
limits of reason. Suspending or refraining from judgement has been
discussed in various philosophical contexts. It does not always indicate
a lack of sufficient argumentative support, but may have a
methodological role in philosophy or occur where all reasoning is out of
the question, as many think is the case in religion, for example.
Besides studying twentieth century philosophy and laying the foundations
for a new theory, the project will thus contribute to such fields as
the philosophy of literature and the philosophy of religion. The theme
of the project touches upon the foundational questions of the humanities
and the social sciences, and is relevant to all who wish to better
understand themselves as persons living in a multicultural world.
► This project website is maintained by Heikki J. Koskinen, e-mail: heikki.j.koskinen[at]kolumbus.fi