Research activities – University of Copenhagen

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Research activities

Philosophy Research Colloquium

The Philosophy Research Colloquium (PRC) seeks to create a friendly and stimulating research environment in the philosophy group. The colloquium works under the assumption of reasonable pluralism about appropriate methods and topics in philosophy, and seek to harvest the benefits of bringing together a plurality of philosophical perspectives by contributing to the work that others do in a friendly and cooperative spirit. Presenters are expected to present work in progress, or any ideas that one would like to have feedback upon from colleagues. Presentations should be accessible and interesting for the diverse and pluralistic set of participants. For a fuller policy statement for PRC, see a fuller policy statement for PRC.

Meetings are normally held on Wednesdays during semesters in room 14.2.23. Talks begin at 12.15, and should generally last about about 30 minutes followed by a 30 minutes discussion period. We sometime organize a late afternoon session with several presentations followed by a social event. Language of presentation and discussion is English. All members of the philosophy group and visitors to the section of philosophy are welcome at the meetings. No registration is needed.

For more information, contact Thor Grünbaum.

Theoretical Philosophy Research Priority Area

The seminar focuses on questions in metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, or philosophy of science. Our aim is to create a stimulating and friendly intellectual environment for senior researchers, postdocs, and PhD-students working in theoretical philosophy. To foster a regular meeting schedule, we draw up in advance a schedule of classical or otherwise important texts to be discussed at each meeting. We choose a topic for the readings of each semester. The topic can be in any of the sub-domains of theoretical philosophy. Besides the regular seminar, we organize each semester a number of workshops and other activities.

The spring semester 2015, we have chosen the topic of ‘extrapolation’, that is, the challenge of transferring knowledge from one domain to others, in particular, the challenge of transferring causal generalizations from one context to another.

The seminar is convened by Thor Grünbaum. Regular participants include Thor Grünbaum, Johan Gersel, Sune Holm, Julie Zahle, and a number of students at MA level. Guests and visitors who share these research interests are welcome to join the group.  MA-students with an interest in these matters are encouraged to contact us. If you are interested in participating in the seminar, please contact Thor Grünbaum.

Visit the project website.

Political Philosophy Research Priority Area

Political Philosophy Research Group. The group focuses on basic theoretical questions in political philosophy (eg. distributive justice, equality, legitimacy, neutrality, public reason, pluralism, multiculturalism, social cohesion, value theory, moral compromises, moral epistemology). Our aim is to create a stimulating and friendly intellectual environment for senior researchers,, PhD-students working in political philosophy. The group welcomes visiting scholars, and graduate students with research interests in political philosophy.

The group is headed by Klemens Kappel and Nils Holtug, and regular participants in meetings include Morten EJ Nielsen, Sune Holm Martin Marchman Andersen, Martin Lemberg Petersen, Claus Strue, Nana Kongsholm, Xavier Landes, Michaela Freiesleben, Rikke Moresco Lange, Karin Jønch-Clausen, Andreas Christensen.

Meetings generally consists of presentations of work in progress by group members, or by invited guests. If you are interested in participating in these events, please contact post.doc Martin Marchmann.

Visit the project website.

Complex disagreement discussion group

The discussion group is the home of the large collective research project 'The Social Epistemology and Social Psychology of Complex Disagreement' (see website). The main questions concern the social epistemology and social psychology of what we call complex disagreement, that is disagreements that involve large sets of interrelated and basic propositions about fundamental epistemic principles or trusted sources of evidence, elements such as faith and trust in addition to outright belief, and agents with the actual psychology of human beings.

The group is led by Klemens Kappel, and consist of Emil Moeller, Bjørn Hallsson, Mikkel Fraulund and a number of students at MA level. We meet every Wednesday 2-4 pm and discuss papers of common interest and work in progress. Guests and visitors who share these research interests are welcome to join the group. MA-students with an interest in these matters are encouraged to contact us.

If you are interested in participating in the group, please contact post.doc Emil Moeller (

Disagreement and legitimacy discussion group

This discussion group focus on questions of legitimacy as they arise in contexts of political disagreement about fact and values. Topics for discussion include theories of legitimacy, compromise, public reason, factual disagreement and policy disagreements. The group consists of Klemens Kappel (head), Morten EJ Nielsen, Martin Marchmann, Xavier Landes, Nana Kongsholm, Karin Jønch-Clausen, Andreas Christensen, Stine Djørup, Emil Moeller, Bjørn Hallsson, Mikkel Fraulund, and some MA-students.

The group meet approximately once pr. month and mainly discuss work in progress by members. Guests and visitors who are interested in the above topics welcome to join the group.  MA-students with an interest in these matters are encouraged to contact us.

If you are interested in participating in the group, please contact post.doc Martin Marchman.

Copenhagen Kierkegaard Research Seminars

The Copenhagen Kierkegaard Research Seminars (CKRS) have taken place since 2001. The seminars address Ph.D.-students and postdoc.-scholars from all over the world.The seminars are mainly concerned with interpretations of Kierkegaard´s authorship but involve also presentations and discussions of topics in relationship to Kierkegaard´s contemporary literature and historical impact. The seminars are held 4-6 times a year.  Each seminar last about 3 hours and consists of someone presenting a theses followed by an informal discussion. For further information please contact Poul Lübcke.

History of Philosophy Research Priority Area

The aim is to create an inclusive forum for researchers and MA students with research interests in the history of philosophy. At our research assemblies, we present working papers to each other in order to discuss on-going research, and we invite significant historians of philosophy from Europe or overseas to present papers or direct workshops. The historians in question may be internationally leading historians of philosophy, or they may be scholars from outside the field of history of philosophy who have made important contributions to the field. Finally, we intend to highlight issues pertaining to the methodology of history of philosophy, including its representation of female philosophers. We meet 2-4 times each term.

The group consists of associate professors Leo Catana, associate professor Sabrina Ebbersmeyer, post doc Birgitte Eskildsen, PhD student Vivil Haraldsen, post doc Jens Kristian Larsen, PhD student and external lecturer Martin Pasgaard-Westerman, MA student Manuela S. P. S. Sobral. We welcome new members.

For more information, please contact Leo Catana and Sabrina Ebbersmayer.  

Visit the project website.

Methods of the Human and Social Sciences Research Priority Area

The research group focuses on the philosophical issues raised by the empirical methods used within the human and social sciences, that is, methods such as participant observation, interviews, surveys, and discourse analysis.  The following sort of questions will be discussed: To what extent do the methods generate valid data? In what sense(s) are the methods objective or compatible with the demand that science should be objective? On what grounds is it possible – and desirable – to divide methods into qualitative and quantitative ones? What ethical issues are raised by their application? What are the roles of values in their application? How do the data serve as basis for explanations, interpretations, etc.?

The group is headed by Julie Zahle from Section of Philosophy and Rasmus Helles from Section for Film, Media and Communication. The main activities will be 1) regular meetings during the semester where we discuss texts on selected topics and 2) an international workshop in December. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to Julie Zahle or Rasmus Helles