At the Department of Philosophy, research and education are conducted in three subjects: practical philosophy, theoretical philosophy and cognitive science. The divisions are largely autonomous with regard to the orientation of their research and education but they also collaborate closely. A shared ambition for all the researchers at the department is to contribute to the development of research through publications in peer-reviewed international journals and books with international publishers, as well as through cooperation with researchers at other departments and higher education institutions in Sweden and abroad.
How can philosophy, an intellectual activity characterised by a high degree of abstraction and generalisation, be practical? The Greek term 'praxis' means action, deed, and the subject of practical philosophy strives to shed philosophical light on the aspects of life which concern norms and actions. Particularly central to practical philosophy are theories on the nature of values and actions. Such theoretical concepts affect how we reason on moral and political issues and they are of great significance for attitudes to ethics, responsibility, law, society, art and religion. Research into practical philosophy in Lund has a strong international orientation and individual research efforts have attracted international attention. Follow the Practical philosophy link to read more about our research.
Theoretical philosophy traditionally includes knowledge theory, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and the history of philosophy. Within a number of areas, Lund’s contributions to the construction and development of theory are internationally recognised, for example within the evaluation of evidence, knowledge change, collective decisions and theories on decision-making. Current research is broad and Lund contributes nationally and internationally to many parts of the subject of theoretical philosophy. Besides the areas in which Lund has traditionally been strong, in recent years the department has conducted successful international research into theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of science and philosophy of language. A hallmark of Lund philosophy remains unchanged and that is its ambition to conduct research that maintains high academic quality while interacting with various specialised sciences.
Cognitive science is a subject on the boundary between philosophy, computer science, linguistics, psychology and neuroscience. The research in Lund is in a good position internationally with regard to the fields of conceptualisation, eye movement, computer modelling of cognition and cognitive robotics, as well as with regard to linking research methodology and findings from these fields. Research into the interplay between language, images and thought and evolutionary aspects of thought are other central areas. Cognitive scientists in Lund have demonstrated the subject’s great relevance to society and to business and industry, not least in various interactions between humans and technology. Since the start, the subject has had a large number of external projects.