The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the winners of its substantial, multi-year Starting Grants, and several philosophy faculty are among them.
Graziana Ciola (Radboud University)
The Impossible and the Imaginable: Late-Medieval Semantics of Impossibility and the Roots of Complex Mathematics (€1,498,894)
Philosophy of Cosmology: Matter and SpaceTime Eradicated (€1,499,790)
hindrance to further progress. More precisely, each of the main ingredients—dark matter, inflation, dark energy, black holes and general relativity—of our highly-successful and well-established standard model of cosmology that was developed over the course of the 20th century puts pressure on the outdated Newtonian idea that the space(time) and matter concepts can and should be strictly distinguished. A systematic interdisciplinary analysis of the extent to which this dichotomy breaks down will have profound consequences for various debates in the philosophy of physics and metaphysics (e.g., undermining the substantivalism-relationalism debate about the metaphysics of
spacetime, and providing novel opportunities to reassess and advance debates regarding conventionalism, scientific realism and scientific guiding principles) as well as for theory development and community interaction in cosmology, and physics more broadly. Far from being an unwelcome babel, a conceptual undoing, giving up the spacetime matter distinction will provide guidance as to which traditional debates become moot and which novel avenues open up.
Thomas Schindler (University of Amsterdam)
Generalisation into Sentence and Predicate Positions (€1,493,715)
Many theoretical contexts require generalisation into sentence and predicate positions, a high-level form of generalisation where (roughly speaking) we make a general statement about a class of statements (e.g. mathematical induction, laws of logic). There are two competing methods for achieving this form of generality: higher-order logics and first-order theories of truth, properties, and sets, respectively. As both methods come with their own ideological and ontological commitments, it makes a substantial difference which one is chosen as the framework for formulating our mathematical, scientific, and philosophical theories. Although some research has been done in this direction, it is still very much in its early stages. This research project will provide a sustained systematic investigation of the two methods from a unified perspective, and develop novel formal tools to articulate deductively strong theories.
Kenneth Silver (Trinity College Dublin)
Corporate Moral Progress (€1,371,715)
Within business ethics, there is a longstanding debate concerning Corporate Moral Responsibility, the question of whether corporations themselves are the kinds of things that can be responsible for wrongdoing. Proponents of this view hope to vindicate our sense that firms are the appropriate targets of blame and censure. However, proponents have failed to decisively make their case, and they have also failed to come to terms with the magnitude of corporate wrongdoing. Even if firms are possibly responsible, this is far short of showing that corporations have the sensitivity, incentives, position, to be anything but accidental agents for good, let alone equal members of the moral community. As corporations are some of the most significant actors in modern society, this presents a real problem. If it is right to think that corporations have genuine obligations, then a sincere effort must be made to come to terms with why they fail to meet them as well as how to train firms to behave morally in the future. Corporate Moral Progress aims to do just this—to establish the responsibility of firms, to explore the sources of their immorality, and to chart a path for their improvement. By doing all of this, CMP will pursue concrete ways to improve firms for good.
You can learn more about the grants and see the full set of winners here.
Originally appeared on Daily Nous Read More