Open Philosophy research seminar series fall 2016

Open Philosophy Research Seminar Series

Fall 2016 Schedule



Thursday September 29. 13-15 (Leaf-room, 2. floor, Faculty of Humanities.)

Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen: “The Problem of normativity in naturalism: The case of historiography” (lecture in English; discussion English/Finnish)


This paper tackles the problem of normativity in naturalism and considers it in the context of the philosophy of historiography. The latter refers specifically to the recent debate between Roth and Kuukkanen on the need of general epistemic theories in historiography. The strong methodological naturalist, such as Roth, claims that it is the practice of science that provides epistemic norms without any reliance on (non-naturalist) conceptual intuitions or a priori reasoning. In the case of historiography this means that one analyses specific texts and practices of historiography directly without any intentions to formulate a general epistemic theory. I argue in this paper that the strong naturalist faces a stark dilemma. If she rejects any reliance on conceptual intuitions, her epistemic inquires won’t get off the ground. As a consequence, the strong naturalist’s analyses of historiography are, in effect, normatively irrelevant: any practice is epistemically as valuable as any other.  The other option for the strong naturalist is to relax methodological requirements and accept that epistemic inquires may begin with non-empirical conceptual reflection or a priori reasoning. This is compatible with more moderate forms of naturalism, such as Alvin Goldman’s. Conceptual reflection is needed to understand what our epistemic notions, such as ‘justification,’ ‘rationality’ and ‘evidence,’ mean in light of which the normatively relevant parts of practice can be identified and studied more closely. Further, normativity requires that the normative features are applicable more generally than in one local context. These features function as satisfaction conditions, which can be used to classify a phenomenon as an epistemic kind. It is, however, not the case that epistemic theories are eternal and incorrigible. They may be revised as a result of empirical studies.

(a draft paper available in advance: jouni-matti.kuukkanen [at]


Thursday October 20. 14-16 (Leaf-room)

Markku Mäki: ”Rousseaun käsitys modernista yhteiskunnasta”


Thursday November 17. 15-17 (Leaf-room)

Publication of a book: Väyrynen ja Pulkkinen (toim.): Historian teoria: Lingvistisestä käänteestä mahdolliseen historiaan. Kuohuviinitarjoilu!


Thursday December 8. 13-15 (Leaf-Room)

Anniina Rantakari: ”Strategy as dispositive: Foucauldian analysis of institutional power, discourse and subjectivity(lecture in English; discussion English/Finnish)




Seminars are open to everybody.






For more information please contact: jouni-matti.kuukkanen [at]

| |

Last updated: 27.9.2016