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My research interests concern the connections between Husserlian phenomenology, psychoanalysis (Freudian and some contemporary), and continental thought on sensibility. The thematization of sensibility and alterity, as found in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty, in the formation of "I" and in some of sociality (notably that of Husserl on intersubjectivity) is the subject of current research.
I am also interested in Nietzsche's philosophy of forces in bodies, and his attempt to rethink European values. Finally, I am also interested in the distinctions between 19th-century rational psychology in German speaking cultures (Herbart, Brentano) and Revolutionary psychiatry in France (Pinel, Esquirol, and later, Charcot, among others).
- Philosophy of biology
- Philosophy of science
- Environment and sustainable development
- Experts and scientific expertise
A philosopher of science and of biology, whose research concerns mainly the theoretical bases of evolutionary biology and of ecology.
Evolution by natural selection is often summed up by the expression “survival of the fittest”; Frédéric Bouchard’s research is aimed at explaining how biologists define and measure this fitness. He is also interested in various facets of the epistemology of life sciences, such as the role of scientific expertise in public decision making, the nature and specificity of explanations in ecology, the question of reductionism in science, and the issue of biological individuality (e.g. can termite colonies and ecosystems be studied as “superorganisms”?). All these interests have led him to examine issues related to the environment and sustainable development from epistemological and governance points of view.
His thoughts on these issues can be read in Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Biological Theory, PNAS, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, among others. See www.fredericbouchard.org.
Ryoa Chung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal. She was a visiting doctoral student at the École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay/St-Cloud (Paris, 1997), and completed her PhD in Philosophy at the Université de Montréal (2001) under the supervision of Daniel M. Weinstock. She was a visiting scholar at Columbia University (2002) and the Harvard School of Public Health (2003).
Her fields of research are ethics in international relations and applied political philosophy, particularly in the field of global health. She is also interested in feminist perspectives in the field of international ethics.
She published in such journals as Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, and Public Health Ethics, and in collective works including Questions d'éthique contemporaine (under the direction of L. Thiaw-Po-Une, Stock, 2006) and Bioethics in Canada (under the co-direction of C. Weijer, A. Skelton and S. Brennan, Oxford University Press, 2013).
She is also the author of the Soft Power and Domination entries in the Global Justice Encyclopedia (under the direction of D. Chatterjee, Springer, 2012). With Matthew R. Hunt, she co-wrote the chapter Justice and Health Inequalities in Humanitarian Crises. Structured Health Vulnerabilities and Natural Disasters in Health Inequalities and Global Justice (P. T. Lenard and C. Straehle co-eds, Edinburgh University Press, 2012), and published papers with co-authors L. Eckenwiler and C. Straehle in Bioethics, and with co-authors M. Johri, A. Dawson, T. Schrecker in Globalization and Health. With Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, she co-edited the book Éthique des relations internationales (Presses universitaires de France, 2013).
My current research falls into 3 main domains:
- Socrates and the Socratic writings of Xenophon. Following the publication of the 3-volume Mémorables in the Collection des Universités de France (2000-2011), I have been continuing my research into the Socratic writings of Xenophon and also working on several studies dealing with other works by Xenophon, in particular Hiero.
- Dialectic and refutation. Building on my annotated translation of Aristotle's Sophistical refutations (1995), I have been continuing my research into dialectic and the practice of refutation (elenchos) by Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle and later authors, in particular Proclus and Clement of Alexandria. Soon I intend to combine in one volume all the articles I have written on Dialectic and refutation since 1990. I am also preparing a new edition of the Greek text of Aristotle's Sophistical refutations for the Collection des Universités de France.
- The ideal of self-sufficiency (autarkeia) in Greek philosophy. Although the concept of self-sufficiency (autarkeia) holds a central place in the ethical, political, theological and metaphysical reflection of Greek philosophers, to date it has not received all the attention it deserves. I will soon be completing a book dealing with the ideal of autarky as seen by Socrates and the Cynics. The purpose of the book is to re-examine the relationship between Socrates and the Cynics, taking as a central theme the conception of autarky by Plato's Socrates, Xenophon's Socrates, and the Cynics.
- Early Modern philosophy
- Philosophy of the Enlightenment
- Philosophy of art
- Philosophy of literature
- Theory of passions and emotions
- Theory of fictions
My fields of interest essentially encompass the history of modern philosophical thought (17th and 18th centuries) and the philosophy of art and aesthetics, from the 18th century to the present. My research subjects can be grouped into four themes.
- The first - and the most important in my past work - concerns the reconstruction of the main issues in 18th-century philosophical aesthetics. My initial university studies focused largely on the role of aesthetics in Kantian philosophy and the German Aufklärung; I then expanded my analysis to include the French, English and Scottish Enlightenment. Among the questions that interest me in this context are the birth of a specific philosophical discourse on art in the 18th century; the nature of aesthetic experience and critical judgment; the relationships between ethics and aesthetics; the relationships between passions and artistic experience; the status of fiction; models for explaining invention and creativity; the explanation of paradoxical emotions; and theories of tragic emotion.
- A second research theme concerns the problem of affectivity in modern philosophy and, in particular, the issue of the role of intersubjectivity in the engenderment and communication of passions. To study this question so obviously neglected by historians of the philosophical theories of passions, I start from the "model" of sympathy developed by David Hume and Adam Smith, to inventory the different philosophical explanations of passional life, from Spinoza to Rousseau, and examine their ethical and aesthetic implications.
- I am also interested in the use of fictions in philosophical discourse. I study the rich and diversified use that classical and Enlightenment philosophers make of experiences of thought, of epistemological fictions and fictional and rhetorical devices in discourses aimed at producing truth.
- Lastly, I have undertaken research that should lead, with the collaboration of my colleagues, to the publication and annotation of a selection of major philosophical texts by certain members of the "speculative philosophy" class of the Berlin Academy, including Johann Georg Sulzer and Jean Bernard Merian. Halfway between Leibnizianism and empiricism, the debates of the Berlin Academy, between 1748 and 1780, are an ideal laboratory for following the transformation of the key issues in the philosophical thought of the Enlightenment on the nature of knowledge, representation, action, feelings, etc.
My research in formal logic and philosophy of science essentially focuses on the foundations of mathematics and the foundations of physics from technical, critical, historical and philosophical points of view. From a strictly philosophical viewpoint, I support a radical constructivist thesis that consists of showing that arithmetic or number theory and its internal logic are the building blocks of mathematical theories.
In philosophy of physics, my antirealist viewpoint emphasizes the internal logic of physical theories and of mathematical physics in the same constructivist spirit.
Lastly, I have also carried out parallel research into Hegel's dialectical logic and have been able to show that it is a traditional syllogistic logic coupled with the dynamic process of sublation or sursumption (Aufhebung) with the help of a double negation operation.
- Classical Chinese thought
- Chinese imagery
- Chinese esthetics
- Theories and practices of translation
The imagery underlying the Chinese language and thought guide my research. In particular I analyze the relationship between linguistic images (metaphors, allegories) and visual images, between imagination and conceptualization in the Classics, from traditions as varied as Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Mohism.
In methodological terms, I focus on philological studies (analysis and translation of texts or relevant excerpts), and conduct specific inquiries in the field (in China, with the University of Beijing), and collaborate directly with painters and calligraphers in conveying Chinese thought in pictorial form.
I mounted an exhibition of original scrolls in Beijing (summer 2013: landscape paintings, lithography, calligraphy, etc.), which was hosted in a new form at the Université de Montréal, in the Carrefour des arts et des sciences, (Winter-Spring 2014): La Chine des Sages en images.
My travels to the key sites of Chinese civilization (historic sites, workshops, ruins, work sites, documentary centres, etc.) allow me to monitor and sometimes actively contribute, as a sinologist, to the systematic process of recovering a cultural heritage stretching back for millennia. This humanitarian motivation fosters my intellectual interests.
- Philosophy of mind
- Philosophy of action
- Theoretical and practical rationality
My research mainly concerns the question of knowing what types of relations there are between our concepts of attitudes and intentional actions (in particular those of belief, intention and desire) and basic normative concepts like those of reason and rationality.
It is widely acknowledged that attitudes and intentional actions are governed by norms, but that is as far as the consensus goes. Are the norms of belief similar to those of action and intention? Are they at least commensurable? Do they have one or more common sources? Can they be explained using the same basic concepts? Is the existence of such standards compatible with some form or other of philosophical naturalism? These are some of the general questions that guide my research.
My recent work addresses the probabilistic interpretations of logic where validity is defined in terms of probability, in particular the interpretation of intuitionistic logic with strong negation where the probability of the conditional is the conditional probability. Also in intuitionistic logic, I am working on developing a mixed direct method (Quine substitution and normal forms) to test intuitionist validity in propositional calculus. I am also developing a similar method for intuitionistic logic with strong negation. I have also worked recently on Lesniewski's ontology and its relations with set theory.
My research interests lie mainly in the historical tension between critical theory (mainly Adorno) and phenomenology (mainly Heidegger and Husserl), and in the historical roots of this tension. More specifically, I am interested in the role played by the concept of possibility in these 2 great traditions of European philosophy. This issue is at the heart of my research in different areas: the dialectic heritage (temporality and Hegel), practical philosophy (Marx and the possibility of emancipation, Hegel and the concept of education, Adorno and the possibility of autonomy), aesthetics (works of art as expressions of human or social potentials) and metaphysics (the concept of horizon for Husserl, modality and the priority of actuality in the history of philosophy).
Winner of the Université de Montréal university-wide Teaching Prize, 2014
Winner of the Faculty of Arts and Science Teaching Prize, Université de Montréal, 2013.
My research mainly concerns questions of logic, the foundations of mathematics and the philosophy of mathematics. It can be divided roughly into 3 overlapping fields: the philosophical scope and applications of categorical logic, the foundations of mathematics deriving from category theory and, lastly, the epistemology and ontology of contemporary mathematics.
- Political philosophy
- History of political ideas
- Theories of democracy
- Theories of justice
- Just war
- Transitional justice
My research is divided into 2 main categories: contemporary political philosophy and the history of political ideas from the Renaissance to the 19th century. These 2 categories also reflect the content of my courses and seminars.
In contemporary political philosophy, my work deals with questions of post-war transitional justice (rebuilding institutions, penal justice, truth and reconciliation commissions, collective memory, etc.), where my main theoretical interests are the issues of collective responsibility and democratic deliberation. Generally speaking, my research - both on social justice and democracy issues and on immigration - is in line with work on neo-republicanism. In moral philosophy, I take a consequentialist approach.
My publications on the history of ideas deal with relations between political freedom and authority, from the 15th to the 19th centuries, more specifically on the republican tradition since the Renaissance. In that connection, I have focused particularly on the work of Machiavelli, Jean Bodin, Hobbes and Rousseau.
- Economic and social ethics
- Philosophy of economics
- Political philosophy
- Theory of justice
- Fiscal justice
My main research interests converge on questions of distribution in economic and social ethics and are organized around 2 themes. The 1st lies at the heart of the literature on theories of justice. Here I am working on the question of how the co-operative surplus is distributed among different contributors to the production process. I am also seeking answers to questions in the contemporary debate on liberal egalitarianism, such as the moral justification of the influence of talents or certain systemic factors on the well-being of members of society.
The 2nd research theme has to do with questions of a more applied nature. Although distributive justice is linked in many ways with economic issues and their institutionalization, this link is often neglected in contemporary political philosophy. A good example is the tax system. Although theories of distributive justice regularly call on the tax system as a tool for redistribution, they rarely analyze the operation of this system and the implications of its operation on distributive justice itself. In this context, I am currently working on a normative evaluation of the phenomenon of tax competition, i.e. competition among jurisdictions to attract outside capital.
My research mainly concerns the work of Kant, approached from a historical perspective. I am interested in both his theoretical philosophy (intuitive character of space, principle of causality, status of the thing in itself, theory of philosophical discourse) and his practical philosophy in the larger sense (moral experience, radical evil, international law). I am also looking at the contemporary reception of Kant’s thought (F. H. Jacobi and K. L. Reinhold) and the critical use of his views in German idealism, in particular by J. G. Fichte. The extensions of the Kantian approach in terms of historical epistemology are also one of my interests (H. Rickert and G. Simmel).
- History of medieval philosophy
- Theory of knowledge and epistemology
- Ontology and metaphysics
- Philosophy of religion
- Critical edition and translation of medieval Latin texts
- Philosophical heresies and intellectual dissidences
My current research deals mainly with the nature, scope and modalities of intellectual cognition, as the question was posed historically in medieval university debates (13th and 14th centuries). I am also interested in problems of ontology and metaphysics, especially in the topic of universals, as well as epistemological issues involved in the question of the relationship between the philosophical and religious discourses. My publications almost always comprise three dimensions: the critical edition of Latin texts from the High and Late Middle Ages, the translation of these documents into French, and their interpretation and analysis from the viewpoint of a critical history of medieval thought.
- Theory of collective rights
- Theory of nationalism
- Liberal political philosophy
- Theory of recognition
- Community view of language
My research concerns the theory of recognition of persons and peoples. I am trying to determine to what extent politics of recognition can fit with a liberal-inspired political philosophy. The hypothesis I am studying is that politics of recognition must take the form of a regime of individual and collective rights.
I am also studying the relationships between nationalism and liberalism. In that context, the focus must be on examining the collective right of peoples to self-determination. Nationalism is perhaps just the attempt to secure that right. Thus understood, nationalism and liberalism can become compatible. In the philosophy of language, I am interested in the concept of linguistic community. This approach would make it possible to take into account the collective dimension of language, whether it is related to peoples or other kinds of national groups.
- Moral theories
- Moral psychology
- Theory of emotions
- Practical irrationality
- Weakness of will
My main research interests are in ethics and more specifically in meta-ethics and moral psychology, a field at the confluence of moral philosophy, philosophy of mind and empirical psychology. Research concerning moral realism and moral epistemology lead me to study the nature of emotions and their relation to value judgements. I thus argued that emotions consist in perceptual experiences of evaluative properties (Tappolet 1995, 2000). Emotions are still one of my main research interests. My publications in this domain, some of which have been produced in collaboration with Luc Faucher (UQAM), bear on the relation between emotions and attention, and on the modularity and plasticity of emotions.
In collaboration with Ruwen Ogien (CNRS, Paris) I have also worked in normative ethics, and have examined the relationship between value judgments and ethical judgments (Ogien & Tappolet 2009). I have also been interested in the relationship between evaluative judgments and actions, and more specifically the nature of phenomena such as weakness of will (Stroud & Tappolet 2003). The question of the relationship between autonomy, rationality and emotion is key to my future research.
My research concerns modern philosophy (17th and 18th centuries), in particular Leibniz and the German and French Enlightenment. I am particularly interested in the epistemological and metaphysical aspects, such as the problem of individuation, the relationship between the mind and body, conceptions of space, analytical and synthetical methods, theories of hypothesis and definition, the systematic character of knowledge and the relations between mental faculties.
My recent research mainly deals with the reception of Leibniz in 18th-century German and French philosophy. Some of my studies have also concerned Kant's philosophy, particularly his methodology.
- Ancient Greek literature
- Poetics, rhetoric and literary criticism
- Biography and reception of poets in ancient Greece
- Scholia and commentaries to literary texts
My research focuses on ancient literary theory and on the early reception of Greek poets. I am interested in the emergence of fundamental poetic concepts (fiction, persona, etc.) and the various exegetic approaches that were applied to the text by ancient readers, such as allegoresis and etymological explanations.
- Political philosophy
- Philosophy of law
- Theories of justice
- Democratic egalitarianism
- Theories of recognition
My research interests have mainly to do with ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of law. I am focusing on contemporary theories of justice and democracy, both the justification of fundamental rights and the institutional mechanisms for enforcing them. I am interested in political liberalism and its multiculturalist implications, the issue of public reason and deliberation, and in constitutionalism and legal argumentation.
As part of the Chair's activities, I am conducting a research program on institutions of tolerance with a political dimension that also applies to moral psychology and the philosophy of education. In 2011-2012, I also began studying the issue of corruption in and of democracy. Since 2012, I have been co-ordinating the CORDÉ Corruption et démocratie research group.
My research interests lie at the junction of phenomenology and the philosophy of mind. I am particularly interested in the philosophy of perception, the theories of consciousness and of the self, and the many attempts to renew transcendentalism in post-Kantian philosophy.
My current research has to do with the issue of normativity in perception. I am trying to define the nature of perceptual norms by analyzing their epistemological functions, their abilities to guide action, and the role of the body and of the other in our awareness of these norms.
My main research interests lie in the fields of ancient ethics and psychology, and extend into Hellenistic and Roman philosophy. They are divided into 2 main areas:
- The future of what commentators call moral intellectualism in ancient morals and the so-called akrasia question. My work deals with the dysfunctions of practical rationality and the introduction and development of a vocabulary (prohairèsis, boulèsis/voluntas, hexis/habitus, propatheia, etc.) for thinking about the different modalities of non-virtuous human action.
- Re-evaluation of the concept of naturalism in the field of ancient ethics.
- German idealism
- Transcendental philosophy
- German romanticism
- Philosophy of the imagination
- Philosophy of the image
- Philosophy and literature
- Philosophical anthropology
My doctoral dissertation focused on the articulation of the transcendental imagination to language and affectivity in the works of Fichte and Novalis. My starting point is the intersection of German idealism and German romanticism (drawing mainly on Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Novalis, Schlegel, Tieck, Hoffmann and Kleist), a post-Kantian backdrop, in other words. But I also draw on many currents of modern and contemporary philosophy and on other disciplines, psychoanalysis in particular. From this foundation, I am working on developing a renewed transcendental philosophy, assuming its dual performative and perspectivist dimension, at the junction of "theorization" and poièsis, i.e. philosophical "doing" as a writing practice (doing justice both to the conceptual and abstract discourse and to the literary and poetic register and their interaction). Within this framework, I am interested in particular in the sensitive experience, following the thread of imagination and fiction. I am also examining the questions of nothingness and negativity and of the possible and impossible; in addition, I am interested in the relations between transcendentalism and historicity or between transcendentalism and the philosophy of nature. By contributing in this way to both epistemology and philosophical anthropology, I am trying to bring the transcendental gesture by various means back to what Fichte termed its initial "problematicity." The issue for me is not so much to permanently assign the transcendental to a particular epistemological tradition (realism, idealism, etc.), nor to illustrate a given clearly limited ontology, as it is to recognize a privileged reflexive strategy for it: that of the speculative genesis of different possible perspectives on the world, i.e. different types of knowledge of our relationship with the world. This kind of genesis is inseparable from these many perspectives yet cannot be reduced to them, since it is not one of many perspectives but nonetheless remains a singular perspective that must be seen in a relationship of productive tension with its "other" perspectives and with empiricism in general. In this way I am seeking to reactivate the dimension of imagination implicit in any transcendental quest for conditions of possibility of our relationship with the world and knowledge of the world, and to question anew the possibility of "attesting" in common to these conditions from their character as necessary fiction. In that respect, the transcendental is seen as a constant rewriting process rather than as a set of decrees whose necessary character always risks becoming arbitrary. The goal is to envisage transcendental philosophy as a true experiment, where the enigma of our finitude is indefinitely re-elaborated and interpreted.
Mes travaux portent sur la philosophie des sciences, avec une spécialisation en histoire et philosophie de la physique. Je m'intéresse aussi à l'épistémologie et la théorie de la décision. Je cherche à mieux comprendre les premiers stades de recherches d'une théorie scientifique en analysant les caractéristiques qui indiquent qu'une théorie aie un caractère prometteur, ainsi que les pratiques méthodologiques qui promeuvent le progrès théorique. Dans mon enseignement, je m'intéresse aussi à la logique et la pensée rationnelle.