Research Methods in Analytic Philosophy

Basic Information

Course 2015/2016
Esa Díaz León
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Barcelona
Module 1. Practical Philosophy


Tue. 11-13:30
Room 412, Facultat de Filosofia, Universitat de Barcelona


This course will provide an introduction to the methods, tools and skills that are necessary to engage in discussions in contemporary analytic philosophy. 


The course will be divided in three parts. In the first part (5 sessions, during September-October), we will have a reading group where we will discuss recent papers on methodological issues in philosophy, and students will have to prepare questions and comments in advance. All students should email a substantive question or comment for discussion to the instructor the day before each session. In the second part (to be conducted online, during November-December), students will have to participate in a philosophy blog, run by the instructor specifically for this class. Each student has to write at least 1 standing blog post, and at least 2 comments on someone else’s blog post. In the third part (to be held on January 18-20, 2016), we will have a small workshop, where each student will have to present a short paper and also comment on someone else’s presentation. Each student will have to send their paper to their commentator at least 3 weeks in advance, and the commentator should send their comments to the author at least 1 week prior to the presentation. 

List of contents:

Week 0 (September 22)


Part I: Reading Group

Week 1 (September 29)

Amie Thomasson: “Experimental Philosophy and the Methods of Ontology”, The Monist, 2012.

Week 2 (October 6)

Joshua Glasgow: “On the methodology of the race debate: Conceptual analysis and racial discourse”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2008.

Week 3 (October 13)

Alexis Burgess & David Plunkett: “Conceptual Ethics I & II”, Philosophy Compass, 2013.

Week 4 (October 20)

Elizabeth Barnes: “Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2014

Week 5 (October 27)

Carrie Jenkins: “Serious Verbal Disputes: Ontology, Metaontology, and Analyticity”, Journal of Philosophy, 2014. 

Part II: Blog (November-December)

Part III: Workshop (18-19-20 January, 11:00-13:30 and 15:00-17:30)


The final grade for the course will be obtained on the basis of the blog posts and comments (30%), workshop presentation (30%), paper commentary (20%), and class participation (20%).


Intended Learnign Outcomes:


Basic Competences:

CB8: Students should be able to integrate information and form complex judgements on the basis of limited or partial information, including reflections on the ethical and social implications related to their area of research in analytic philosophy.

CB9: Students should be able to communicate effectively their arguments and conclusions to a specialized audience in a clear and rigorous manner.

CB10: Students should be able to acquire learning skills that allow them to pursue their studies in an autonomous manner.


General Competences:

CG1: Students should be able to analyze, assess and construct valid arguments, and to identify formal and informal fallacies.

CG2: Students should be able to design, create and develop original research projects in their chosen areas of study in analytic philosophy.

CG4: Students should be able to work both autonomously and as part of a team, in order to provide arguments for and against different positions in analytic philosophy, and provide examples.


Specific Competences:

CE1: Students should be able to critically engage with the concepts and methods of contemporary analytic philosophy.

CE4. Students should be able to assess the writings of leading contemporary philosophers in the field of analytic philosophy.

CE5. Students should be able to identify and critically engage with the current state of a particular philosophical debate, and form a reasoned view, even if provisional, about it.


CE7. Students should be able to critically use specialized terminology in the field of analytic philosophy.


Each student can choose a topic based on their own coursework or research interests. The material for the blog post and the workshop presentation should not overlap. It is strongly recommended that students consult with the instructor in advance regarding the topics.