Research Methods in Analytic Philosophy

Basic Information

Course 2017/2018
Esa Díaz León
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Barcelona
Module 2. Research Methods in Analytic Philosophy


Mondays, 15:30-18:30; Workshop on 29th, 30th and 31st January 2018 schedule 10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm room 404
UB, Philosophy Faculty, room 407


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 October-mid November), 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 two other blog posts. In the third part (to be held on January 29-31, 2018), 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.


Evaluation: The final grade for the course will be obtained on the basis of the blog post and comments (30%), workshop presentation (30%), paper commentary (20%), and class participation (including questions by email and in-class questions) (20%).

Topics for blog posts and workshop presentations: 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.


Intended Learning 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.


October 2: Introduction (no assigned readings)

October 9: Amie Thomasson: "What can we do, when we do Metaphysics?", forthcoming in Giuseppina d'Oro and Soren Overgaard (eds.) Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

October 16: David Chalmers (forthcoming) “Why Isn't There More Progress in Philosophy?”, Philosophy. Also forthcoming in T. Honderich (ed.) Philosophers of our Times, and in J. Keller (ed.) Themes from Peter van Inwagen.

October 23: Sally Haslanger (2017) “Culture and Critique”, Forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 91.

October 30: NO CLASS

November 6: David Plunkett (2016) “Conceptual History, Conceptual Ethics, and The Aims of Inquiry: A Framework for Thinking About The Relevance of the History/Genealogy of Concepts to Normative Inquiry”, Ergo. Vol. 3, No. 2, 27-64.

November 13: Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos & Ron Mallon (2016) “Ambiguous Reference”, Mind 125 (497): 145-175.

Other considerations

Additional sessions in January:

Workshop (intensive) 29-31 January 2018