The programme 'Logic, Meaning and Cognition' of the discipline group Theoretical Philosophy focuses on classical philosophical questions linked to questions about the fundamentals of science.
These questions are about truth, time, determinism, freedom and the nature of the spirit. We study the fundamentals of mathematics, physics, computer science and linguistics. Both aspects, classical questions and fundamentals, interact fruitfully. For ideas and methods, we draw from both the philosophical traditions and logic.
The programme is placed under the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and is part of the ESF network Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective, and of the NWO project 'Realising Optimal Sharing'.
Epistemology and the fundamentals of science
The philosophical questions that keep us occupied are:
- What is truth?
- What is knowledge?
- What is a programme?
- What is a calculation?
- What is a piece of proof?
- What is freedom?
- Is everything determined?
- Herman Hendriks and Albert Visser study the fundamentals of linguistics. Themes are dynamic semantics and naturalistic views of meaning.
- Clemens Grabmayer and Vincent van Oostrom occupy themselves with the fundamentals of computer science. Themes are calculation models and local interactions.
- Rosalie Iemhoff, Nick Vaporis and Albert Visser study the fundamentals of mathematics. Themes are constructivism, connections between theories and the study of proof.
- Thomas Müller and Sebastian Lutz occupy themselves with the fundamentals of physics. Their main theme is determinism, also in connection with the theory of relativity.
Epistemology and the philosophy of religion
The group of Herman Philipse occupies itself with subjects from epistemology and the philosophy of religion. Questions which play an important role are:
- What is knowledge?
- How do we collect knowledge?
- Is there a meaningful definition of God?
- How probable is the existence of God?
- If God exists, can we prove it?
- Is it possible for a scientist to consistently support theism?
- What does it mean to have convictions which are justified?
- Herman Philipse is writing a book in which the central question is how a religious attitude to life can be justified in this day and age.
- Rik Peels and Tony Booth study the question: what is a responsible way of believing. This involves questions on the nature of faith as well as on the moral or religious basis for a conviction.