Contact Information

Prof. Sami Pihlström
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. BOX 4 (Fabianinkatu 24)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki




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Institute Vienna Circle
University of Vienna

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About the Project

The project seeks to critically reassess science and the humanities in their respective endeavors to explain, but also to understand the causes, conditions and consequences of artistic, ethical, and religious phenomena in our current European cultures. The revived idea of a scientific philosophy is expected to deliver the required means for realizing this aim. The collaborative research project thereby addresses the huge tension that has grown between public and private worldviews due to the increasing implicitness with which science is commonly accepted to be the exclusive measure of successful social engineering while, on the other hand, religious beliefs, moral convictions and motivations, and artistic experiences still are most highly valued in a private sphere. This tension threatens to burst the coherence of European cultures also because science has developed schemes to explain art and religion by its own means in the last decade or two. Philosophy can play a decisive role in analyzing the relationship between science, art, ethics and religion and help to set up a dialogue between these different cultural phenomena. However, we suggest that to do so it has to go beyond the Kantian distinction of art, ethics, religion, and science and face the challenge posed by recent empirical approaches to these fields. It is the central starting point of the present project that this step may be taken with recourse to scientific philosophy as it has been developed in quite different measures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, i.e. neo-Kantianism, logical empiricism, phenomenology, and pragmatism