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::: center home >> people >> visiting fellows, 2010-11 >> votsis

Ioannis Votsis
Heinrich-Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany
Fall Term 2010
Epistemic Structural Realism

Ioannis holds a research fellowship at the University of Duesseldorf. His work is partly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Prior to this appointment he spent two years on a teaching fellowship at the University of Bristol. His doctoral study was undertaken at the London School of Economics.

Central amongst his active research interests is structural realism. In its epistemic form, this is the view that our knowledge of the world is restricted to structural features. Ioannis has published a number of articles on this topic and is currently preparing a book with F.A. Muller (Utrecht and Rotterdam). Unsurprisingly, some of Ioannis’ other active research interests concern the philosophy of science. For example, he is interested in the extent to which the theoretical content of empirically successful theories changes over time, the conditions under which a datum has more weight in matters of theory-choice, and whether there is a trend towards unification in science. The rest of Ioannis’ active research interests concern a handful of other areas in philosophy, notably epistemology, meta-philosophy, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic. As a little foretaste of these interests it is worth noting that Ioannis is at present developing a paper on the high costs our abilities to reason would incur were we to genuinely turn our backs on simple logical laws like the law of non-contradiction.

In his spare time Ioannis can't help but keep getting frustrated over the preposterously irrational conceptions of the world that pervade much of what we proudly call 'culture'. He is particularly incensed at how readily, unreflectively, and often erratically dogmatic views are adopted by educated sections of the population. The upshot of all of this is that Ioannis is a somewhat grumpy and pessimistic individual who is best avoided when he is on an empty stomach. To start a conversation, first lure him with the promise of some scrumptious food.

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Revised 11/08/2012 - Copyright 2010