$2.6 Milllion Grant for “The Geography of Philosophy”


Philosophers Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Stephen Stich (Rutgers) and anthropologist H. Clark Barrett (UCLA) have been awarded a $2,569,563 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to fund their project, “The Geography of Philosophy: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Exploration of Universality and Diversity in Fundamental Philosophical Concepts.”

Here’s a description of the project:

Throughout the history of philosophy, many thinkers have urged that some fundamental philosophical concepts are universal–used by all rational people. Historians and anthropologists have often been skeptical of these claims. Recently, cultural psychologists and experimental philosophers have begun to explore empirically whether fundamental philosophical concepts are shared across cultures. The results of these studies have been fascinating, provocative and equivocal. The goals of this project are (i) to move this exciting endeavor forward by dramatically expanding the methodologies, the range of cultures considered, and the cultural and disciplinary diversity of the investigators engaged in the inquiry; (ii) to motivate and enable researchers around the world to become involved in cross-cultural, interdisciplinary research on philosophical concepts by sponsoring workshops in Africa, Asia and South America where our research teams can interact with scientists and scholars in the region; (iii) to present our findings both in scholarly publications and in an integrated format accessible to non-specialists; (iv) to foster discussion about the implications of the findings for venerable philosophical debates and for practical contemporary issues.

The grant will fund work on the project from 2018-2021.

Ed Fairburn, “Pontypridd”

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George Grubbs
George Grubbs
3 years ago

How can I get involved with this study? Report

afri
afri
3 years ago

Lots of interesting research by economists on how people in different parts of the world perceive philosophical concepts (such as fairness and luck), and how this impacts their economic decision-making. Am happy to see this project announced.Report

Eddy Nahmias
3 years ago

Fantastic news! Congratulations to Edouard, Stephen, Clark, and all their future collaborators!Report

Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
3 years ago

Congratulations to Machery, Stich, and Barrett–what a great project!Report

Eric Campbel
Eric Campbel
3 years ago

That sounds awesome! So great to see something like this getting funded. Happy day for academic philosophy.Report

Jean Chambers
Jean Chambers
3 years ago

Since Templeton is funding it, I would bet my retirement savings that God will be one of the universal concepts discovered in this empirical search.
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Mike Jacovides
Mike Jacovides
Reply to  Jean Chambers
3 years ago

Do a little more investigating before you make that betReport

James
James
Reply to  Mike Jacovides
3 years ago

I’ll take that bet.

(I’ve yet to see any non-idiotic objections to Templeton funding.)Report