Jaap Corthals is a Dual PhD candidate at Leiden University Dual PhD Centre. Working title ' The Conditions of Possibility for Philosophical Methodology'.
Jaap Corthals studied in Leiden, Paris and Oxford and has a special interest in philosophical methodology.
Corthals’ PhD research concerns the issue of the (circular or non-circular) relationship between (1) the method of philosophy as an object of study and (2) the methodic traits of studying philosophical method itself.
When talking about the subject-object relation in philosophy, the so-called problem of circularity – the problem which holds that a studied object is always at least partially constructed by the researcher studying the object himself – immediately springs to mind. Although the problem of circularity forms part of the particular research matter of philosophical methodology and philosophical methodology may thus be said to be marked by a ‘double circularity’ problem, the specific relevance of the problem of circularity for philosophical methodology is not properly thematised in existing research. This fact is problematic, because philosophical methodology can only be expected to render meaningful insights regarding the method of philosophy, if it first has an adequate awareness of the methodic traits of its own explorations.
That the need for properly addressing the specific relevance of the problem of circularity for philosophical methodology really touches the core of philosophical methodology itself, is clear from the fact that – as things stand – philosophical methodology can not even be called a fully-fledged academic discipline. In contemporary philosophy, philosophical methodology qualifies as a research area with a vague profile at best.
In his PhD research Corthals starts out by clearly profiling philosophical methodology’s own problem of circularity and subsequently tries to find something like the (Kantian) conditions of possibility for the existence of philosophical methodology. Corthals hopes that his PhD research will (1) contribute to the development of philosophical methodology as a discipline in its own right and (2) provide some more guidance to the orchestra of views on the method of philosophy that already exist.
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