Research Humanities and Digital Sciences

Research at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences focuses on transformation processes taking place in contemporary society, related to communication and culture, and analyses the underlying moral and ethical questions.

Philosophy of Humanity and Society

Objectives of the research are:

  • High-quality scientific publications
  • Dialog between philosophy and society
  • Maintaining the connection between academic philosophy courses on the one hand and the continuously renewing global research in philosophy and in the sciences on the other hand (securing that the education we offer is research-based).
  • Supervision of PhD-students, including external PhD-students, especially those who succeed in bridging the gap between everyday practice and philosophy (‘reflective practitioners’).

Important focus areas are:

Philosophy (of the Science) of Mind

Philosophy (of the Science) of Mind

Our research investigates the understanding and explanation of mental and psychological phenomena, such as cognition, perception, personal identity, and phenomenal consciousness.

Firstly, we accept that these phenomena are ‘embodied’ and ‘embedded’. Hence, we infuse our naturalistic view with the latest insights from (neuro)psychology, anthropology, and biology, concerning the role of body, environment and evolution.

Secondly, our research focuses on the sciences of the mind as well as on the mind itself, operating on both a meta-level and an object-level. On an object-level, the mental phenomena themselves are investigated. On a meta-level we ponder how we can best conceptualize and understand the mind and consciousness. What is the best way to unify the knowledge gathered in the sciences of the mind? Does neuroscience, explaining mind and consciousness in terms of underlying neural processes and structures, have a privileged status in this respect?

Lastly, we disseminate our results not only in expert publications but also among a wider audience, thus trying to improve the public understanding of science, especially the science of mind and consciousness, and its implications for understanding man and society.

Ethics of Organizations and Business Ethics

Ethics of Organizations and Business Ethics

Research Associates

Research Students

This research tries to bridge the gap between the classical fundamental ethics of for instance Kant and the concrete normative problems encountered in the daily functioning of markets, businesses and organizations. Its aim is not only to understand and pass on the philosophical tradition. The research also tries to vitalize the tradition by relating it to the practical problems people living today are confronted with. The practical context that we take these problems from is business life and life in organizations. Oftentimes the research articulates the multi-dimensional nature of many problems; e.g., relations between the individual ethics of the employee, the integrity of the organization in which they are employed, and the well-organized nature of society as a whole.

Philosophical questions that come into play pertain to collective responsibility, the foundations of the moral obligations of businesses, the meaning of work, and the role of organizations in a democratic society. Can organizations be moral communities? Does the logic of the market and the organization impose limits on morality? Are employees always responsible for the actions of their organization - or never? And to what extent are consumers responsible for the products they buy? Who is ultimately responsible for a sustainable economy?

One of the areas zoomed in on with these types of questions is tourism. Here we find a clear connection between sustainability and authenticity, and it is an example that makes it quite clear that methodologically we need to take recourse to systems theory as well as hermeneutics and phenomenology. 

History of Contemporary Philosophy

History of Contemporary Philosophy

The primary focus is on recent and topical developments in philosophy with respect to society, culture and politics. Thus, we investigate how problems that contemporary society finds itself faced with can be understood from the perspective of philosophers like Lyotard, Lacoue-Labarthe, Nancy, Marion and Sloterdijk. Subsequently, we explore how the visions of these philosophers relate to their predecessors in philosophy such as Sartre, Heidegger or Kant.