Academic year
Esa Díaz León and Manolo Martínez
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Barcelona
Master courses
Module 2. Research Methods in Analytic Philosophy
2020-10-06 - 2020-11-17
Tuesdays, 10:30 - 13:00. Aditionally: 21-22/01/2021
Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Filosofia, Room 410


This course will provide an introduction to the methods, tools and skills that are necessary to engage in discussions in contemporary analytic philosophy.


The course will be divided in three parts.

  • In the first part (6 sessions of 2.5 hours, during October-early November), we will have a reading group where we will discuss recent papers on methodological issues in philosophy, and students will have to prepare questions and comments in advance. All papers will be available electronically.
    • All students should email a substantive question or comment for discussion to both instructors at least 24 hours before each session.
  • In the second part (to be conducted online, during late November-December), students will have to participate in a philosophy blog, run by the instructors specifically for this class (
    • Each student has to write at least 1 standing blog post (500-1000 words), and at least 2 comments on two other blog posts.
  • In the third part (to be held on January 21–22, 2021), we will have a small workshop, where each student will have to present a short paper (2000-3000 words) and also comment on someone else’s presentation.
    • Each student will have to send their paper to their commentator at least 3 weeks in advance (December 31, 2020), and the commentator should send their comments to the author at least 1 week prior to the presentation (January 14, 2021).
    • The total duration of each individual session will be of 45 minutes. The presentation should be about 20 min. long, followed by 10 min. for the commentary, 5 min. of reply, and finally 10 min. for general Q&A.
    • Students are expected to use slides (e.g. PowerPoint) for their presentation.



The final grade for the course will be obtained on the basis of the blog post and comments (30%), workshop presentation (30%), paper commentary (20%), and class participation (including questions by email and in-class questions) (20%).

Topics for blog posts and workshop presentations

Each student can choose a topic based on their own coursework or research interests. The material for the blog post and the workshop presentation should not overlap.  The material for the blog post and workshop presentation has to be new. It is strongly recommended that students consult with the instructors in advance regarding the topics.


Intended Learning Outcomes 

Basic Competences

  • CB8: Students should be able to integrate information and form complex judgements on the basis of limited or partial information, including reflections on the ethical and social implications related to their area of research in analytic philosophy.
  • CB9: Students should be able to communicate effectively their arguments and conclusions to a specialized audience in a clear and rigorous manner.
  • CB10: Students should be able to acquire learning skills that allow them to pursue their studies in an autonomous manner.

General Competences

  • CG1: Students should be able to analyze, assess and construct valid arguments, and to identify formal and informal fallacies.
  • CG2: Students should be able to design, create and develop original research projects in their chosen areas of study in analytic philosophy.
  • CG4: Students should be able to work both autonomously and as part of a team, in order to provide arguments for and against different positions in analytic philosophy, and provide examples.

Specific Competences

  • CE1: Students should be able to critically engage with the concepts and methods of contemporary analytic philosophy.
  • CE4: Students should be able to assess the writings of leading contemporary philosophers in the field of analytic philosophy.
  • CE5: Students should be able to identify and critically engage with the current state of a particular philosophical debate, and form a reasoned view, even if provisional, about it.
  • CE7: Students should be able to critically use specialized terminology in the field of analytic philosophy.


Readings and Calendar

  • October 6: Introduction (no assigned readings).
  • October 13: Amie Thomasson (2012): “Experimental Philosophy and the Methods of Ontology”, The Monist, 95(2), pp. 175-199.
  • October 20: David Plunkett (2015) “Which Concepts Should We Use?: Metalinguistic Negotiations and The Methodology of Philosophy”, Inquiry, 58(7-8), pp. 828-74.
  • October 27: Sally Haslanger (2016) “Theorizing with a Purpose: The Many Kinds of Sex”, in Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice, edited by Catherine Kendig, New York: Routledge.
  • November 3: Justus, J. (2012). Carnap on concept determination: Methodology for philosophy of science. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 2(2), 161–179.
  • November 10: Machery, E. (2017). Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds. Oxford University Press. Chapter 7, 208-244.
  • November 17: Nado, J. (2015). Philosophical expertise and scientific expertise. Philosophical Psychology, 28(7), 1026–1044.



Additional References (Handbook)

  • Cappelen, Herman et al. (eds.) (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Daly, Chris (2010). An Introduction to Philosophical Methods. London: Broadview Press.
  • D’Oro, Guiseppina and Overgaard, Sven (eds.) (2017). The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Other considerations



NB: This course will be taught in-person by default. Depending on the covid-19 sanitary crisis, and on the advice of health authorities, the course could switch to online teaching, with the same schedule and evaluation methods. Students will be informed of any changes.