Simon Graf

Simon Graf

Profile

I am a provisional PhD student and researcher at the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Sciencehaving joined the ERC-funded project “Group Thinking: New Foundations” in September 2020. My current research is concerned with the ontology of epistemic and scientific groups, and the role and character of rationality in interpreting their collective attitudes. In my doctoral thesis, I aim to bring together different approaches to the analysis of epistemic groups from a socio-ontological, as well as from a traditional philosophy of science background.

My previous research was focused on a philosophical and mathematical understanding of infinities, especially the historical discussion of the concepts developed by Georg Cantor during the foundational crisis of mathematics at the beginning of the 20th century. This interest resulted in an extended study of set theory and axiomatic systems such as Zermelo-Fraenkel (ZF) and Von Neumann-Bernay-Gödel set theory (NBG). Here, persistent problems in these axiomatic systems, such as already proposed by contemporaries, were in the centre of my attention. This made me investigate the semantical and logical structure of mathematics further in my master’s dissertation, entitled Beyond Infinity: The Epistemology and Ontology of the Transfinite, which was an attempt to examine different ‘paradoxes of the infinite’ and critically discuss paraconsistent formalizations of these paradoxes.

Besides my current focus in social epistemology, I am interested in general questions in the philosophy of science, the philosophy of mathematics, and the integrated history and philosophy of these subjects. In particular, I am excited about the contemporary and historical debate around scientific realism, the role and character of scientific and mathematical thought experiments, as well as conceptual shifts and scientific progress. Finally, I have general interests and extended knowledge in questions related to the philosophy of mind, which I examined during the course of my studies from an analytic, empirical, and phenomenological perspective; whereby the latter is a result of the research centre on phenomenology located at my former philosophy institute in Graz. Additionally, my studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong gave me important insights into far eastern perspectives on the different subject matters and encouraged a general curiosity and respect for these philosophical traditions. 

Talks and Presentations

  • (2020) Conference Presentation (postponed): Playing the Game of Rationality: Language Games and Puzzle Solving in Epistemic Communities. Symposium Philosophy of Play at the University of Zagreb.
  • (2019) Conference Presentation: Beyond Infinity: Dialethism and the Ontology of the Transfinite. “Conference for Young Analytic Philosophy (SOPhiA)” at the University of Salzburg.
  • (2019) MA-Research Presentation: Paradoxes of the Infinite. At the Interdisciplinary Colloquium "Wissen und Realität im Netzwerk von Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft" at the University of Graz.

Scholarships and Awards:

  • (2020) Full-Time ERC-Funded Ph.D. Scholarship within the research-project “Group Thinking: New Foundations”; University of Leeds.
  • (2020) MA Research Certificate (Zertifizierter Masterschwerpunkt); Certificated area of specialization: History of Science and Philosophy of Science. University of Graz.
  • (2019) Performance Scholarship (Leistungsstipendium) for academic excellence in the year 2018/19. University of Graz.
  • (2019) Promotional Scholarship (Förderungsstipendium) for research-expences related to the MA-thesis in the year 2018/19. University of Graz. 

Extracurricular Education: 

  • (2020) Summer School (postponed): "USS-SWC Scientific World Conceptions: Representation in Art and Science" organized by the University of Vienna. Lecturers: Chiara Ambrosio, Angela Breitenbach, Dominic McIver Lopes.
  • (2020) Symposium (postponed): "Philosophy of Play" at the University of Zagreb.
  • (2020) Workshop: "Alterity, Community, and Morality: Phenomenological Accounts of (Inter)Subjectivity between Theory and Praxis" at the University of Graz. Lecturer: Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen, Oxford).
  • (2019) Workshop: "Mindless explanations? The Causal and Explanatory Role of Mental States" at the Salzburg Conference for Young Analytic Philosophy (SOPhiA).
  • (2019) Summer School: "Philosophy and Technology" at the University of Zagreb.
  • (2019) Interdisciplinary Workshop: "Symmetries, Structures and the Philosophy of Modern Physics" at the University of Graz. Lecturer: Holger Lyre (OVGU-University Magdeburg).
  • (2018) IASP-Exchange program (Joint-Study) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong WS 2018/19.
  • (2018) Summer School: "USS-SWC Scientific World Conceptions: Thought Experiments" organized by the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle. Lecturers: J. R. Brown, J. Norton, E. Brendel.
  • (2018) Workshop: "Philosophy of Mathematics" at the University of Graz. Lecturer: Brown J. R. (University of Toronto).                                       
  • (2016) – (2018) Co-founder of the ‘Graz Philosophy Club’: Organization of bi-weekly meetings for discussions of papers/books or feedback for member-written papers intended for conferences/journals.

Research interests

  • Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mathematics, Integrated History and Philosophy of Science
  • Social Epistemology, Technology Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Phenomenology

Qualifications

  • MA Philosophy, University of Graz, 2020
  • MA research certificate: History and Philosophy of Science, University of Graz 2020
  • BA Philosophy, University of Graz, 2018