The Philosophy Institute promotes interdisciplinary research among scholars from Universidad Austral. Research projects are centered on four big areas, and endeavor to deepen in the foundations –ontological, epistemological, anthropological and ethical– of the different disciplines cultivated at our University.

  • Philosophical foundations of the natural sciences

Even the scientific theories most widely accepted in the scientific community pose foundational philosophical problems, frequently related to issues of interpretation and inter-theoretical and interdisciplinary articulation. These problems are oftentimes ontological and are usually ignored in the daily practice of science, which is directed towards the achievement of specific goals and the widening of the field of application of current theories. Thus, a number of philosophical sub-disciplines have emerged, such as philosophy of physics, which address these issues combining philosophical understanding with the necessary scientific knowledge.

  • Philosophy of the person

Taken together, the different philosophical schools and methodologies have contributed to the knowledge of the human person with fruitful analyses of her embodied condition, subjectivity, interiority, relationality and openness to the divine. Moreover, in the past decades research performed by sciences such as psychology and neuroscience, among others, has stimulated philosophical reflection. In order to do justice to the whole of human experience a philosophy is needed that is open to the discussion with the sciences and attentive to cultural changes, but also able to offer an ontological foundation to the person.

  • Philosophy of religion

Philosophy of religion is a central discipline to philosophical exploration, and it finds its place in the very core of human inquiry. Questions on philosophy of religion deal with the existence and the nature of the divine, its relation to human beings and the natural world, the nature of religion and its place in human life, the truth and rationality of religious belief, among many others. Of late, philosophy of religion, in its many traditions (analytic, continental, or classical for example), has sought to engage with scientific discourses in search for new philosophical perspectives.

  • Virtues and character

In the past years various scientific fields, such as psychology and education, have experienced renewed interest in the study of virtue and character building as means towards understanding the person and her potential development. These investigations have acknowledged the reality of the virtues and our need of them in social interactions, e.g. compassion, generosity, honesty, fortitude, gratitude, loyalty, justice, and humility, among others. These discussions inevitably generate an interdisciplinary scenario of reflection, where philosophical knowledge can be intertwined with these scientific areas and thus become more robust.