Bryan Frances, Head Researcher
Institute of Philosophy & Semiotics
University of Tartu


Over the centuries philosophers have discovered apparently intractable problems with our most fundamental concepts: time, space, parthood, meaning, truth, goodness, color, etc. These problems are so fundamental as to throw the legitimacy of those concepts into doubt. Recent advances in logic and science have done little or nothing to erase the disputes. Given these centuries-old controversies, it is doubtful that many of us can have knowledge concerning these disputed concepts since even the best experts are locked in sustained disagreement.

On the other hand, there seems to be great progress in philosophy over the last century, especially with the philosophical use of logic and science. But how can there be all this progress if the intractable expert disagreement robs us of knowledge?

Our project investigates these issues regarding expert disagreement and progress. The primary goal is to understand the epistemology of expertise and controversy, in philosophy and science.

Researchers & Speakers Include:

More Personnel


Patrick Shirreff is a research fellow in theoretical philosophy at the University of Tartu. His areas of specialisation include philosophy of language and epistemology, cognitive science, philosophical methodology, and the history of analytic philosophy.

Patrick Shirreff Research Fellow in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Tartu

Torfinn Huvanes is a lecturer in philosophy at Umeå University.  His areas of interest include disagreement, language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of science.

Speaker Torfinn Huvenes Lecturer in Philosophy at Umeå University





Ruth Jürjo: +372 737 5314


Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
Jakobi 2, 315, 51005 Tartu, Estonia



Religious Disagreement

Frances, Bryan (forthcoming). “Religious Disagreement”, in Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro (eds.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion, Wiley-Blackwell.

This research is supported by the programme Mobilitas Pluss project MOBTT45 and the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (European Regional Development Fund) and is related to research project IUT20-5 (Estonian Ministry of Education and Research).”