Since 1999, I am managing editor of the Swiss philosophy journal dialectica, since 2004 published by Blackwell-Wiley (then just Blackwell). Founded in 1947 by Bachelard, Bernays and Gonseth, dialectica is now one of the best academic philosophy journals edited on the European Continent. Since 1999, I have been taking care of its day-to-day functioning, as well as the contact with authors and referees, and reading and evaluating (almost) every article. A year before dialectica's long-time editor Henri Lauener died in 2002, I started collaborating with Gianfranco Soldati, appointed in 2000 to the University of Fribourg. Together, we managed to get dialectica published by Blackwell-Wiley and reduced the acceptance rate from over 20% to 9% (while the number of submissions tripled). Subsequently, I continued to work as managing editor and co-editor with Pascal Engel and then Marcel Weber: during this period, the number of submissions doubled again, now ranging from 250 to 300 per year, while we further reduced the acceptance rate to almost 8% and the median turnaround time to about 3 months. Dialectica is now ranked “A” in the European Research Index of the Humanities and the Australian Research Council’s ERA, is accessible to 5005 institutions worldwide and had about 38’264 full article downloads in 2017.
In 2016, the average number of downloads per article published in dialectica in 2016 was 272, which is more than double the number for Wiley philosophy journals generally (125). The average number of downloads for all articles was 21, remarkably high especially in the light of rumours that most published articles in philosophy are not even read once. Please find here the latest statistics, covering the last 18 years, with information about our acceptance rates, the geographical origins of our authors and the percentage of female philosophers submitting to dialectica.
We are currently discussing different ways in which dialectica might become open access. This is a topic that has concerned us for a long time. Here is a report to the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences I wrote in 2007 and another one I wrote in 2015. I have also compiled a full bibliography of all articles published in dialectica since 1947: in chronological and alphabetical order, and as bibtex file.
On May 1, 2018, I have submitted a research project on Open Access strategies for dialectica to the SNSF, for the "Digital Lives" call - comments very welcome!
I have undertaken two major other initiatives to connect academic philosophy with the world outside the ivory tower:
- "Découvrir la Philosophie: Portes Ouvertes au Laboratoire d'Expériences de Pensée du Département de Philosophie de l'Université de Genève", a highly successful serious of Saturday-afternoon introductions to some of the problems of our discipline;
- "Le Philomaton Mobile", a virtual laboratory, where anyone can ask questions or make comments, and philosophers answer or react.
I have also given a number of talks for the broader public:
www.philosophie.ch, the Swiss Portal for philosophy, is an outreach project I started in 2002. It aims at making available under one adress all information relevant to philosophy in Switzerland:
- to provide academics with a quick overview over colloquia, talks and other activities of Swiss philosophy departments;
- to offer to high-school students and other people interested in pursuing philosophy at university level up-to-date and authoritative information about their possibilities, the offers of the Swiss philosophy departments and their respective requirements;
- to further the contacts between philosophical academia and the broader public, by offering to people generally interested in philosophy high-quality information about philosophy as pursued academically.
The portal is widely used (more than 12’500 visits per month, excluding robots et al) and generously funded, both by the philosophy departments and private institutions, mostly by the Charles Hummel foundation, having now a annual turnaround of about 150’000 CHF. The internet portal www.philosophie.ch is unique in its reach and professionality and has substantially contributed to the development of Swiss academic philosophy.
ousia, the Centre for the Philosophy and Theology of Being at the University of Lucerne
In Lucerne, I have founded ου̉σία, the Centre for the Philosophy and Theology of Being, an institutionally recognised umbrella for the research activities of the philosophers working in ancient, medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion in Lucerne, the SNSF project "Ontologie in der Schweiz" and the eponymous Doctoral Programme. You can find here a a general description - comments very welcome!
eidos, the Centre for Metaphysics at the University of Geneva
In 2007, I founded eidos, the Centre for Metaphysics at the University of Geneva. Under the direction of Kevin Mulligan and Fabrice Correia, I then was its scientific coordinator for about 7 years, coordinating one of its three founding research projects, the Swiss National Science Foundation project "Properties and Relations" (at the time, the largest post-doc project ever funded in the humanities by the SNSF), involved in the Sinergia project "Intentionality - the Mark of the Mental", involving three PhD students and the Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the FP7 "The Perspectivality of Thoughts and Facts" including (in Geneva) one PhD student. Within eidos, I have worked in the SNF-sponsored project "Fundamentality".
The Swiss Doctoral Programme in Philosophy
For many years and with the help of different funding bodies, I have been organising the Swiss Doctoral Programme in Philosophy. Please find here a general description. I also wrote a slightly polemical rationale for it.
Details about the workshops are to be found on the workshops page.
I have been organising the following graduate schools (4 to 8 workshops each):.
- 2018 graduate school, funded by the swissuniversities, through the University of Lucerne (17-073-VG, 27'595 CHF)
- 2017 graduate school, funded by the swissuniversities, through the University of Lucerne (16-099-VG, 22'900 CHF)
- 2015 graduate school, funded by the CUS (now swissuniversities), through the University of Geneva (140'000 CHF for 2013-2016)
- 2014 graduate school, funded by the CUS (now swissuniversities), through the University of Geneva (140'000 CHF for 2013-2016)
- 2013 graduate school: "Lesser Entities" (101112-147361, 25'000 CHF)
- 2012 graduate school: "The Metaphysics of Representation'' (101115-14121, 25'000 CHF)
- 2011 graduate school: "Fundamentality and Perspectivality'' (101115-135419, 25'000 CHF)
- 2009 graduate school: "The Metaphysics of Time'' (101111-120994, 25'000 CHF)
- 2008 graduate school: "Modalities: essence, necessity, and other adverbial modifiers'' (101111-120994, 25'000 CHF)
- 2007 graduate school: "Properties and Relations'' (101111-116566, 25'000 CHF)
- 2006 graduate school: "Mind and Metaphysics'' (101111-112120, 25'000 CHF)
- 2004 graduate school: "Abstract Entities'' (101111-103468 , 25'000 CHF)
In December 2003, Norbert Anwander, Davor Bodrozic and Martino Mona and myself founded sequitur, the national association of philosophy graduate students. Its statutes are to be found here. Over the years, it has been generously funded by the Beer Brawand Foundation of the University of Berne and organised a number of highly successful meetings, connecting Swiss graduate students to each other and to leading experts in their respective fields. It has since been dormant, but can be re-animated by any (group of) Swiss PhD students who are interested in this kind of thing.
The sequitur meetings always had a general theme:
- 1st sequitur conference June 22 2002: Epistemology, with Markus Wild, Claire Schwartz, Ulvi Doguoglu, Otto Bruun and André Zdunek
- 2nd conference March 15 2003: Time, with André Zdunek, David Stuaffer, Michael Groneberg and Fabrice Correia
- 3rd conference October 18 2003: Philosophy of Mind (from Aristotle to the Present), with Ignace Haaz, Fabian Dorsch, Otto Bruun and Christine Clavien
- 4th conference April 24 2004: Practical Philosophy (click here for the cfp), with Giovanni Tuzet, Barbara Bleisch, Iwao Hirose, Juliette Gloor, Ivo Wallimann and Reto Givel
- 5th conference October 22-23 2004: Philosophy of Mind and Language (click here for the cfp), with Paolo Casalegno, Manuel García-Carpintero, David Lüthi, Jonas Pfister, Alexandre Costa Leite, Stefan Kristensen, Eliza Block, Gian-Andri Toendury and Andreas Küng
- 6th conference April 8, 2005: Consciousness of the Past, with Fabrice Teroni, Pierre-Etienne Schmit, Christoph Hoerl, Stefan Kristensen, Rouven Porz and Francesca De Vecchi
- 7th conference October 28-29, 2005: Emotions and Rationality in Moral Philosophy, with Peter Goldie, Marcel Zentner, Christine Tappolet, Rafaele Rodogno, Andreas Pantazatos, Otto Bruun, Anita Konzelman, Josep Corbi, Sophie Rietti and Ronald de Sousa
- 8th conference, March 31th and April 1st, 2006: Epistemology (click here for the cfp), with Reto Givel, Joel Smith, Keith Hossack, Gian-Andri Toendury, Anne Meylan, Ann Whittle, Juan Suarez and José Zalabardo
- 9th conference, October 27-28, 2006: The Theory and Practice of Autonomy, organised by the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich
- 10th conference, June 21 and 22, 2007: Me, Myself and I (click here for the cfp), with Sabine Döring, Jan Slaby, Gianfranco Soldati, Christian Budnik, Julien Dutant, Íngrid Vendrell Ferran, Akiko Frischhut, Reto Givel, Juliette Gloor, Nora Kreft, Christian Seidel, Ivo Walliman and Eva Weber-Guskar.
- 11th conference, January 14, 2008: Revolutionary Ethics (click here for the cfp), with Peter Schaber, ALexandre Erler, Frederic Gilbert, Jörg Kühnelt, Barbara Reiter, Daniel Schulthess, Anne Meylan, Olivier Massin, Ronald de Sousa and Jérôme Ravat
- 12th conference, May 29, 30 and 31, 2008: The Metaphysics of Knowledge (click here for the programme), with Alexandra Arapinis, Nick Mantegani, Keith Hossack, Mark Textor and Fraser MacBride
Over the years, I have been particularly active in fundraising, on the local, national and international level, between 2001 and 2011 raising a total of 3'088'387 CHF for the University of Geneva (much more, unfortunately, than my salary over this time!), 650'000 of which was conference money, particularly difficult to get. For the time I was working in Geneva, the university's return on investment on my salary was 1'777%!
Not listed are the numerous research projects I have been involved with in my role as a "research consultant" at the University of Lausanne (cf. below).
The research projects I have been primarily responsible for:
- SNSF projects:
- 2018: "Digital Lives" module "e-philosophy" (under review, submitted May 1, 2018)
- 2018: Project application "Being Without Foundations" (with Stephan Leuenberger) (under review, submitted April 1, 2018)
- 2017: Sinergia application "Being Without Foundations" (with Stephan Leuenberger) (rejected)
- 2013-16: Advanced PostDoc Mobility fellowship "A World of Perspectives. Representation without Mediation" (P300P1-147788) (accepted)
- 2009: Sinergia application "Intentionality - the Mark of the Mental" (with Olivier Massin and Graham Peebles) (accepted)
- 2009: Project application "Fundamentality" (accepted)
- 2008: Sinergia application "Time, Substance, Self. Reconciling common sense and contemporary science" (with Olivier Massin and Michael Esfeld) (withdrawn)
- 2007: Pro-doc application "The (Meta-)Metaphysics of Properties and Relations" (research module PDFM1-118626, 277840 CHF) (with Fabrice Correia) (accepted)
- 2007: Project application "Properties and Relations" (100011-113688, 458854 CHF) (with Stephan Leuenberger, Christian Wüthrich, Vincent Lam, Fabian Dorsch, Gian-Andri Töndury) (accepted)
- 2004: Fellowshop for Young Researchers "Exemplification - Formal Concepts in a Material World" (accepted)
- Doctoral Programme:
- 2018: FoKo University of Lucerne (16-099-VG, 27595 CHF) (accepted)
- 2017: FoKo University of Lucerne (16-099-VG, 22900 CHF) (accepted)
- 2013: SNSF graduate school "Lesser Entities" (FNS 101112-147361, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2012: CRUS doctoral school (140000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2012: SNSF graduate school "The Metaphysics of Representation" (FNS 101115-141421, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2011: SNSF graduate school "Fundamentality and Perspectivality" (FNS 101111-135419, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2009: SNSF graduate school "The Metaphysics of Time" (FNS 101111-125090, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2008: SNSF graduate school "Modalities: essence, necessity, and other adverbial modifiers" (FNS 101111-120494, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2007: SNSF graduate school "Properties and Relations" (FNS 101111-116566, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2006: SNSF graduate school "Mind and Metaphysics" (FNS 101111-112120, 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2004: SNSF graduate school "Abstract Entities" (FNS 101111-103468 , 25000 CHF) (accepted)
- European Science Foundation:
- 2017: Marie Curie Co-Funding for Fellowship Programme for Experienced Researchers (COFUND) "Being" (rejected)
- 2013: ERC advanced investigator grant "Essentialisms, Minds, Hearts and Values" (for Kevin Mulligan) (rejected)
- 2012: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) "A World of Perspectives" (rejected)
- 2008: ERC starting independent researcher grant "Time and Substance - Reconciling Common Sense and Contemporary Physics" (with, and for, Fabrice Correia) (rejected)
- 2008: Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN) "Perspectival Thoughts and Facts" [Barcelona, St. Andrews, Geneva, Paris, London, Stockholm, Budapest] (accepted)
- 2008: ESF network programme "The Metaphysics of Properties" (with Olivier Massin, Akiko Frischhut) (accepted) (but then not funded)
- 2008: ESF eurocores programme proposal "The Values of Science" (rejected)
- 2008: three modules for eLERU: "The Philosophy of Modality", "The Logic of Modality", "Philosophy of Religion" (rejected)
- 2008: ERC advanced investigator grant "The Metaphysics of Emotions" (for Kevin Mulligan) (rejected)
- 2007: ESF network programme "The Metaphysics of Properties" (rejected)
- 2007: ESF eurocores programme proposal "The Metaphysics in/of Science" (rejected)
- 2007: ERC starting independent researcher grant "Essence and Modality" (with Fabrice Correia) (rejected)
- 2006: ESF network programme "Properties and Make-Belief" (with Luc Schneider) (rejected)
- Private foundations:
- 2017: Templeton Foundation "God (’/a/i)s Being" (rejected)
- 2012: Fondation Charles Hummel, for www.philosophie.ch, (80'000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2011: Fondation Charles Hummel, for www.philosophie.ch, (30'000 CHF) (accepted)
- 2009: Swiss Network for International Studies, "Social Facts - Emotions, Law & Politics" (rejected)
- 2008: Fondation Boninchi, "Fundamentality" (rejected)
- 2008: Centro Stefano Franscini, "Fundamentality" (with Stephan Leuenberger) (rejected)
- Governmental Funding Bodies in Switzerland:
- 2014: CUSO, "The Metaphysics of Mind" (accepted)
- 2009: sciex fellowships for Jacek Wawer and Sebastian Kolodziejczyk (accepted)
- 2005: Virtual Campus "e-philosophy" (rejected)
- 2016: two seed money applications (30'000 CHF each), research commission (FoKo), University of Lucerne (accepted)
- 2010: Commission Informatique and Formation Continue, University of Geneva, for "Le philomaton mobile" (accepted)
- 2009: "Proposition pour la création d’un centre d’excellence en philosophie à l’Université de Genève", for eidos (rejected)
- 2009: Commission Informatique and Formation Continue, University of Geneva, for "Découvrir la philosophie" (accepted)
- 2009: "Proposition pour la création d'un « Master of Advanced Studies » en philosophie à l’Université de Genève" (rejected)
- 2008: Commission Informatique, University of Geneva, for e-learning courses (accepted)
- 2007: e-learning project "e-philosophie", University of Geneva (72000 CHF) (accepted)
Between 2011 and 2013, I had a part-time employment at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Lausanne, as a "conseiller de recherche" (research consultant). This then newly introduced job consisted in
- pro-actively motivating the members of the rather large faculty to submit research projects, to local, regional, national and international funding bodies and to the SNSF in particular;
- coax and streamline their projects, in particular with respect to the originality of the main research idea, the feasibility of the research plan, the modalities of its practical implementation and its outreach and impact aspects;
- review and amend project proposals, linguistically and in particular with respect to the proposed budgets;
- consult and inform result about the intricacies of the different organisations funding research, in particular the more opaque European ones.
I think it is generally a good idea for a faculty of humanities to employ a person doing these things, and that ideally such a person should be herself an active researcher.