Inga Vermeulen


***On Leave until January 2015***


Before arriving in Hamburg, I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield, spending the last year and a half as a visitor at the Australian National University with a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. In my thesis, I argued for the advantages of a pragmatic or ameliorative alternative to conceptual analysis, which was inspired by the work of Carnap. In an earlier life, I worked for the Swiss Federal Chancellery, combatting the lack of clarity in legislation and policy making.


My research interests are located at the intersection of issues in philosophical methodology, the philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology. My current research centres on ways in which disputes can fail to be genuine and worth pursuing. I am, for example, interested in whether some philosophical disputes, in particular disputes in metaphysics and ontology, are merely verbal in the sense that parties do not genuinely disagree, but merely talk past each other. This issue raises the more general question of what it takes for two parties to genuinely disagree, a question that also arises in debates about different semantic views of evaluative language.

I would also like to think much more about similar defects besetting political disputes and the challenge this poses for a democratic society.