Presentation of the Instituto de Filosofia


The Instituto de Filosofia da Universidade do Porto (Institute of Philosophy, for short ‘Instituto’) is a research unity hosted by the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto. It was founded in 1997 by the coming together of 2 research groups whose activity dates back to 1985. It has been ranked as ‘Excellent’ in the first 3 FCT international assessments of Portuguese research units. In 2014 FCT/ESF research assessment (a contentious process that represented a severe haircut and downgrade of research in Philosophy all over the country) the Instituto was ranked "Very Good".

All the activities are funded through funds obtained by the Institute.



Currently (2015) 52 researchers, from 7 universities and 5 countries, are ‘Investigadores Integrados’, i.e. have doctorates. 35 PhD students carry out their research within the framework of the 7 active Research Groups (see

The Instituto is managed by the Director with the support of the Executive Board. The Scientific Council is composed by the Principal Investigators (the directors of the 12 research groups). The Institute has an international board of advisors.

The Instituto has a technical staff, freeing researchers for scientific endeavours.

The Principal Investigators of the research groups and the PI of the projects have complete autonomy in carrying out approved programs of activities, and in disposing of assigned budgets. A bill of quality with clear benchmarks, approved by the Scientific Council, frames every activity.



The Research Groups are organized in 3 main areas or research lines (Medieval Philosophy; Modern and Contemporary Philosophy and Philosophy of Education). 5 FCT-funded research projects are currently being carried out (4 in Medieval Philosophy; 1 in Mind, Language and Action).

Through the 7 Research Groups the Instituto carries out research in several philosophical fields: History of Philosophy (Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, and Portuguese Thought), Aesthetics, Epistemology, Logic and Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Mind, Political Philosophy and Ethics. This research represents several schools and orientations.

All ongoing research activities integrate foreign collaborators; several of the Instituto’s researchers participate in international research projects.

Every year the Instituto organizes seminars and international meetings, regularly inviting leading philosophers and historians of philosophy.

The Instituto has a strong publication activity, editing or co-editing 3 journals (“Filosofia” series of the “Revista da Faculdade de Letras”; “Itinerários de Filosofia da Educação”; “Mediaevalia. Textos e estudos”), and running several Philosophy collections, alongside with publication in journals, proceedings and collective or monographic books in external publishers, national and international.



The Instituto is closely linked to the University of Porto “Doctoral Program in Philosophy”, whose students are usually supervised by the Instituto’s integrated researchers, thus becoming part of research groups and ongoing projects. Their research is regularly presented in seminars and graduate conferences. The “Master of Philosophy” degree is linked in the same way to the Instituto.



The Instituto has access to the research facilities of the Departamento de Filosofia and the Faculdade de Letras. All its members have local or remote access to the network of the Universidade do Porto.

The members of the Instituto also have access to the Library of the Faculdade de Letras. The Instituto has a word in defining priorities for acquisitions in Philosophy, thus being able to direct such acquisitions towards topics where research is being carried out. One very important asset of the Library are the main journal’s databases, which allow researchers access to up-to-date publications. This is a field, though, where a more consistent investment could contribute to the quality of research, teaching and publications.



In the past competitions the Institute won 3 FCT research “Ciência/2007/2008” positions (2 in Medieval Philosophy and 1 in Epistemology), and 3 “Investigador FCT” positions (1 in Medieval Studies, i in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, 1 in Epistemology).

The Instituto is now firmly committed to improve their ability to attract funding, presenting projects in international competitions, and participating in international consortia.

The “Investigadores FCT” will be instrumental for this general aim of the Instituto. We believe we are capable of sharing expertise and offering good conditions for career consolidation and for the development of research projects.

The constitution of specialized teams around these projects will greatly contribute to improve our research capacities. By integrating a new group of “Investigadores FCT” the Instituto will become stronger and more able to offer an innovative contribution to research in Philosophy at an international level.

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