My VENI grant application was successful which means that this Fall I will start work on my project “Philosophy as Science: The Project of the School of Brentano” at the philosophy department of Utrecht University.
I began preparing the project as a guest-researcher in Utrecht during the first semester of 2011-2012 and actually started this blog as a kind of log book or journal about my project and the grant application process, chronicling my progress, thinking aloud publicly about the various drafts and revisions, etc. While in Utrecht I received extremely valuable feedback and advice, and very kind support, not only from my soon-to-be colleagues, but I also got several good questions and comments through the blog. After undergoing the preselection, the peer-review, and the interview, we finally made it to the end!
So what happens now? First of all, in the coming few weeks I will have to deal with the more practical aspects of winding down my activities in Leuven and starting up those in Utrecht: contracts, office space, keys, transferring responsibilities, etc.. Once I am settled in, I can start concentrating on the interesting stuff: the Brentanist conception of philosophy as science. As listed in my project’s timetable, one of the first goals is to prepare a strategic position paper, a kind of manifesto if you want. This will provide an outline of the project as a whole, arguing for the historical and systematical importance of the conception of philosophy as science in the School of Brentano. I will start out by reconstructing Brentano’s ideal of philosophy as science from his habilitation theses through his middle period, with special regard to its role in the process of building his school. This will form the backbone for subsequent work concentrating on how his students applied and worked out their own approach, with particular focus on how Brentano’s ideal is preserved in their individual developments.