Professor Raimo Tuomela

I received my first Ph.D. degree in 1968 (University of Helsinki) and the second one in 1969 (Stanford University), both of them in philosophy. I was appointed to the chair in social and moral philosophy in 1971 and retired from this position in 2008. During 1995-2000 I was Academy Professor (viz. research professor) at the Academy of Finland. Since 2006 I have been a (permanent) visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Munich. My connection to the Munich philosophers started already in the 1980’s, and after receiving the Humboldt Foundation Research Award (Forschungspreis), I spent much time doing joint research in Munich. My current research group is part of a newly established Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the philosophy of the social sciences located at the University of Helsinki. I am a member of the governing board of this centre.

Since the mid-1990’s I have led a research group in to the philosophy of social action and sociality. This field has accordingly been my main field of research since those times, although I did work in that field already in the late 1970’s (see my list of publications below with quite a few papers and books related to his field). This and my research group’s research concentrates on developing a conceptually and logically precise conceptual framework and theory for analyzing social systems and social life in general. It aims to study basic social notions such as we-attitudes (e.g joint intentions, mutual beliefs) and joint action as well as group action, social norms and norm-based actitivities. Currently the main focus on this ongoing research is on notions such as cooperation, social practices, social groups, institutions, cooperation, and trust. A central distinction is that between individualism (in my theorizing “I-mode”) and collectivism (“we-mode”), which represent different modes in which social mental states and actions can be had or performed.

Today the terms collective intentionality and also social ontology are apt to describe much of it. In 1999 I started a series of biennial collective intentionality conferences that have been held in various places in Europe and the U.S. There is also a new Springer book series on Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality that I am editing.


Books in English:

Theoretical Concepts. Library of Exact Philosophy 10 , Springer-Verlag, Wien and New York, 1973, 254 pp.

Theoretical Concepts and Hypothetico-Inductive Inference (together with Ilkka Niiniluoto). Synthese Library, D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht and Boston, 1973, 262 pp.

Human Action and Its Explanation: A Study on the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology. Synthese Library, D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht and Boston, 1977, 426 pp.

A Theory of Social Action. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Boston, and Lancaster, 1984, 534 pp.

Science, Action, and Reality. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Boston, and Lancaster, 1985, 274 pp.

The Importance of Us: A Philosophical Study of Basic Social Notions, Stanford Series in Philosophy, Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif., 1995, 470 pp.

Cooperation: A Philosophical Study, Philosophical Studies Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000, 431 pp.

The Philosophy of Social Practices: A Collective Acceptance View, Cambridge University Press, 2002, 274 pp.

The Philosophy of Sociality: The Shared Point of View, Oxford University Press, 2007. Paperback edition 2010.

For published papers, see Curriculum vitae.

Papers for browsing and downloading

Curriculum vitae

Mail Address:
Department of Political and Economic Studies
P.O.Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40A)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
+358-9-191 29273


raimo.tuomela at helsinki.finospam

Page last updated: Jan 19, 2011.