Heikki J. Koskinen

Heikki J. Koskinen

PhD, Docent of Theoretical Philosophy

  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)




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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

The overall aim of my research is to contribute to the understanding of the concepts and phenomena of recognition. My research is primarily based on contemporary discussions of recognition theory initiated in the early 1990s by Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth. Their ideas have been further analysed and developed e.g. by Heikki Ikäheimo and Arto Laitinen, whose work I also explicitly utilise in my own. One of my specific thematic focuses is on the trilateral notion of mediated recognition. This is understood as a method in which disagreeing parties nevertheless agree about a third party such as a referee, a set of common rules, or a shared form of rationality. Other research topics include the notion of antecedent recognition, the role of reason and rationality in recognition-relations, the notion of social pathology, and the (mis)use of metaphysical power in recognition-relations within religious groups and institutions.

The produced analyses can be used as conceptual tools for interpreting and understanding social and political realities as well as textual materials, both historical and contemporary. Philosophical analysis of contemporary recognition theory has societal relevance also through its close connections with the pressingly relevant topics of multiculturalism and identity politics.

My previous research interests have included the nature of philosophical knowledge, philosophical naturalism, ontology, analytic metaphysics, and philosophy of mind.

A link to my personal research blog can be found here: Reason and Recognition.

My teaching has mainly focused on contemporary recognition theory, philosophy of science, ontology, and analytic metaphysics.

Education information

I received my doctoral degree in theoretical philosophy at the University of Helsinki, where I also studied cognitive science. I have held research and teaching positions at the University of Helsinki, Academy of Finland, and University of Tampere.

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • recognition
  • contemporary recognition theory
  • philosophical naturalism
  • ontology
  • analytical metaphysics