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Since October 1, 2014, I hold the chair of Rhetoric at the Department of Literature, Uppsala University. I am a member of the editorial board of Glänta and of the board of the Swedish Ernst Cassirer Society.
Please also visit Mats Rosengren's external homepage
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My main interests lie in the fields of theory and history of rhetoric, epistemology and theory of science, French philosophy, cave art and artistic research. I have written on Plato, Montaigne, Chaim Perelman, Cornelius Castoriadis, Ernst Cassirer and Gilles Deleuze.
My latest major work is a study focusing on the discovery of paleolithic cave art and the development of the discipline cave ‘art studies’, seen from a doxological perspective: Cave Art, Perception and Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). For the moment I am working on a book on Cornelius Castoriadis’ philosophy.
I am also a translator, mainly of French philosophy, and an editor, most notably of the now completed Logos/Pathos series at Glänta Produktion.
I am currently working on broad project, adressing issues related to what I call social meaning. This project currently includes two books, one in Swedish tracing the construction, meaning and political and epistemic use of the social imaginary signification prehistory; one in English dealing with Ernst Cassirer and Cornelius Castoriadis as theoricians of social meaning.
I am also, together with Alexander Stagnell and Louise Therkildsen, editing the volume/publication that will be the documentation of the workshop Can a person be illegal? that took place in Uppsala May 19-21. We are yet in the very early stages of this work, and we have yet to decide upon which platform/platforms we will use.
Apart from my regular work (arranging and attending seminars, supervision, teaching, and going to a plethora of meetings in Uppsala), this spring I will be giving a couple of invited talks, do some on-site research and partake in a grading committee:
- On Mars 24, I will give the plenary lecture at the Marie Curie Alumni association’s yearly gathering in Salamanca, Spain.
- Mars 25 – 2 April, I will visit the Paleolithic art-sites in the Coa Valley in Portugal, preparing a new chapter for my book Cave Art, Perception and Knowledge that is currently being translated into French
- 18 April – 7 May, I will be working in Paris, writing and giving two seminars (20 April and 27 April) on my research at College de France.
- 2 June, I will partake in the grading committee at Fredrik Torissons PHD-defence Department of Architecture, Lund University.
Doxology – a rhetorical approach to epistemology
Since 2002 I have been working on developing an ‘other’ take on epistemology. I have chosen to call his epistemic stance doxological in order to emphasise that all knowledge is doxic knowledge, thus turning the seminal Platonic distinction between doxa (beliefs, opinions) and episteme (objective, eternal knowledge) upside down.
Protagoras dictum advocating man as the measure of all things is, perhaps, the most poignant expression of a doxological position, stating explicitly that no apprehension escapes the human-related conditions of knowledge alluded to in Protagoras’s fragment. Departing from the pivotal question “What would a Protagorean position imply for epistemology today?”, I develop a critique of the purely discursive notion of knowledge, still central in Anglo-Saxon epistemology. I emphasize the fact that our knowledge is always embodied, in ourselves as biological beings as well as formulated and/or preserved in some language, institution or ritual; practiced and upheld by one or many individuals, always in one historical moment or other and within the admittedly diffuse framework of an ever changing but still specific social situation. Doxology is not a relativism abandoning all claims to objectivity or science – far from it – but an attempt, in the wake of the serious and fundamental criticisms of the late 20th century, to readdress and reconsider what knowledge, science and objectivity could be today. Nor is doxology a teaching about apparent or illusory knowledge, but about situated, variable and interested knowledge. In short it is a teaching about how we actually do create the knowledge that we need – in science as well as in life. In my publications on doxology I have tried to formulate and develop a concept of knowledge taking heed of all these factors. First introduced in 2002, this concept, doxology, has now become wildly used within the social and human sciences in Scandinavia.
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