Philosophy Home Site
My name is Ingvar Johansson, and I am since March 2008 professor emeritus in theoretical philosophy at Umeå University, Sweden. I was born 1943 in a small village called Vegby. It is situated about 100 km east of Gothenburg (on the west coast), in which city I began my university studies in 1964. At the University of Gothenburg I took my B.A. (filosofie kandidat) 1966, my M.A. (filosofie licentiat) 1969, and my Ph.D. 1973; and there I was appointed "Docent" in theoretical philosophy 1974. I am now living in Lund. When I became 70 I was honoured by a Festschrift, Johanssonian Investigations (ontos-verlag, 2013).
In my M.A.-dissertation I discussed problems within the philosophy of perception, but my Ph.D.-dissertation, A Critique of Karl Popper's Methodology (Scandinavian University Press 1975), was primarily concerned with philosophy of science. The paper Ceteris paribus Clauses, Closure Clauses and Falsifiability is an improvement of my original criticism of Popper's falsifiability thesis (see the link at 3. Philosophy of Physics, below).
After I had got my Ph.D., I spent some years teaching and writing philosophy at Lund University (the southernmost university in Sweden). In 1978 I moved to Umeå and its university (the northernmost one), where I had got a position as an associate professor in philosophy of science; in 1999 I was appointed professor in theoretical philosophy.
Looking retrospectively, my philosophical interests centre on ontological problems. In the book Ontological Investigations. An Inquiry into the Categories of Nature, Man and Society (Routledge 1989) I make an attempt to find and present a modernised realist Aristotelian theory of categories. Since I am a fallibilist within epistemology, I regard my "Kategorienlehre" as provisional. However, I think that it is possible to combine a traditional scientistic view of mind-independent nature with an anti-naturalistic view of man, that direct realism is true, and that both traditional individualistic and holistic conceptions of society suffer from indefensible philosophical flaws. I have later on elaborated in more detail some of the views put forward in the book (see the papers at 1. Basic Ontology, 2. The Ontology of Social Reality, and 10. Philosophy of Functions, below).
During the 1990s I spent much time on problems in philosophical anthropology and ethics. At the end of 1994 I delivered a monograph called Is Ought ? to The Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It is concerned with the problem whether norms, values, and virtues ("Oughts") can be derived from factual statements ("Is"). I have later on elaborated in more detail - and published - some of the views put forward in the manuscript (see the online version of the manuscript and the papers at 4. Ethics, below).
I have given lectures at other philosophy departments both within and outside Sweden, and I have written articles on many different philosophical topics in both Swedish and international journals. I have written the first part, Anglo-Saxon Philosophy of Science, of the introductory Swedish book Positivism och Marxism (1st ed. 1972; revised 1981 and 1987; 4th ed., Daidalos 1993; the author of the second part is Sven-Eric Liedman, professor in the History of Ideas). During the 90s I wrote together with Niels Lynöe (G.P. and Ph.D.) two versions of a Swedish and Danish introductory philosophy book for medical students, Medicin och Filosofi. En introduktion. It is now superseded by a more or less completely new such book Medicine & Philosophy. A Twenty-First Century Introduction (ontos-verlag, 2008); this is now made part of Ontos Open and can be "bought" for 0 euro via the link given.
Those who are seriously interested in A Critique of Karl Popper's Methodology, and like traditional books, can contact me for such a copy (see e-mail address at the end of this page). Otherwise it can be "bought" for 0 euro at Ontos Open. Ontological Investigations has appeared in a second enlarged edition (ontos-verlag, 2004). Once, I amused myself with making a Wittgensteinian Tractatus-like exposition of a lot of the views argued for in the book; these aphorisms are linked here: Tractate on Reality (1986)
As part of a research project in Umeå, "Medvetande, Materialism och Möjlighet" ("Mind, Materiallism, and Modality") I have worked on supervenience. The result is linked to section 9, Supervenience, below. Some papers (especially in section 4, Ethics) are part of an Umeå project in "Philosophical Anthropology".
From July 2002 until the end of February 2008, I was mainly working at The Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS). This institute was founded in April 2002 as part of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Leipzig, but since September 2004 it belongs to Saarland University (Saarbrücken). It has so far comprehended an interdisciplinary research group, with members from Philosophy, Medicine, Medical Informatics and other disciplines, devoted to theoretically grounded research in both formal and applied ontology. Its goal was to develop a formal ontology that will be applied and tested in the domain of medical information science (IFOMIS). All the papers linked under sections 0 and 10 below, as well as some in sections 1, 2, and 3, are IFOMIS work.