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last updated on 13/01/2015
Director: Philippe Sabot
Deputy Director: Natalia Grabar
STL (Sciences, Texts, Language), otherwise known as joint research unit UMR 8163, was formed in January 2006 from three existing structures : the « savoirs et texts » research unit, the SILEX research unit and the Eric Weil research centre. The resulting interdisciplinary research team includes linguists, philologists, philosophers and historians of science.
Merging the Eric Weil research centre and the “savoirs et textes” unit strengthened research capability on areas already treated jointly, particularly hermeneutics and the examination of fundamental issues in contemporary philosophy. Research in the fields of ethics and political philosophy has reinforced the analysis of the philosophical practices and enabled them to diversify, looking at issues concerning the relationship between ethics, law and society, as well as examining aesthetics and the relationship between philosophy and literature.
Joining forces with the linguists of the SILEX unit was not, of course, intended to blend issues which have their own separate traditions and approaches, but rather to exploit the opportunities opened up within this new research and discussion community, which brings face to face different paradigms of analysis of the forms of rationality and the construction of meaning.
The question of meaning and its relationship to form is naturally central to the issues explored by the three teams, thus acting as the unifying factor. The linguist looks at the meaning of words, phrases and sequences of phrases. The philologist, the philosopher and the historian of science, for the purposes of their analysis, need a definition of how utterances “make sense”. A joint project already underway should clarify the current debate over the conditions of signification and test the existing theories against concrete analysis of texts, documents and instruments.
STL thus offers a collaborative set-up rarely found in France, where research is often compartmentalized by period, discipline or language. Work at STL is clustered around four major poles, in turn divided into research areas.
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