Our four methods

Conceptual analysis, literature reviews, reflective equilibrium and case studies.

1. In order to ensure that the project is firmly embedded in the literature and will provide truly novel contributions, each subproject starts with a thorough literature review stage of the relevant writings in fundamentalism studies. This is a broad field that comprises work from various academic disciplines, such as law, criminology, theology, religious studies, psychology, history, psychiatry, and philosophy (in particular epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of law).

2. Conceptual analysis: Conceptual analysis consists in breaking down concepts into their constituent parts, scrutinizing the relations between these various parts, and exploring the relations between the concept and closely related concepts. This requires giving definitions, identifying and defending necessary and sufficient conditions, semantic analysis, deductive reasoning, and informal logic. These are informed by common sense, basic intuitions, and careful evaluation of thought experiments.

For more on conceptual analysis, see Chris Daly, Introduction to Philosophical Methods (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2010).

3. The method of reflective equilibrium is often used nowadays in normative philosophy, especially ethics. It consists in working back and forth among our considered judgments about particular scenarios, the general rules that govern them, and the values we take to bear on those judgments and principles, revising each of these elements until we have reached an acceptable coherence among them.

For more on reflective equilibrium, see, for instance, Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler, John Hawthorne, eds.,The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

4. Each subproject will test the idea that it develops by applying them to case studies, using a normative theoretical analysis.

For more on normative-theoretical analysis, see Hans Radder, In and About the World: Philosophical Studies of Science and Technology (Albany, NY: SUNY Press ,1996).