Curriculum vitae

Basics: Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Nov.1., 1950. Studied philosophy and social science in Zagreb University, and at the University of Chicago (1969/70), graduated 1972, Zagreb. Post-graduate studies at the University of Paris-X (Nanterre) with Paul Ricoeur. DES en philospophie from Universite de Paris X. Doctorate on "Theories of communication intention-Austin, Grice, Strawson" 1981. University of Ljubljana.

After a semester at the University of Rijeka, taught philosophy at the Philosophy department in Zadar, Croatia, from 1975 to 1993. Presently full professor of philosophy at Philosophy department of the University of Maribor, Slovenia and recurrent visiting professor at

Central European University, Budapest.

Longer biographical note: In spite of having studied one year as an undergraduate in Chicago, I have started my academic career working on hermeneutics and post-structuralism. Using my stay in Paris, I was auditing seminars of Foucault, Deleuze and Derrida, and as a result published at the end of seventies two books in my mother tongue on post-structuralism, one of which was the first book on the subject in Croatian-Serbian.

I have come to analytic philosophy during my second longer stay in Paris, in 1978, and have been working in this tradition since, with the focus first in philosophy of language and action, and later in philosophy of mind and epistemology. I have worked rather hard on introducing recent analytic philosophy into my country (especially given that the intellectual scene in Croatia was rather inimical to analytic philosophy). In that period I have published several books in philosophy of language, of action and of mind combining introductory material with my own, more advanced work, and have edited a series of books (mostly in collaboration with my former students) anthologizing the translations of classic papers in analytic tradition.

In the year 1993. I was forced to leave my home university in Zadar, due to political nationalistic pressures. Colleagues from neighboring countries have offered me visiting teaching opportunities. I was teaching short courses in Graz and Klagenfurt (Austria), in German, and a short course in naturalistic epistemology in Trieste (in Italian). Then I was invited to Maribor, Slovenia, to help create the Department of philosophy. In the mid-nineties I spent several months as a visiting lecturer in Geneva, as the guest of Phil. dept. and its head, K. Mulligan, and become a regular visitor and external member of CREA (Centre de recherche d’epistemologie applique), Paris. In 1998. I was invited to Budapest, Central European University, to chair a one-year philosophy program, which lead to the creation of a Philosophy department, where I become a "recurrent visiting professor" a year later. In my home country, Croatia, I have been active with the fledgling philosophy department in Rijeka, now the only analytic department in the country.

Immediately before the war in the former Yugoslavia, I become interested in the topic of nationalism, first purely politically, and very soon afterwards as a topic in political philosophy. It started with writing a column in an opposition daily, which I still do, twice a month (only that after the death of Tudjman, and political changes in Croatia, the paper is not so oppositional any more). But then, my interest also developed in the theoretical direction. Canada is particularly interesting for me, given "le fait du Quebec", and the immigrant multiculturalism.

Areas of interest

Philosophy of mind and of psychology, epistemology (in particular intuitions, a priori knowledge and naturalistic epistemology) , political philosophy-nationalism and cosmopolitanism.

I have thought introductory courses in logic, and a lot of history of philosophy (some ancient, modern, quite o lot of courses in contemporary philosophy, introductory courses for students of psychology interested in cognitive issues in philosophy).


Knowledge of languages

mother tongue Croatian


active: English, French, German, Italian, Slovenian

passive: Russian, Bulgarian, Spanish

some knowledge of Latin and (Ancient) Greek

Functions in professional societies, membership in editorial boards

Before the war in Yugoslavia, in one mandate president of the Croatian philosophical society1985., founder and since 1987. president of the Union of philosophical societies of Yugoslavia.

Member of the Steering Committee of European Society of Analytic Philosophy from 1993 until now.

From 1996 until 1999 president of European Society for Analytic Philosophy.

Active member of French cultural society "Transeuropeennes".

Member of the editorial board of International studies in the Philosophy of Science (Oxford), Acta Analytica (Dettelsbach, Germany), Analiza (Ljubljana, Slovenia).

Visiting lectureship in Philosophy departments:

University of Trieste, 1993

University of Klagenfurt (Austria) in spring term 1994.

Universite de Geneve in 1996.


Books in English


2000. Rationality and Cognition, University of Toronto Press.

2001. Nationalism and Beyond, Central European University Press, Budapest and New York (a translation into French is under way for Odille Jacob publisher, Paris).

submitted: Intuitions: a naturalistic approach (under consideration in Kluwer)


2000. Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, Chicago : Open Court

Books in Croatian and Slovenian (published in former Yugoslavia before the war):

1. Marksizam i post-strukturalisticka kretanja (Marxism and post-structuralism), Rijeka, 1975

2. Govor drugoga (The discourse of the Other), Belgrade, 1977.

3. Bijeli sum (White noise), Rijeka, 1978.

4. Jezik kot dejavnost (Language as activity), Ljubljana, 1983.

5. Radnja i objašnjenje (Action and explanation) Zagreb, 1988. - 268

6. Uvod u filozofiju psihologije (Introduction to philosophy of psychology), Zagreb, 1990.

A co-authored introductory book recently published in Slovenian

Fizično in psihično : uvod v filozofijo psihologije / The physical and the mental: introducing philosophy of psychology) in colaboration with (a former student Olga Markič) ; Šentilj : Aristej, 1998.

Co edited books in Croatian and Slovenian

1. Plastički znak : zbornik tekstova iz teorije vizualnih umjetnosti / The visual sign: anthology of papers in aesthetics of visual arts) edited together with Milan Zinaić. Rijeka : Izdavački centar, 1982.
2. Kontekst i značenje /Context and meaning classics of theory of meaning, with Matjaž Potrč. - Rijeka : Izdavački centar Rijeka, 1987.

3. Namjera i čin : zbornik tekstova iz teorije činjenja (Intention and action, an anthology of action theory /together with Nenad Smokrović. - Rijeka , 1983.

4. Kompjutori, mozak i ljudski um : zbornik tekstova iz teorije umjetne inteligencije / Computers, brain and human mind: anthology of cognitive philosophy and artificial intelligence/ with Nenad Smokrović. - Rijeka : Izdavački centar Rijeka, 1989. -

5. Filozofija psihologije : zbornik tekstova / Philosophy of psychology, with , Snježana Prijić. - Rijeka : Hrvatski kulturni dom, (Analytica Adriatica) 1993. -

Articles in English (in journals and books):


"Two kinds of identity", Radovi FF u Zaddru, Croatia, pp 59-66.

Why is neuropsychology compatible with folk-psychology? Acta Analytica, Dettelsbach, Germany, pp.127-145.


"Functionalism and Intentionality, Recent developments in Epistemology", (in Weingartner and Schurz (eds.) Recent Developments in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science), Pichler Tempsky, Vienna.


"Internalism and intentionality", in Contemporary Yugoslav Philosophy (ed Pavkovic), Kluwer, Boston and Dordrecht.


"Logic and content", Radovi FF u Zadru, Croatia, pp. 21-26.


"Information, theory and observation", Acta Analytica, Dettelsbach, , pp. 121-139.

"Mental models and thought experiments", International studies in the philosophy of science, Oxford, vol. 6., pp. 215-226.


«The instrumental value of truth», Radovi FF u Zadru, Croatia. v. 31.

«Theory and Perception», Zbornik Pedagoškog fakulteta, Rijeka, Croatia.

«The rails of the mind : accessing mathematical reality», Acta analytica. No. 11, pp. 41-57.


"Naturalism and modal reasoning", Grazer Philosophische Studien, Austria v.49, pp.149-174.


"Relativism-pragmatism and the goals of cognition", Pragmatics and Cognition, vol.2, J: Benjamin Publishing, NY, pp. 111-131.

"Connectionism and Epistemic Virtue", Acta Analytica, Dettlebach, v.12, pp.19-37.

"Modes of indication", Consciousness at the Crossroads, Exeter, pp.16-23., 1995.

"Cultural nationalism: towards a typology", Agora (Croatia), v.1,., pp.12-21.

"Imagination and necessity", Grazer Philosophische Studien, (Austria) v.50, 1995, pp. 433-444.

«Cognitive science and eliminativism in metaphysics«, Social sciences and philosophy, Slovenia, v7/. 2 pp.147-157.


Elementary mathematical cognition in phenomenology and in cognitive psychology. in: BAUMGARTNER, Elisabeth (ur.). BAUMGARTNER, Wilhelm (ur.). BORSTNER, Bojan (ed.), POTRČ, Matjaž (ur.), SHAWE-TAYLOR, John (ur.), VALENTINE, Elisabeth (ed.). Handbook of Phenomenology . Dettelbach: Röll, pp. 221-228.,

"Computationalism and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, vol.XCVI, , pp.215-230.

«The skeptic and the hoverfly : (a teleo-computational view of rule-following)» Acta analytica. – Dettelsbach,. 16/17, pp. 171-187.
"Should reason be fragmented", International studies in the philosophy of science, Oxford, vol.10, pp. 23-36.

"Computation, content and cause", Philosophical Studies, v. 82, 1996, pp. 241-263.


"Are Nationalism and Liberalism Compatible?", in Current Issues in Political Philosophy (eds. Koller and Puhl), Holder-Pichler-Tempsky Verlag, Vienna,

"The aposteriority of response-dependence", The Monist, v.81. pp69-84.

«Why Pettit cannot have it both ways?» in : Language, mind and society / ed. Dunja Jutronić - Maribor : Pedagoška fakulteta, pp. 115-122.


Categorial and essentialist intuitions : a naturalist perspective / in Modality (Acta analitica) Dettelbach : Röll, 1998. pp. 21-39.
"The rationalist and the tortoise", Philosophical Studies, v.92, , pp. 175-79.

«Disentangling the pale gray lore» in The Maribor papers in naturalized semantics / ed. Dunja Jutronić. - Maribor : Pedagoška fakulteta, pp. 125-140.

«Close strangers : nationalism, proximity and cosmopolitanism « in Studies in East European thought. - Kluwer Vol. 51, no. 2 pp. 109-125.

"Intuition as a second window", volume The role of empirical and of apriori in epistemology of Southern Journal of Philosophy, Suppl. v. XXXVIII.


«Essentialism : psychological and scientific «/ in Rationalität, Realismus, Revision / edited by Julian Nida-Rümelin. - Berlin ; New York : Walter de Gruyter, pp 557-558.

«How successful is nation-state?» Politička misao.(Croatia) - Vol. 37, no. 5 p. 160-173.

«Is national identity essential for personal identity?» in Nationalism and ethnic conflict / edited by Nenad Miscevic. - Chicago : Open Court, pp.. 239-257.

"Quining the A priori" in Orenstein and Kotatko (eds), Knowledge, Language and Logic, Kluwer.


«Painting the manifest picture « in Acta analytica. Vol. 16, iss. 26 (2001), pp. 75-96.

»Imagined communities and their moral standing : the example of nation « Acta analytica. - Vol. 16, iss. 27 (2001), pp. 109-131. (Translated in Bulgarian and Slovenian)
«Apriority and conceptual kinematics» Croatian journal of philosophy. Vol. 1, no. 1 (2001), pp. 21-48.
»Science, commonsense and philosophy : a defense of continuity (a critique of "network apriorism")» in International studies in the philosophy of science. Oxford, Vol. 15, no. 1 pp. 19-31.
«Nationalism» , entry in Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy web [20 pages.].

in German

«Karl Popper und die Kognitive Wissenschaft» in Rodopi Verlag, Amsterdam, 1988.

in French

"La politique de l’identification emotionelle", Critique, Minuit, Paris, n.625-26, 1999.

"L'a priori intuitionnel : Meinong contre Kant" in La philosophie autrichienne de Bolzano a Musil / édité par Jean-Pierre Cometti et Kevin Mulligan. - Paris : Librarie philosophique J. Vrin, pp. [171]-186.

Comment justifie-t-on le nationalisme? in Les nationalismes / sous la direction de Bernard Baertschi, Kevin Mulligan. - Paris : Presses universitaires de France, 2002. - (Ethique et philosophie morale). – pp. [115]-140.

Recent papers in Croatian and Slovenian (selection)

“Ali sta nacionalizem in liberalizem združljiva?”, Analiza. 1, 3/4 (1997), pp.. 3-12.

"Pojmovne metafore in njihova semantika" Analiza1, . 3/4 (1997), pp. 63-71.

"Uvajanje v intuitivno védenje" in Analiza. v.. 2, 2/3 (1998), pp. 3-15.
"Vpeljava intuicij" in Časopis za kritiko znanosti. v. 26, / 188 (1998), pp. 203-208.

"Stopnjeviti kozmopolitizem" in Analizav. 4, / 2 (2000), pp. 3-18.

"Što je filozofija jezika?" in Metodički ogledi. Vol. 7, no. 1/2 (2000), pp. 61-78.

“Bližnji tujci : nacionalizem, sosedstvo in kozmopolitizem" in Dialogi. v. 34, no 9/10 (1998), pp. 125-135.
"Uvod" in Računala, mozak i ljudski um Rijeka : Izdavački centar Rijeka, 2001. pp.9-42.
”Uvod v spoznavno teorijo”
Analiza. V 3, no. 1 (1999), pp. 3-17.
"Ontologija Pavla Vuk-Pavlovića : Vukova kritika spoznajnoteorijskog polazišta in Filozofska istraživanjav. 19, no. 3 (1999), pp. 445-451.





Presentations from 1985-2001 (selection)

"A critique of K. Lehrer's account of freedom of action", Lehrer Conference, Bad Radkersburg, Austria, 1985.

"Functionalism and intentionality", International Wittgenstein Konference, Kirchberg, Austria, 1986.

"Towards a reliabilist account of action", International philosophy conference, Zadar, 1986.

"Logic and content, Zadar", 1987. (joint conference with Turku, Finland)

"Radical interpretation and naturalist explanation", Donald Davidson conference, Bad Radkersburg, 1988.

"Reliabilism and cognitive psyschology", Dubrovnik, Interuniversity Center (IUC) Philosophy of science (under the direction of J. R. Brown,Toronto) , 1989.

“Meinong and Vuk Pavlović”, Bad Radkesburt, 1990

"Stich on truth", Dubrovnik, Interuniversity Center (IUC) Philosophy of science (under the direction of J. R. Brown,Toronto) ,, 1990.

"Computationalist solution to plus-quus problem", Ljubljana, 1991.

"Mental models and thought experiments"; Dubrovnik, Interuniversity Center (IUC) Philosophy of science (under the direction of J. R. Brown,Toronto) ,1992.

"Cognitive relativism", invited lecture, Phil. dept. Munich, february, 1993.

"The causal efficiency of content", II Congress of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy, Aix-en-Provence, april, 1993

"Connectionism and the aims of cognition", Wittgenstein conference, Kirchberg, 1993.

"Sense and reference in teleosemantics", Karlovy Vary conference on reference, september, 1993.

"Quining the A priori", Quine conference, Karlovy Vary , august, 1995.

"Should reason be fragmented?" Dubrovnik, Interuniversity Center (IUC) Philosophy of science (under the direction of J. R. Brown,Toronto) , 1995.

«Rationality and naturalism» Jezik, duh in družba, Maribor, June, 1995 .
"A critique of Jackson’s network apriorism", Dubrovnik, Interuniversity Center (IUC) Philosophy of science (under the direction of J. R. Brown,Toronto) , 1996.

"Davidson on measurement analogy", Karlovy Vary Davidson conference, 1996.

"Truth as a second-order property", International conference at Bled on Truth, 1996.

"Computationalism and Kripke Wittgenstein Paradox", Meeting of Aristotelian Society, 1996.

"Essentialism: Psychological and Scientific", invited talk at the 3rd. international conference of the (German) Society for Analytic Philosophy, Munchen, 1997.

"Putnam on conceptual truth", Karlovy Vary conference on Putnam, 1997.

"Deep and superficial a priori", International conference at Bled on Epistemology, Slovenia, 1999.

"Intuition as a second window", Spindel conference The role of empirical and of apriori in epistemology, 1999., Memphis

«Naturalism and intuitional knowledge» : paper presented at symposium Philosophy of science, Dubrovnik, Inter-university Centre (IUC), April 1999.

«Phenomenology of intuitions» : paper at the conference "Mental phenomena", Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 1999

«Conceptual knowledge : the new wave apriorism» : paper presented at the conference "Mental phenomena III", Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2000

"A priori knowledge", invited talk at CUNY, oct. 2000.

Invited lectures on conceptual knowledge, Univ. of Connecticut, and University of Maryland 2000.

"Apriority and conceptual dynamics", Bled conference on Philosophycal analysis, 2001.

Series of invited lectures on nationalism at the phil. dept. of University of Memphis, spring 2001



Main points: My main research interests for several years to come are in two areas: epistemology (with some semantics) and political philosophy. The first is my main interest. I have been working on intuitions in general, and have recently turned to conceptual intuitions, and then to concepts. I am primarily interested in a naturalistic approach to these issues. Howeve, my interest involves also historical perspective (featuring prominently Kant and Frege). An important aspect of the work on the conceptual is the problem of the place of conceptual analysis in the methodology od philosophy.

My second interest is in political philosophy, in particular in issues of nationalism, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism.

A topic on which I have published several papers, and on which I intend to work in more distant future are secondary and tertiary qualities, and the way to extend the model of secondary qualities to subjective properties in general.

I have found research interest and atmosphere at Queens very congenial to my projects, with several colleagues working on issues very closely related to my interests.


More detailed info


1. First area of interest: Epistemology of conceptual knowledge,

Here is the short plan of my manuscript of conceptual knowledge on which I am working now:






2. second area of interest: nationalism, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism

Here is the core of a project on the area. The motivation of the work is the defence of a moderate, graded cosmopolitanism. More positively, a cosmopolitan ethical perspective entails the acknowledgment of some notion of common humanity that translates ethically into an ideal of shared or common moral duties toward others by virtue of this humanity.

However, before going into the description of ultimate goals an analysis of alternatives is in order. They can be pictured by the following diagram:
























The first two, civic and ethno-cultural model, will be discussed at length in the project. The third is a model that rests upon the practical necessities of cohabitation of various cultural national groups within a single state and upon the moral value of understanding and toleration. Remember that it is a kind of "interactive multiculturalism" which insists on the open character of particular cultures and actively promulgates interaction between them, as opposed to a closed, cultural-nationalist multiculturalism. It suggest an extension across state boundaries into a moderately cosmopolitan model, which welcomes macro-regional integrations that weaken the role of the state, as well as micro-regional diversity that often crosscuts state-limits. It is the multi-nation enlarged into macro regional arrangements and enriched with a cosmopolitan perspective.

Let me now sketch it briefly and roughly, without trying to defend it, since a proper elaboration and defense would require another book. In it, classical states are seen as only one kind of political organization amongst many, macro-regional, micro-regional and global. These non-statist forms institutionalize forms of political solidarity that go beyond or rest beneath, or simply cross-cut the boundaries of existing states. Second, cultural national criterion of belonging is certainly not the central criterion of political organization. States in the world are typically multi-ethnic, with ethnic belonging most often cutting across state boundaries. For many cultural-national groups this entails the following needs: first, their loyalties and some of their institutions have to be allow to cut across state boundaries, so that second, they have a durable interest in the availability of open borders and durable cooperation between two or more states to which they belong, and third, such an interest can only be satisfied by macro-regional integration of these states, accompanied by micro-regional connections across the state borders. Obviously, in such a perspective cultural national groups should be accorded opportunities to develop their political identities but only to the extent that is compatible with demands of cooperation and stability, as well as with .

One can argue for such a model from the existence of strong pressures exercised by actual political forces in the direction of prevention of (nationalist and racial) conflicts, from the actual plurality and interaction of communities, as well as from actual proximity, geographical, demographic, often cultural (linguistic, historical, and religious) of various groups that typically enter nationalist conflicts. Here is a brief reminder.

It is agreed on all sides that it is crucially important to prevent (nationalist and racial) conflicts. They are always ugly and often extremely inhuman. This is explained by mechanisms of increasing mutual distrust (the Prisoners dilemma) and the spiral of threats and violence that it engenders; once a group has begun a nation building a reactive nationalism of other groups threatened by it becomes avoidable, and even conditionally justifiable. We have argued that only a pluralist cosmopolitan political framework can prevent such conflicts (and we are going to argue a few sections bellow that such a framework should also be culturally cosmopolitan).

The realistic bases for such a framework is provided by the actual plurality and interaction of communities. Actual communities are plural (partially overlapping, in general non-concentric) and in intense mutual interaction. Any kind cultural nationalist monism on the contrary enjoins isolationism. Isolationism is impracticable in given circumstances, and requires unnecessary pressures, use of force, and risks. The best way to secure a durable, stable interaction is by a pluralist cosmopolitan political framework.



I have been teaching philosophy for 25 years, in the first fifteen mostly on undergraduate level, and in the last ten evenly in undergraduate and graduate courses. Working many years in small departments, like the one in Zadar, I have been teaching rather varied courses, from Greek philosophy, to introduction to modal logic or to philosophy of mathematics. In last ten years I have concentrated more and more on more specialized areas, basically epistemology, phil. of mind and selected topics in political philosophy.

My teaching experience has been in some respects rather unlikely to the one in North America, since analytic philosophy has been a minority "sect" in countries in which I taught (including countries like Switzerland and Austria). A senior teacher in these circumstances often has to train almost single-handedly young aspiring philosophers. As a result, a single teacher usually trains almost alone a group of young candidates (like Kevin Mulligan, for instance, did in Geneva, or, a generation before, Stegmuller did in Munich). I have thus raised a group of younger philosophers who now make up the kernel of the only analytic department in Croatia, in Rijeka.

(A lot of training has been done informally, through brown-bag seminars, off-campus discussions and the like, rather than by formal supervision and teaching.)

In last three years I have been busy at Central European University (CEU), helping to recruit and train doctorate students, especially from Hungary and from South East Europe, where I am familiar with situation in each particular university. This has been a rather new experience for me, since the students have already been formed, and in various ways depending from their countries of origin, whereas at home university homogeneity was the rule. The program of CEU is, however, the traditional American analytic one, and teaching is done all in English, providing a unitary mold for all our students, for better or worse. I have found the interaction between East- and Central-European background and the basically American imput a fascinating process, which I still have not become tired of observing. I have also been helping my students from Slovenia and Croatia find their way to the CEU doctorate programs (which are reasonably well-funded, at least given the standards in the region).


Devitt, Michael

E-mail Address(es):

Barry Lower

James R. Brown

Ruth Millikan