Tuomas E. Tahko


    Research areas

  • 611 Philosophy - Metaphysics, Epistemology, Modality, Realism, Natural Kinds, Essentialism, Metametaphysics, A Priori Knowledge, Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Logic, Philosophy of Mind, Philosopical Methodology, Metaphilosophy

Description of research and teaching

Contemporary Aristotelian MetaphysicsMy primary area of specialization is contemporary analytic metaphysics with an emphasis on methodological issues, but I have broad interests in epistemology, philosophical logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy (Aristotle). I have published on topics such as the metaphysics and epistemology of modality, natural kinds, laws of nature, fundamentality, grounding, counterfactuals, a priori and a posteriori knowledge, law of non-contradiction, logical truth, vagueness, composition, truthmaking, and Aristotelian metaphysics. My latest effort has been to develop a novel account of natural kind essentialism, arguing for a sparse view of natural kinds with an emphasis on microstructuralism. This view has recently received ample criticism, but it is also commonly misconstrued. I plan to develop this work especially with regard to implications towards scientific realism, which are a central theme in my two on-going Academy of Finland research projects, Essential Knowledge: The Metaphysical Basis of Scientific Realism and The Epistemology of Metaphysics: From Rationalism to Nominalism. I am currently working on a research monograph on this theme.


My publications include articles in journals such as Mind, The Philosophical QuarterlyErkenntnis, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, and Thought as well as in multiple collections of papers. I am the editor of Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics (Cambridge, 2012) and the author of the Cambridge Introduction to Metametaphysics (Cambridge, 2015).


I enjoy teaching and have experience teaching courses on contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophical logic, and philosophical methodology. However, I am also keen to teach in other areas, such as philosophy of science and themes in the history of philosophy. My teaching experience ranges from one-on-one tutorials to lectures with audiences of up to 150 and I am equally comfortable with both. I have developed graduate-level courses in metaphysics and its methodology and have especially good experiences with reading seminars as they give students the opportunity to engage with primary sources while having both their peers and a professor available to assist them.


I have supervised a number of undergraduate projects on a variety of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical logic. I have also participated in the supervision of a PhD thesis on the metaphysics of modality. Currently, I am supervising an MA thesis on ontological categories and am due to supervise a PhD thesis on modal epistemology within the remits of my Academy of Finland project – I also supervise two Postdoctoral Researchers in the project. I am available to supervise both MA and PhD theses in areas related to my research. I consider thesis supervision a learning opportunity for both the student and the supervisor, so I find it fruitful to fully dedicate to supervision tasks.


For further information see my personal website, PhilPapers profile, and Academia.edu page.

Education information

Durham University
Ph.D. in Philosophy 2005 - 08
Dissertation: "The Necessity of Metaphysics"
Advisor: E. J. Lowe

University of Helsinki
M.A., B.A. in Theoretical Philosophy 2002 - 05
Further information on the affiliationUniversity Lecturer, Academy Research Fellow, Docent in Theoretical Philosophy

Curriculum Vitae

Highlighted publications

  1. The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View

    Tahko, T. E. Jul 2015 In : Philosophical Quarterly. 65, 260, p. 509-528 10 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  2. Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited

    Tahko, T. E. Jul 2015 In : Mind. 124, 495, p. 795-822 28 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  3. Introduction to Metametaphysics

    Tahko, T. E. 12 Nov 2015 Cambridge University Press. 268 p. (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

  4. Empirically-Informed Modal Rationalism

    Tahko, T. E. 2017 Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Fischer, R. W. & Leon, F. (eds.). Springer, p. 29-45 17 p. (Synthese Library)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyA3 Contribution to book/other compilations (refereed)

  5. Minimal Truthmakers

    O'Conaill, D. & Tahko, T. E. 1 Jun 2016 In : Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. 97, 2, p. 228-244 17 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  6. Boring Infinite Descent

    Tahko, T. E. 2014 In : Metaphilosophy. 45, 2, p. 257-269 13 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  7. Truth-Grounding and Transitivity

    Tahko, T. E. Dec 2013 In : Thought: A Journal of Philosophy. 2, 4, p. 332-340 9 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  8. Soames's Deflationism About Modality

    Tahko, T. E. Dec 2013 In : Erkenntnis. 78, 6, p. 1367-1379 13 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  9. Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics

    Tahko, T. 2012 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 276 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyC2 Edited book, compilation, conference proceeding or special issue of journal

View all (43) »

Highlighted activities

  1. Dynamis: The Finnish Network for Metaphysics (External organisation)

    Tahko, T. E. (Board member)
    21 Dec 2012 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership or other role in public Finnish or international organization

  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Tahko, T. E. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Jan 201229 Jun 2012

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  3. Department of Philosophy, New York University

    Tahko, T. E. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Mar 201130 May 2011

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

View all (79) »

Latest prizes

  1. PhD Grant

    Tuomas E. Tahko (Recipient), 2005

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  2. Postgraduate Teaching Award

    Tuomas E. Tahko (Recipient), 2007

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  3. PhD Grant

    Tuomas E. Tahko (Recipient), 2007

    Prize: Prizes and awards

View all (5) »

Latest projects

  1. The Epistemology of Metaphysics: From Rationalism to Nominalism

    Tahko, T. E., Keinänen, M., O'Conaill, D. & Mattila, S.

    Academy of Finland


    Project: Research project

  2. Essential Knowledge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Scientific Realism

    Tahko, T. E.



    Project: Research project

View all (3) »



ID: 11472372