Olli (Olof) Lagerspetz

Erik Allardt Fellow, SCAS.
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University

Olli Lagerspetz studied philosophy and sociology at Åbo, doing part of his doctoral studies at the Uni-
versity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Between 1992 and 1998 he was Lecturer in Philosophy at the
University of Wales Swansea. He holds the position of docent (adjunct professor) in History of Ideas
at the University of Oulu. Lagerspetz was elected a Fellow of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters
in 2013.

Lagerspetz has written extensively on the philosophy of the human sciences, philosophical anthropology
and the history of social anthropology, often with reference to Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Winch or
Edward Westermarck. His recently published books include Edward Westermarck: Intellectual Networks,
Philosophy and Social Anthropology
(with Kirsti Suolinna; the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters,
2014); Trust, Ethics and Human Reason (Bloomsbury, 2015); and A Philosophy of Dirt (Reaktion Books,
2018). Lagerspetz has edited the volume Evolution, Human Behaviour and Morality: The Legacy of
Westermarck
(with Jan Antfolk, Ylva Gustafsson and Camilla Kronqvist; Routledge, 2017).

Between 2009 and 2011 Lagerspetz was the head of two multidisciplinary research projects: the Finnish
Academy project ‘Emotions in Dialogue: Perspectives from the Humanities’and the Kone Foundation
project ‘Westermarck and Beyond: Evolutionary Approaches to Morality and Their Critics’.

Lagerspetz is currently working on a comparison between the philosophical approaches of R. G. Colling-
wood and Peter Winch, especially on issues concerning linguistic idealism and relativism. The focus of his
research at SCAS will be on Winch, particularly his take on the nature of philosophical concept formation.
The common thread that runs through the works of both thinkers concerns the historical embeddedness
of human knowledge and understanding.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2018-19.