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Gabriel Sandu

Born November 6, 1954, Bucharest (Romania)

Master of Arts 1984, PhD 1991, docent in theoretical philosophy 1992, University of Helsinki
Master of Economics 1978, Academy of Economic Sciences (Bucharest)

Professor of theoretical philosophy 1998– and director of studies 2010­–, University of Helsinki
Acting professor 2007–2008, professor 2008–2009, Pantheon-Sorbonne University
Research professor 2004–2007, International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group, the French National Centre for Scientific Research
Director of the Department of Philosophy 2001–2003, University of Helsinki
Member of the departmental council of the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies 2010–, University of Helsinki

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Research themes
The philosophy of language, logic, formal semantics, anaphora, truth theory

Romanian presidential award of merit in the field of culture 2015
Member of the Academia Europaea
Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters
Vice-chairman of the International Institute of Philosophy

Photo: Gabriel Sandu's home archive
Written by Gabriel Sandu (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My Best Moments at the University of Helsinki

The most memorable moments of my student days were the philosophical debates at research seminars with Georg Henrik von Wright, Jaakko Hintikka, Erik Stenius and many other talented individuals. I discovered that a philosophical understanding of matters can be reached by analysing a challenging problem or by questioning the conventional wisdom on basic concepts. It is difficult to describe all that this way of thinking entails, but it is clear when one encounters it. These moments had an enduring impact on me. I still greatly enjoy philosophical and logical argumentation, which is often intense and passionate. Argumentation may also lead to strong dichotomies.

The series of research seminars on theoretical philosophy is still going strong, and I truly enjoy philosophical debates with my colleagues. I receive similar enjoyment from my interaction with students and from training them for the “philosophical game.” This might partly explain why I have written most of my books with co-authors. I will give one example: writing a book on logic and games together with Allen Man and Merlijn Sevenster was a rewarding and unique experience. It was a real challenge to combine the views of a mathematician (Allen), a private sector computer scientist (Merlijn) and a philosopher on logic. I argued a lot, but I also learned a great deal!

Photo by Professor Iryna Khomenko.


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