Philosophy of Social Science

The course is divided into two separate parts: a regular course and a final workshop (see below)

The course provides a platform for the reflection on certain central issues in contemporary  philosophy of social science. The focus is on epistemology, ontology, conceptions of human being, conceptualisation, normativity and other philosophical issues related to the divergent approaches treated. Central areas, themes and approaches treated are hermeneutics and interpretative social science, the problem of social structure, critical realism, feminist standpoint theory and critical theory. The course focuses less on the actual methodological issues of the social sciences and more on the general philosophical landscape of contemporary thought.

The course consists of lectures, textual seminars and discussion. The main bulk of the actual work consists of a set of text to read and discuss in the group, and explanatory lectures related to the themes that comes up in the texts. The students own activity in this is obviously important.

To get the study points the student is expected to read the texts, participate in the lectures and discussions and either

– to write a short summary (1-2 pages/text),or

– lecture diary, of the main points of each text (also 1-2 pages/text), or

– an essay connecting the issues discussed in and through the texts with your own research project for a doctoral thesis (roughly 8-12 pages)


Teacher (regular course): University lecturer Kristian Klockars

In addition the final workshop deals with the various methodological challenges and possibilities involved in interdisciplinary research. See the separate link.

Teacher (workshop): Professor Jussi Pakkasvirta