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DSP102_2

PhD Course in Philosophy of Science

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.


Learning outcome

Knowledge
The student will gain knowledge of:
  • The philosophical foundations for different theoretical research approaches in the social sciences and the humanities.


Skills
By the end of the course, the student will be able to:
  • Use conceptual and theoretical tools in her/his own argumentation.
  • Facilitate critical reflection and argumentation upon presuppositions that may easily be taken for granted in their own research tradition, or in science as a whole.


General competence
By the end of the course, the student will be able to:
  • Demonstrate competence in analytical discussion and well-structured academic argumentation.
  • Relate discipline-specific topics to the foundational debate within the disciplines.
  • Relate discipline-specific topics to general reflections and concepts (like the ones discussed in the seminars) of philosophy of science.

Contents

The course will give a broad orientation on central issues in the philosophy of science related to the social sciences and the humanities (‘the human sciences’). Topics include:
  • Objectivity in the human sciences.
  • The role of values in the human sciences.
  • Understanding (interpretation) versus explanation.
  • Holism versus methodological individualism.

Required prerequisite knowledge

None.

Exam

Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper1/1 Pass - Fail
  • Evaluation will be based on one individual paper (4000 words (+/- 10%)) on a self-chosen topic approved by the instructor.
  • The paper must be written in English or in a Scandinavian language.
  • The paper must be submitted within six weeks after the topic has been approved.
  • The paper is evaluated pass/fail.

Coursework requirements

Coursework requirements
  • One presentation.
  • Active participation in lectures and seminars.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Ståle Gundersen
Course coordinator
Ståle Gundersen

Method of work

The course will be held as five seminars.
A detailed timetable will be sent to the course participants at the beginning of the course-semester.

Open to

PhD candidates enrolled in PhD programmes at the University of Stavanger and at cooperating research institutions may participate in the course.

Course assessment

The course participants are encouraged to contribute to the course evaluation. An evaluation form will be made available to the candidates after the papers are handed in.

Literature

Textbook
Cartwright & E. Montuschi (Eds.) Philosophy of Social Science: A New Introduction. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. (Chapter 1-4, 6-9 and 12-15).

Articles
Bryman, A. (1984). The debate about qualitative and qualitative research: a question of
method or epistemology? The British Journal of Sociology 35 (1): 75-92.
Douven, I. Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation. In Kaldis, B. (Ed.)
Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publications.
Elster, J. (1989). Mechanism. In Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fay, B. (1996). Must We Assume Others Are Rational? In Contemporary Philosophy of
Social Science: A Multicultural Approach. London: Blackwell Publishing.
Fay, B. (1996). Must We Comprehend Others in Their Own Terms? In Contemporary
Philosophy of Social Science: A Multicultural Approach. London: Blackwell
Publishing.
Gorton, W.A. (2010). The Philosophy of Social Science. Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. http://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-sci/
Hacking, I. (2003). What is Social Construction? The Teenage Pregnancy Example. In G.
Delanty & P. Strydom (eds.) Philosophies of Social Science: The Classics and
Contemporary Readings. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
Searle, J.R. (1995). The Building Blocks of Social Reality. In The Construction of Social
Reality. London: Penguin Books Ltd. (pp. 1-13 & 23-29).
Wiggins, O.P. & Schwartz, M.A. (1991). Is There a Science of Meaning? Integrative
Psychiatry, 7 (1): 48-53.
Williamson, J. & McKay, P.I. (2013). Causation, Philosophical Views of. In Kaldis, B. (Ed.)
Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publications.
Zahle, J. (2016). Methodological Holism in the Social Sciences. The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/holism-social/

The list may be subject to minor revisions.


This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 11.11.2019

History