Master’s studies

Syllabus for Scientific Theory for Social Scientists

Vetenskapsteori för samhällsvetare

Syllabus

Decisions and guidelines

This course is a compulsory skill course within the Master Programme in the Social Sciences.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should:


  • be able to discuss and account for epistemological problems in relation to social scientific concept formation and methodology.

  • be able to describe generally the development of ideas in the philosophy of the social sciences.

  • be able to carry out a critical analysis of the theoretical foundations within different areas of the social sciences.

Content

The course aims to give a basic orientation in epistemology and the philosophy of science. The lectures will provide a deeper understanding of epistemological issues and problems that are fundamental for modern social scientific concept formation and construction of methods. On the basis of this understanding, the aim of the course is to give the students the prerequisites to be able to discuss and communicate between different subjects and scientific traditions.

Seminars deal with classical and contermporary original texts from different theoretical traditions, such as positivism, critical rationalism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, post structuralism, feminism and social constructivism. With this background, the students should be able to systematically reflect on their own research fields in a larger philosophical, historical and theoretical context. On the basis of these texts different issues are discussed: What is a scientific fact? What is meant by concepts such as knowledge and objectivity? What is the relationship between science and values in the social sciences? What does the possible distinctive character of the social sciences consist of?

Instruction

The teaching can consist of lectures, lessons, group exercises and seminars.

Assessment

The course is examined through written assignments and active seminar participation. Ranked grades are given for the course.

Reading list

Reading lists

Applies from: week 32, 2016

  • Butler, Judith Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire

    Part of:

    Butler, Judith Gender trouble [Elektronisk resurs] : feminism and the subversion of identity

    New York: Routledge, 1999.

    http://libris.kb.se/bib/10249958

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Chalmers, Alan F. What is this thing called science?

    4. ed.: Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill Education, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Daston, Lorraine; Galison, Peter The Image of Objectivity

    Part of:

    Representations [Elektronisk resurs].

    Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/2928741?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    (1992) nr. 40

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Descartes, René; Moriarty, Mike. Meditations on first philosophy [Elektronisk resurs] : with selections from the Objections and replies

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Durkheim, ©œmile; Lukes, Steven.; Halls, W. D. The rules of sociological method : and selected texts on sociology and its method

    Free Press trade paperback ed.: New York: Free Press, 2014.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich; Arthur, C. J. The German ideology. [Elektronisk resurs] : Part one

    London: Electric Book Co., c2001.

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Schuetz, Alfred Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action

    Part of:

    Philosophy and phenomenological research : a quarterly journal

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/2104013

    vol. 14 (1953) nr. 1

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Taylor, Charles Interpretation and the Sciences of Man

    Part of:

    Review of Metaphysics [Elektronisk resurs]

    Philosophy Education Society,

    vol. 25 (1971) nr. 1 s. 3-51

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

Plus readings in compendium assigned by instructor.