7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5FT195

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Theoretical Philosophy A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 29 February 2024
Responsible department
Department of Philosophy

Entry requirements

120 credits, including 60 credits in philosophy, aesthetics, musicology, literature or art history. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • clearly describe and compare relevant theories of convention
  • assess these theories and describe important objections
  • make original contributions to the philosophical discussion about conventions and their role in philosophical theorizing.


Our lives are governed by innumerable conventions. Conventions help to determine how languages are spoken, how the law is enforced, and how the scientific project is carried out-to give just a few examples. But what are conventions? And how do they differ from mere regularities? Moreover, philosophical theories often appeal to conventions to solve puzzles and explain important phenomena. Some say that conventions can explain what is right, rational, and beautiful. Others say that they can explain what is true, what exists, and what follows from what. The goal of this course is to arrive at a better understanding of conventions, with the aim of assessing whether these sorts of conventionalist theories can succeed.


Lectures and discussion seminars. The lecture-style will be thoroughly interactive. Students are expected to participate and contribute.


Assessment will be based on three short writing assignments and a final take-home exam. The short writing assignments will be 600 words and will be graded Fail/Pass. The final take-home exam will be a long essay of 4000 words and will be graded Fail/Pass/Pass with distinction. In order to receive a passing grade for the course, students must receive a passing grade on all assignments. In order to pass the course with distinction, students must in addition receive a passing grade with distinction on the final paper.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.