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


Learning outcome

Knowledge
After completing the course, students should:
  • Have advanced knowledge of central issues in the philosophy of social science.
  • Have advanced knowledge of major approaches to the relevant issues.
  • Have advanced knowledge of the relevance of the philosophy of social science for social scientific research.

Skills
After completing the course, students should:
  • Be able to be able to formulate new research questions within the philosophy of social science.
  • Be able to conduct research in the philosophy of social science at an international level.
  • Be able to apply concepts and theories within the philosophy of social science to social scientific research in fruitful ways.

General competence
After completing the course, students should:
  • Be able to communicate the results of research in the philosophy of social science through recognized national and international channels.
  • Be able to participate in debates within the philosophy of social science in international fora.
  • Be able to identify new and relevant ethical challenges, and conduct their research with academic integrity.

Contents

The course will acquaint students with philosophical issues raised by social science in general, and specific social scientific research designs in particular. Topics include:
  • The public policy relevance of social science
  • The role of values in social scientific research
  • The sense and possibility of objectivity in social science
  • The debate between naturalism and interpetivism in social science
  • Realism and anti-realism in social scientific theory construction
  • The sense of causality relevant to social sciences, and the role of causality considerations in social scientific research
  • The sense of rationality relevant to social science, and the role of rationality considerations in social scientific research
  • The significance of cognitive science for social science
  • Holism and methodological individualism in social scientific research
  • Models of explanation in social science

Required prerequisite knowledge

Participants must be enrolled in a PhD programme.

Recommended previous knowledge

The course is integrated with PHD101: Research Design, but can also be taken as a stand-alone course.

Exam

Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper1/1 Pass - Fail
Individual paper of 4000 words (+/- 10%) in English on a self-chosen topic approved by the instructor. The paper must be submitted six weeks after the end of the course, and will be evaluated as Pass/Fail.

Coursework requirements

At least one presentation.
Active participation in discussions

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Tarjei Mandt Larsen

Method of work

The course will given in the form of five full-day seminars. A detailed timetable will be made available at the beginning of the course-semester.

Open to

PhD candidates enrolled in PhD programmes at the University of Stavanger or accredited universities/university colleges in Norway or abroad.

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, N. & E. Montuschi (eds.) (2014). Philosophy of Social Science: A New Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Excluding Chapters 4 and 10-13.]
Articles
Durkheim, E. (2013). “What is a Social Fact?” In The Rules of Sociological Method. New York: Free Press, pp. 20-28.
Elster, J. (1989a). “Mechanism”. In Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-10.
Elster, J. (1989b). “Desires and Opportunities”. In Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 13-21.
Elster, J. (1989c). “Rational Choice”. In Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 22-29.
Elster, J. (1989d). “When Rationality Fails”. In Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 30-41.
Føllesdal, D. (1982). “The Status of Rationality Assumptions in the Explanation of Action”. Dialectica 36, pp. 301-316.
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, pp. 421-427.
Lukes, S. (1967). “Some Problems of Rationality”. Archives Européennes de Sociologie 8, pp. 247-264.
Searle, J. (2006). “Social Ontology: Some Basic Principles”. Anthropological Theory 6, pp. 12–29.
Steel, D. (2013). “Causation in the Social Sciences”. In B. Kaldis (ed.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publications, Inc., pp. 71-73.
Williamson, J. & P. McKay Illari (2013). “Causation, Philosophical Views of”. In B. Kaldis (ed.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: SAGE Publications, Inc., pp. 67-70.
Zahle, J. (2016). "Methodological Holism in the Social Sciences". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2016/entries/holism-social/


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

Sist oppdatert: 06.12.2019