Course content

The aim of the course is to provide an opportunity for reflection on methodological and philosophical aspects of research in the humanities. Students are expected to present their projects in class, from a methodological perspective, and the course content will to some extent be tailored to the specific interests of the group.

The course begins with general questions about science and scientific method, with special emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences. Central questions concern the concepts of knowledge, justification and truth; the similarities and differences between different kinds of sciences; what distinguishes scientific knowledge from other forms of knowledge; the concept of explanation and its importance; the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods; conceptual frameworks and relativism. The notions of meaning and interpretation are treated at length, with emphasis on the differences and similarities between different kinds of meaning and interpretation. The content of the last two seminars are devoted to themes that are seen as salient in the participants’ presentation of their own work. Among the possibilities are narrativity and narrative research, the sociology of research, theories of interpretation, phenomenological methods, etc.

Learning outcomes

After finishing the course the student shall be able to:

  • display a deeper understanding of fundamental concepts in the philosophy of the cultural sciences, and be able to relate them to one’s own research
  • argue in a reasoned way about questions concerning the epistemological, methodological and conceptual status of different kinds of research, with specific regards to one’s own discipline

Practical information

The course comprises ten three-hour seminars/lectures. Participation is mandatory.

Apart from participation, the examination comprises an oral presentation and two written assignments.

More information on the course can be found via this link.

Period: Autumn semester 2020.

Course dates: TBA

Language of instruction: English

Course director: Staffan Carlshamre

Course name in Swedish: Humanioras vetenskapsfilosofi

The course is offered by: Department of Philosophy / Filosofiska institutionen