University of Stavanger Summer School - Philosophy of Social Sciences, 12-16 November 2019, Norway

University of Stavanger Summer School - Philosophy of Social Sciences, 12-16 November 2019, Norway

The EEA Grants and Norway Grants

The EEA Grants and Norway Grants

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Total reward
0 $
Nonprofit organization
05 Nov 2019
Study level
Opportunity type
Opportunity funding
Full funding
Eligible Countries
Eligible Region

Philosophy of Social Sciences

Learning outcome


The student will gain knowledge of:

  • Fundamental epistemological and ontological issues raised by different research approaches in the social sciences.
  • The philosophical concepts in terms of which these issues are articulated, and the competing philosophical arguments and theories advanced in addressing them.
  • The broader philosophical context within which the student's own research project is situated.


By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the philosophical implications of different theoretical and methodological approaches in social science.
  • Critically reflect on philosophical presuppositions for her chosen theoretical and methodological approach.
  • Make use of philosophical concepts, arguments, and theories in reflecting on these presuppositions.
  • Communicate the results of her reflections in speech and writing in a clear and systematic way.

General competence

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • See the relevance of discussions in the philosophy of social science for the theoretical and methodological choices one must make in developing a social science research project
  • Subject presuppositions of her research practice to systematic and critical evaluation.


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 interpretivism 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


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

Subject teacher(s)

Course coordinator

Tarjei Mandt Larsen

Method of work

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

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.


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