Philosophy of Social Sciences
After the course, students will be familiar with one formal method used in social sciences and philosophy of social sciences, and in particular, will understand the philosophical questions related to the method. Students will understand, on the one hand, why formal methods can be useful in a clear articulation of problems and, on the other hand, what types of questions these methods cannot be used to analyse.
Teaching can be organised in any period, resources permitting.
The course deals with statistics, decision theory, game theory, causal inference, computer simulations, theories of rational or social selection, as well as their mathematical and logical instruments or mathematical models.
The reading list is a recommendation. The purpose of this list is to guide students in finding appropriate literature, not to direct the students to use exactly the works below in their essays or faculty examinations. Students are recommended to select the appropriate literature on the subject matter and immediate background of their Master's thesis. Students are urged to discuss their choices with their Master's thesis supervisor, and the selected literature is always to be agreed upon with the examiner in advance and in good time. The selected literature must always aim to build a sensible whole that is sufficiently coherent in terms of the chosen topic. See also the reading list in the complementary part of the intermediate studies.
K. Binmore: Rational decisions; Bonacich & Lu: Introduction to Mathematical Sociology; J. Elster: Ulysses and the Sirens; D. Gillies: Philosophical Theories of Probability; H. Gintis: Game Theory Evolving (2nd edition); S. Hargreaves Heap et al. (eds.): The Theory of Choice: A Critical Guide; J. Harsanyi: Essays on Ethics, Social Behavior and Scientific Explanation; D. Mayo: Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge; M. Morgan: The World in a Model; J. Pearl: Causality; Primo & Clarke: A Model Discipline; B. Skyrms: Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information; Squazzoni: Agent-Based Computational Sociology; M. Weisberg: Simulation and Similarity
The assessment method will depend on the course completion method. Graded on a scale of 0 to 5
The Faculty of Social Sciences’ Examinarium exams are replaced from 16 March with alternative arrangements until 31 May 2020 until further notice. Register for Examinarium in WebOodi and contact the teacher about the books / check the course page for further instructions. (NOTE: do not register in Examinarium or reserve the room for the exam.)
Lecture course, seminar, essay or Examinarium exam