Having completed this study unit, the student will have learnt how social scientific methods and theories are loaded with philosophical and metatheoretical assumptions. The student will have an expanded grasp of the limits and possibilities of social sciences and their developments and knows how to assess the adequacy of different philosophical and methodological approaches.
This course is strongly recommended for all doctoral students in Political Science and World Politics. The course should preferably be taken during the first year of doctoral studies and before the methods course.Â Students can take the book examination in the examinarium system during the teaching periods. Potential teaching will be announced in the study guide.
Students closely examine the selected readings, their theoretical underpinnings and influence on the disciplines of Political Science and World Politics. They also work to develop their own capabilities of critically assessing theoretical knowledge and reflecting upon their own situated placement in this context.
Flyvbjerg, Bent: Making Social Sciences Matter. Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Rescher, Nicholas: Philosophical Dialectics: An Essay on Metaphilosophy (State University of New York Press, 2007)
Sayer Andrew: Method in Social Science, revised 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2010)
And one of the following:
Bhaskar, Roy: Possibility of Naturalism. A Philosophical Critique of the Contemporary Human Sciences (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1978, or any subsequent edition by Routledge)
Bhaskar, Roy: Plato Etc. The Problems of Philosophy and Their Resolution (Verso, 1994, or any subsequent edition)
Briggs, William: Uncertainty. The Soul of Modelling, Probability & Statistics (Springer, 2016)
Dreyfus Hubert & Rabinow Paul: Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (University of Chicago Press; 2nd Revised edition 1983; later editions by Routledge are identical)
Feyerabend, Paul: Against Method (Verso 4th edition, 2010, with an introduction by Ian Hacking)
Habermas, Jürgen: The Theory of Communicative Action, vol 1. Reason and the Rationalization of Society (Polity Press, 1984, or any subsequent edition)
Hawkesworth Mary: Feminist Inquiry: From Political Conviction to Methodological Innovation (Rutgers University Press, 2006)
Lakatos, Imre & Musgrave, Alan (eds.): Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 1970, or any subsequent edition)
Popper, Karl: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (first English edition published by Hutchinson & Co, 1959; republished various times by Routledge since 1992)
ks. osaamiskartta https://flamma.helsinki.fi/content/res/pri/HY348496
arviointimenetelmät ovat kiinteässä yhteydessä osaamistavoitteisiin ja opintojakson opetusmenetelmiin
Instructions for examinations
- Faculty examinations are held in Porthania (Yliopistonkatu 3).
- Faculty examinations begin at 9.00. Students must arrive by 9.30 and may leave no earlier than 9.30.
- Students may take only writing utensils with them to their seats (no bags etc.). No programmable calculators or dictionaries are allowed.
- Mobile phones must be switched off.
- Examination answers must be returned to the invigilator in the examination envelope.
- Students must provide proof of identity when submitting their answers.
This literature examination consists of reading two normal-size books and two short books as specified below. The book exam that can be taken at any time during the teaching periods (by using the electronic system of examinarium). Possible teaching is announced in the study guide.