Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The aim of the course is to support your research process and to develop your analytical skills in research-related reading, writing, and thinking. The course offers an opportunity to use basic philosophical tools in identifying the main normative and conceptual features of different research approaches.


Credits: 6

Schedule: 09.09.2020 - 16.12.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Matti Häyry

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Matti Häyry, Maarit Laihonen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The themes touched upon during the course include the ethical and rhetorical dimensions of the social sciences; the normative underpinnings of social research, business studies, and moral and political philosophy; the main features of universalist and positional approaches to research; and views of reality as a natural phenomenon and as a social construction.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    1.      Preliminary literature exam 14 September 2016. Assessment: Pass / Fail. This cannot be compensated by other assignments. Literature: John Stuart Mill, The Logic of the Moral Sciences (also known as A System of Logic book VI; the eight edition of 1872 is preferable). Questions will test your understanding of the main points of each chapter. You will answer two of three stated questions. Literature, notes, and internet searches are allowed during the exam.

    2.      Participation in sessions and excursions. Assessment: Pass / Fail. Participants need to attend 12 events and show active interest in discussions.

    3.      Homework literature to be discussed during the course sessions. Assessment: Pass / Fail. Participants have to show their familiarity with the materials during discussions.

    4.      Facilitation of a discussion, possibly with 1-2 other participants, on a homework topic. Assessment: Pass / Fail.

    5.      Two presentations of your research topic a more general one at the beginning of the course and a more detailed one at the end. Assessment: Pass / Fail.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The Independent and Extra work consists of preparing a group presentation and two presentations of one's own doctoral work. Student experience has been that this is on the average level of workloads for doctoral courses.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Preliminary literature exam and general reference: John Stuart Mill, The Logic of the Moral Sciences (the eight edition of 1872 is preferable, but others can be used).

    ·         Homework and facilitation assignments: Literature will be posted in MyCourses.

    ·         Lectures: Lecture presentations will be posted in MyCourses after each session.

    ·         Excursions: Some events will require prior reading, which will be made available.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    If you have completed one /both of the courses 51D190 Philosophy of Social Science (3 ECTS cr) and 51L19201 Advanced Course in the Philosophy of Social Science (3 ECTS cr), please agree with the teacher and with your supervisor which of these courses can be included in your Study Plan.

    51D190 Taloustieteiden tieteen filosofiset perusteet 3.0 op

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Initial exam

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


  • Applies in this implementation:

    Due to the global corona situation, the course will be organised in a
    hybrid format (lectures, online & other distant learning; all
    lecture sessions will be available also online with alternative tasks).
    Some preliminarily announced tasks will be changed to distant format.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality

    10 Reduced Inequality

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    9 September - 16 December 2020 on Wednesdays 2.30 - 5 pm (except 21 October, holidays, etc.)