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.


General understanding of the most important problems and topics in philosophy of science, such as objectivity, induction, demarcation, explanation, and naturalism. Enhanced ability to participate in philosophical discussion and argumentation. Ability to identify philosophical problems related to one’s own research, recognising ways in which they are reflected in research questions and theoretical approaches. Enhanced ability to argue for one's own theoretical choices, and to formulate research questions.

Credits: 4

Schedule: 19.01.2021 - 06.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Turkka Keinonen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Turkka Keinonen, 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:

    Relations between the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, and comparisons between them and arts based research and the engineering sciences. Theory, observation and phenomena: how observations can be reliably used to back up theories even when observations are theory-laden. Kinds and classification: both "natural kinds" found in the world and classifications created for specific purposes are needed in research. Values in science and objectivity: non-epistemic values cannot be banished from science, but objectivity can nevertheless be salvaged. Explanation and undestanding: earlier philosophers contrasted the two, but contemporary theories of explanation link them. Interdisciplinarity: collaboration across disciplinary boundaries hoghlights the collective nature of scientific knowledge production.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Credits are earned by being present (80 % minimum), reading the texts, by active participation in group discussions, and by writing mini essays assigned during the course.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact hours: 36h
    Independent work: 70h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Peter Godfrey-Smith –Theory and reality: An introduction to the philosophy of science

    Mark Risjord: The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction (only some chapters).

    Additional excerpts provided by the teacher.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022: