According to a Faculty decision this course will be given alternately in Swedish and in English. This semester the language is English, and it will be the same in the Fall 2020. The next Swedish version will be in the Spring 2021.

This semester the course is taught by Mikael Pettersson. This course page will soon be obsolete and the information will be available through Athena.

The schedule gives the correct dates and rooms for the seminars, and at least a rough idea about the content.

Course content

The aim of the course is to provide an opportunity for reflection on methodological and philosophical aspects of research in the humanities. Students are expected to present their projects in class, from a methodological perspective, and the course content will to some extent be tailored to the specific interests of the group.

The course begins with general questions about science and scientific method, with special emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences. Central questions concern the concepts of knowledge, justification and truth; the similarities and differences between different kinds of sciences; what distinguishes scientific knowledge from other forms of knowledge; the concept of explanation and its importance; the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods; conceptual frameworks and relativism. The notions of meaning and interpretation are treated at length, with emphasis on the differences and similarities between different kinds of meaning and interpretation. The content of the last two seminars are devoted to themes that are seen as salient in the participants’ presentation of their own work. Among the possibilities are narrativity and narrative research, the sociology of research, theories of interpretation, phenomenological research, etc.

Practical information

The course comprises 10 three-hour seminars/lectures, and is scheduled on Wednesday 13-16, from 22 January.

Participation is mandatory – more than two missed seminars is compensated with extra assignments. Apart from participation, the examination comprises an oral presentation and two written assignments.

Applications for the course are handled by the Doctoral School at the Faculty for the humanities. At the bottom of this page there is a link to a template for the application.

Teacher and responsible for the course is Staffan Carlshamre. Email. He, i.e. me, is also in charge of this website.