Courses in English
The Department of Philosophy regularly offers courses in English, which are usually open to everyone, although sometimes they do require advanced knowledge of the discipline. Be sure to also check the Seminars and reading groups section for other regular academic activities which are sometimes given in a less formal manner.
Spring semester 2020
FLFI.01.117 Death and the Meaning of Life (3 ECTS)
Jaanus Sooväli, Olena Kushyna
Wed 18-20 Jakobi 2-337
How does the fact that we all die influence our living? Some may think of this question as an excessively depressing one. On the contrary, reflecting on one's death can be a starting point for fulfilling the true meaning of life. However, it is an important philosophical question. During this course, students will find out why it is important to reflect on death, and will challenge themselves with philosophizing about how experiencing our mortality influences our living. In order to do so, students will familiarise themselves with different approaches to this topic in the history of philosophy. For everybody interested in the topic.
FLFI.01.118 Theory of History (6 ECTS)
Mon 14-16 Jakobi 2-305
The seminar will provide an introduction to the field of historical theory. Along with more traditional questions, such as those concerning the constitution of historical knowledge, the seminar will focus on contemporary themes, including the recent engagement with historical time and temporal experience. For everybody interested in the topic, esp. philosophy and history students.
FLFI.02.142 Political Philosophy Reading Group I: Time, Narrative, Memory (3 ECTS)
Thu 14-16 Jakobi 2-337
The topic of the weekly seminar for spring semester 2020 (3 credits) will be will be narrative, time and selfhood in the writing of Arendt's Human Condition, Ricoeur's Time and Narrative and Caverero's Relating Narratives. The course aims to familiarise students with their philosophy of time, narrative and memory. For everybody interested in the topics.
FLFI.02.154 Metaethics (6 ECTS)
Mon 12-14 (Jakobi 2-337), Wed 12-14 (Jakobi 2-336)
What is it to make a moral judgment? On the one hand, moral judgments are an expression of our emotional and practical subjectivity. They certainly can express our attitudes and lead us to action. Yet they are not treated as mere matters of taste, and they seem to be objectively true or false, regardless of what anyone in particular may think. Analyzing this tension, the course will give a critical overview of the main questions and theories in contemporary metaethics, and relating these theories to issues in philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind. For everybody interested in the topic (some previous knowledge of ethics is expected).
FLFI.02.156 Epistemology (6 ECTS)
Mon, Thu 18-20, Jakobi 2-336
The course covers topics considered standard within an introduction to epistemology course. These include: the analysis of knowledge, the analysis of justification, sources of knowledge, scepticism, disagreement, the ethics of belief, the role of context in knowledge, amongst others. For everybody interested in the topic (some previous knowledge of philosophy is expected).
FLFI.02.160 Social and Ethical Aspects of Engineering (3 ECTS)
Ave Mets et al.
Tue 10-14, Ravila 14A-1100
Social and value dimensions of technologies. Overview of ethical theories. Environmental ethics and engineering. Research ethics and professional ethics. Moral relativism and cultural context of engineering. For everybody interested in the topic.
FLFI.02.171 Reading Group on Critical Theory: Adorno & Horkheimer to Habermas (6 ECTS)
Tue 12-14, Jakobi 2-337
After presenting the philosophical background of critical theory, the course will examine two key texts: The Dialectic of Enlightenment by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno (1944) and One-Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse (1964). Next the issue of culture and cultural criticism will be discussed in selected essays of Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer and Theodor Adorno. The seminar concludes with the work of Jürgen Habermas. For last year BA and graduate students interested in the topic; philosophical background is desirable.
FLFI.02.176 The Philosophy of Multiculturalism (6 ECTS)
Tue 14-16, Jakobi 2-337
This course will examine various philosophical perspectives on the topic of multiculturalism. We will also consider how these perspectives relate to themes such as immigration, autonomy, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Each class will concentrate on an influential article or book chapter relating to the issue of multiculturalism. By means of group work and close reading, we will unpack the philosophical foundations of a number of seminal debates in contemporary political theory. For last-year BA students and graduate students interested in the topic; some prior acquaintance with philosophy or political science is desirable.
FLFI.03.094 Practice-Based Philosophy of Science Reading Group (3 EAP)
Edit Talpsepp-Randla, Eveli Neemre
Fri 14-16, Jakobi 2-337
Practice-Based Philosophy of Science Reading Group convenes in order to read texts in philosophy of science that are of current interest. This spring, the readings will be from philosophy of biology, and the reading group will serve as a preparatory course for an intensive workshop with John Dupré in the autumn. For all the students interested in the subject matter.
FLFI.03.106 A Historical Introduction to Philosophy of Technology (3 EAP)
Wed 14-16, Jakobi 2-337
Ancient and medieval philosophy of technology. Mechanicism, Kant and German idealism, Marxism, Pragmatism, Phenomenology, Praxiology, the Frankfurt School. As a prerequisite, some basic course in history of philosophy and some basic course in philosophy of science is recommended.
FLFI.03.107 Workshop Postphenomenology, Technoscience and Hermeneutics with Don Ihde (3 EAP)
Ave Mets et al.
May 4-7, Jakobi 2-114
What is postphenomenology? Postphenomenology in technosciences, social sciences, humanities; visualism in science; material hermeneutics.
Don Ihde has been known as the founder of postphenomenology, a modified phenomenology and pragmatism focused upon analysing technologies. He is proposing to destroy the duality of the "Diltheyan Divide" and develop a singular hermeneutic-centered style of analysis for both natural and human sciences. For all the students interested in the subject matter and having prior acquaintance with philosophy. Participants are expected to read the materials before the workshop.
FLFI.04.054 Philosophy of Mind Reading Group I (3 EAP)
Thu 12-14 Jakobi 2-322
In this reading group, we will study two recent volumes (D.D.Hutto & E. Myin. Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content, MIT Press 2013; D.D.Hutto & E. Myin. Evolving Enactivism: Basic Minds Meet Content, MIT Press 2017) that advocate an enactive turn in cognitive science. Hutto and Myin present a radical version of enactivism according to which basic mental processes are not contentful. This kind of anti-representationalism is one of the most debated issues in the current philosophy of mind. The reading group also prepares the students for the upcoming Frege lectures by Daniel Hutto that will be held in Tartu in the Autumn 2020. For advanced BA students and graduate students interested in the subject matter.
FLFI.04.078 Introduction to Logic (6 EAP)
Alexander Davies, Indrek Lõbus
Tue & Thu 10-12, Jakobi 2-336
This course introduces the systems of propositional logic and first order predicate logic and their respective model theoretic semantics and deductive systems. It is explained how logic is used to reconstruct and analyse arguments and the semantics of natural language. For all the students interested in the subject matter.
HVFI.01.002 Research Integrity: Framework Requirements, Values and Principles of Action (6 ECTS)
Margit Sutrop et al.
Thu 14-18 Jakobi 2-336
The aim of the course is to provide participants with an overview of the key issues of research integrity: making decisions about the authorship of a scientific publication in multi-author publications, obtaining informed consent, processing data, ensuring the protection of privacy and personal data of the subjects involved in the study, obtaining necessary permissions, consents and ethics committee approvals for research and understanding their meaning. The entire course is supported by an e-learning environment that brings together materials that are relevant to different fields of science. From them, the doctoral student chooses 6 EAP worth of assignments. The course is structured in such a way that doctoral students can choose topics and tasks appropriate for their specialty and specifics of research there. The course also includes seminars where doctoral students from different disciplines can experience disciplinary differences in interpreting the Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. For all doctoral students interested in the topic.