Previous years | University of Tartu

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307 Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012 Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4510
    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6339
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17–103, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307 Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012 Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4510
    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6339
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17–103, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Previous years

 

Spring semester 2017

Ethics and Philosophy of Sex (3 ECTS)
Francesco Orsi
This course examines philosophical questions related to sex. We will begin by analyzing the nature of sex, discussing a range of theories of sex including sex as essentially connected to reproduction, sex as a language or expression of love, and "plain sex" theories that emphasise sexual pleasure and desire. Then, we will consider more closely the ethics of sexual behaviour, discussing issues such as perversion, objectification, sexual consent, prostitution, pornography. We will examine some of the most relevant ethico-philosophical traditions for these issues: natural law theory, Kantianism, and feminism.

All levels, no prerequisite subjects.


Critical Thinking (3 ECTS)
Mats Volberg
The aim of the course is to acquaint the students with the philosophical foundations of critical thinking, most common types of faulty argumentation and to give them the skills to apply both at analyzing and re-constructing different kinds of arguments.


Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory in Political Philosophy(3 ECTS)
Mats Volberg
In this course we will be reading and discussing Gerald Gaus' new book The Tyranny of the Ideal: Justice in a Diverse Society.


Readings in Buddhist Philosophy I (3 ECTS)
Vivian Bohl
The aim is to familiarize students with the main concepts and issues in Buddhist philosophy and with some schools of Buddhist thought. Texts that introduce Buddhist philosophy will be read and analyzed.

BA students (from 2nd year); MA, PhD students


Nietzsche, Foucault and Genealogy (3 ECTS)
Jaanus Sooväli
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of what is genealogy, more specifically, how Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault conceived it and what they thought it can achieve. In the course of reading Nietzsche's and Foucault's key texts on genealogy, the following topics will be focused on: (1) The cultural and philosophical context Nietzsche's and Foucault's genealogies grow out of; (2) The philosophical problems and questions pertaining to both conceptions of genealogy; (3) The (philosophical and cultural) aims and use of both genealogies; (4) The place of both (conceptions of) genealogies in the wider context of the 20th century philosophy.


Social and Ethical Aspects of Engineering (4 ECTS)
Ave Mets, Endla Lõhkivi, Edit Talpsepp and Jaana Eigi
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.


Research Ethics and Integrity (3 ECTS)
Margit Sutrop
The course consists of three modules: 1. Introductory lecture+seminar; 2. Joint workshop for the graduate students from Tartu and Konstanz universities; 3. Participation in the international conference on Research Integrity. The introductory lecture and seminar provide an ethical-philosophical background for understanding the topic of research ethics and integrity. In the joint workshop guidance will be provided on how to successfully pass the ethics review of the European Commission, how to deal with the ethical issues of one's research project. The international conference will provide a good overview of the international discussion on research integrity and scientific misconduct. A new Estonian Code of Conduct for Researchers will be discussed in the workshop of the conference.

PhD students


World Picture (3 ECTS)
Ave Mets
Nature as spirited (animism, polytheism); monotheism and science; laws of nature as material or transcendent, abstract, from materialism to abstraction; human and nature, human and world; mathematics and technology in understanding the world; deep ecology.

All interested students, suggested (not obligatory) some knowledge of philosophy of science. Elective course for philosophy BA students.


Pragmatist Realism: Philosophy, History, and Science (3 ECTS)
Ave Mets
In his intriguing book "Is Water H2O. Evidence, Realism and Pluralism" (2012), Hasok Chang, in fascinating and informative ways, brings together the philosophy, history and practice of science. As he expresses it: the by now commonplace fact that water is H2O "was a very difficult thing for scientists to learn". Through his attentive and critical look at the history of this learning process, Chang brings forth the intricacies and contingencies of science and of our understanding of the world as scientifically explained. Thereby he incites a more pluralistic approach to and revision of our contemporary scientific practices. On the basis of this book, Hasok Chang will give the workshop "Pragmatist Realism: Philosophy, History, and Science" on 6-9 March 2017.

MA, PhD, and last year BA students


Philosophical Methodology (3 ECTS)
Bruno Mölder
The course gives an overview of different philosophical methods and asks if there is something that is distinctive about them when compared to scientific methods. First, we will consider philosophical naturalism and its claim that philosophy should be continuous with natural sciences. Second, we will explore various methods that have taken by some to be distinctive of philosophy, such as conceptual analysis and thought experiments. Third, we will consider the evidential status of philosophical intuitions in the light of some recent criticism by experimental philosophers.

Philosophy MA students


Introduction to Epistemology (3 ECTS)
Alexander Stewart Davies
Epistemology is the study of knowledge and related concepts. This course aims to introduce students to the philosophical questions that arise when trying to understand knowledge and related concepts. For example, what is knowledge? Should we always form our beliefs in accordance with the evidence? Or can moral and pragmatic factors legitimately influence our beliefs? What is the structure of justification? How do we get knowledge from what seem to be good sources of knowledge: such as perception, testimony and induction even though those sources are obviously susceptible to all kinds problems e.g. illusion, deceit, and unobserved cases? The aim of this course is not to provide students with the answers to these questions. It is rather to get students to understand why these questions are not easy to answer and thus to position students so that they are able to think critically for themselves about these topics. This course is twinned with Epistemology II: a series of seminars that follow a day or so after each week's lecture. In these seminars, students will have the chance to practice doing epistemology by engaging in supervised discussions of the topics raised in the lectures. It is strongly recommended that students who attend Epistemology I also attend Epistemology II.

BA students, MA students


Introduction to Epistemology II (3 ECTS)
Alexander Stewart Davies
The aim of this course is to develop the capacity of students to analyse and assess the key texts which form the basis of the lectures for Introduction to Epistemology I. This course builds on the knowledge students gain of contemporary epistemology from Introduction to Epistemology. The aim is to develop student's capacity to critically engage with, rather than merely learn facts about, contemporary epistemology. Generally, this course must be taken simultaneously with Introduction to Epistemology I. Exceptions may be made--but you must discuss this with the course lecturer.

BA students, MA students who have already passed / are taking Introduction to Epistemology (FLFI.04.013)


Philosophical Perspectives on the Naturalistic Explanation of Religious Belief (3 ECTS)
Uku Tooming and Riin Kõiv
The purpose of this course is to explore naturalist and materialist approaches, both historical and contemporary, to explaining religious belief and practice, and their broader implications for reductive understanding of cultural phenomena. Special focus will be on the questions of whether, and in which ways, the materialist understanding of human nature can ground cultural critique. The course will address the following topics: materialist and psychologistic explanations of religious belief in the tradition of European Enlightenment thought (e.g. French materialism, Ludwig Feuerbach), contemporary cognitive studies of religion and explanations of religion in evolutionary psychology (e.g. Dan Sperber and the epidemiology of religious representations, Pascal Boyer, Paul Bloom).

Everybody interested, preferably MA students


Meaning, Truth, and Context (6 ECTS)
Alexander Stewart Davies
An attractive view of the relationship between linguistic meaning and the things we say to one another when we use linguistic expressions with given linguistic meanings is that the linguistic meaning determines what we say when we use the relevant expressions. But in recent years, this view has come under pressure from a variety of linguistic data and philosophical arguments. In this course, we will assess the cogency of these arguments and the implications of this data.

Undergraduate and graduate philosophy students who have passed elementary logic and/or formal semantics courses, and an introductory course in philosophy of language.


The Sun and the Stranger: Seminar on Julia Kristeva (6 ECTS)
Tiina Ann Kirss
This seminar course will focus on key topics, conceptual frameworks and metaphorics in selected writings by semiotician and cultural theorist Julia Kristeva. Though her work is often classified as feminist and poststructuralist, Kristeva`s thinking uses but eludes both of these classifications. More precisely, she draws extensively and richly on the discourse of psychoanalysis to address what she refers to as "new maladies of the soul, " and the characteristics of modern collectivities that inhibit or destroy subjectivity. In the seminar we will read closely Kristeva`s writings on exile, love, melancholy ("black sun"), and estrangement, as well as consider her innovative uses of form to provoke her reader into the precariousness of humanist philosophical inquiry.

Students in MA Program in Philosophy, international students, interested Ph.D students in the humanities or arts. Prerequisite: knowledge of English sufficient to undertake the reading of complex texts and to discuss them in a seminar setting.


Topics in Estonian Culture: Colonization, Trauma, Postcommunism (6 ECTS)
Tiina Ann Kirss
This course will investigate, in lecture/discussion format, three clusters of events and processes in the cultural history of Estonia in the context of interdisciplinary thought and cultural theories. Specific knowledge of cultural history will serve as a testing ground for explanatory frameworks drawn from postcolonial thought, trauma theory, and memory studies. (1) The first cluster will examine "founding moments" of the 13th century colonization of the Baltic region, and the subsequent christianization using the chronicle as a principal source. As a long-term process, colonization led to the enslavement of the Estonian peasant on manorial estates owned by Baltic-Germans, and to oppressive structures of physical as well as epistemic violence. The paradox of the emergence of written Estonian is one facet of christianization, alongside the "civilizing project" of establishing basic schools. Topics to be covered include insurgency, peasant social differentiation, and Enlightenment-fueled emancipatory discourses among Baltic-German intellectuals. (2) The second cluster will examine the loss of Estonian nationhood at the beginning of World War II, and the cultural memory of the three occupations (Soviet, German, Soviet) of the war. Models of trauma, tragedy, and postmemory will be discussed, using written life stories of Estonians as source material. (3) The third cluster will discuss the post-Soviet period (1991-) and questions will be raised concerning the pertinence and validity of a post-colonial model for these cultural shifts and dynamics. Filling in "blank spaces" of history with banished narratives, and the representation of Soviet life in life stories are questions for memory studies, and will be broached through a plurality of approaches (recuperative, "multidirectional", cultural trauma). All readings are in English translation.

All students interested in the subject.

Fall semester 2016

Reading Group on Critical Theory: Adorno & Horkheimer to Habermas (3 ECTS)
Siobhan Kattago
The Frankfurt School represents a group of German Jewish intellectuals who formed the Institute for Social Research in 1930. With the rise of Hitler to power, the Institute moved to New York and later to California. Some stayed in the United States, while others returned to Frankfurt in 1950. The work of the Frankfurt School while varied and interdisciplinary, centered around a critique of the Enlightenment and mass culture as distinctively modern. During the course, our discussions will focus on the importance of radio and film, the influence of National Socialism, the loss of individualism, and the negative aspects of Western reason and rationality. After presenting the philosophical background of Frankfurt School thinkers, 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. Finally the seminar concludes with the work of Jürgen Habermas. When he replaced Adorno as Chair of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt, he distinguished himself from the early Frankfurt School understanding of reason as purely instrumental, arguing for reason as both instrumental and communicative. Permission by instructor is necessary because the course is meant for advanced bachelor and master's students.

Master’s and PhD students. No prerequisites, but some philosophical background is desirable.


Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance
Alexander Davies
One way to think of ignorance is as a hole or gap in your knowledge. Thought of that, ignorance is easy to fix. You learn more and you fill the hole. But another way to think of ignorance - or perhaps, another kind of ignorance - is that ignorance defends itself. You may have a false belief, or no belief at all about a given subject, and you might live in a way, and think in a way, that makes it very unlikely that you will ever discover you have a particular gap in your knowledge. Moreover, this might make it very hard for others to make you aware of your ignorance. This course is about the epistemology, ethics, and politics of this second kind of ignorance, in particular with respect to racism. The seminar covers the intersection of epistemology, ethics and politics.



Challenges to Procedural Autonomy
Alexander Davies
Roughly speaking, for one's actions to be autonomous is for one's actions to be one's own. They might fail to be one's own if, for instance, you are forced to do them, or do you them under the influence of addiction. Within liberal theory, a procedural conception of autonomy is favoured: a conception that doesn't require you to be acting on any particular set of values in order for your actions to be your own. As long as you have you thought about carefully enough, then your actions are your own. In this group, we'll discuss three challenges to procedural autonomy: substantive conceptions of autonomy, relational conceptions of autonomy, and challenges posed by an apparent conflict between a liberal ideal of multiculturalism and feminist principles.



Property-owning Democracy
Mats Volberg
The aim of the course is to get to know the theoretical founcations of property-owning democracy, how it influences the institutions of economy, and the questions related to the application of property-owning democracy.


Philosophy of Biology (3 ECTS)
Edit Talpsepp
The course addresses the following topics from the perspective of philosophy of science: different concepts of 'species', the questions related to biological classification, the structure of evolutionary theory, units of natural selection, the questions related to the notion of 'gene' etc.

All levels, no prerequisites, elective course for PhD students form all fields


Practice-based Philosophy of Science Reading Group (3 ECTS)
Ave Mets
In his intriguing book „Is Water H2O. Evidence, Realism and Pluralism“ (2012), Hasok Chang, in fascinating and informative ways, brings together the philosophy, history and practice of science. As he expresses it: the by now commonplace fact that water is H2O “was a very difficult thing for scientists to learn”. Through his attentive and critical look at the history of this learning process, Chang brings forth the intricacies and contingencies of science and of our understanding of the world as scientifically explained. Thereby he incites a more pluralistic approach to and revision of our contemporary scientific practices.


Introduction to Philosophy of Language (3 ECTS)
Indrek Reiland
Philosophy of Language is one of the systematic core areas of theoretical philosophy. It deal centrally with the meaning of linguistic expressions and theories of communication. This course introduces the main contemporary theories and basic concepts of the discipline in the analytic tradition.


Introduction to Metaphysics (3 ECTS)
Bruno Mölder
An analytic introduction to contemporary metaphysics. The course will provide an overview of the basic categories of being, of the various relations between entities and of some central themes in metaphysics such as time, causation and free will.


Desire (3 ECTS)
Uku Tooming
The purpose of the course is to introduce to the students various debates over the concept of desire in the contemporary philosophy. It will be shown how such debates are relevant for issues arising in philosophy of mind, epistemology and meta-ethics, and how our everyday discourse of wanting and desire raises philosophical puzzles. The course consists of three parts, each of which includes a lecture and a series of seminars. In the first part of the course we will discuss various theories about the nature of desire, including the simple dispositional view, learning-based theory and good-based account. In the second part we will look at the semantics of desire ascriptions and its possible metaphysical implications. Finally, in the third part we will turn to the epistemology of desire and inquire into different views about the way in which one can know what one wants.

All levels, no prerequisites, some knowledge of philosophy of mind is recommended.


Metaethics (3 ECTS)
Francesco Orsi
Contemporary metaethics. What is it to make a moral judgment? Moral judgments are an expression of our emotional and practical subjectivity. Yet they are not matters of taste, and seem to be objectively true or false regardless of what each of us 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 metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind. Topics covered: G.E. Moore's open question argument, emotivism, quasi-realism, error theory, naturalistic realism, forms of reductionism, judgment and motivation, non-naturalism.

All levels, some previous knowledge of ethics is expected.


Logic I (3 ECTS)
Alexander Davies and Indrek Reiland

Logic I 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.

Spring term 2013/2014

FLFI.00.022 Specialisation Seminar: Disagreements
Daniel Cohnitz, Alexander Davies, Francesco Orsi

People of different cultural backgrounds, but also citizens of the same society with the same cultural background often disagree deeply about fundamental moral questions. (Examples: Can we eat animals? Are partnerships of members of the same sex to be treated in the same way as partnerships between members of different sexes?) But what does the existence of such disagreements show? Perhaps the existence and persistence of such disagreements should show us that these questions simply don’t have objective answers. If they had, wouldn’t we have discovered by now who is wrong and who is right about these questions?

Some questions, for example the question whether The Simpsons are funny, or whether blue cheese is tasty, might be good candidates for questions that don’t have objective answers. You might find blue cheese tasty, while I might find it disgusting, and neither of us might be objectively wrong. But how should we understand such situations? Are there really “faultless disagreements”? Situations in which two parties disagree, although nobody is making a mistake?

Of course, there are sometimes apparent disagreements, in which nobody is mistaken. Simply because we thought we’d disagree, while in fact we agree about all matters of fact but misunderstood each other. Some believe that philosophy is full of such apparent disagreements. Disputes that are merely verbal and due to a confusion of language, while in fact we should all agree about what the facts are.

Finally, there is a question of what we should learn from the existence of disagreements. Let’s assume that you and your friend both disagree about something, although you both had access to the same evidence and you don’t have reason to think that your friend was less careful in considering the evidence. Shouldn't the fact that there is this disagreement about what to conclude from the evidence show you and your friend that it would be best not to conclude anything from it?

We will discuss the topics sketched in the four paragraphs above in our seminar. The first is the question of what to conclude from moral disagreements and how best to understand them. The second topic is whether there are such things as faultless disagreements and how to understand what is going on in them. The third topic concerns the nature of merely verbal disputes and whether and how we can diagnose them in philosophy. The last topic is about what epistemological conclusions should be drawn from disagreements, especially when they obtain between epistemic peers, that is between people that have access to the same evidence and have been similarly careful in drawing their conclusions from it.

The topics that we cover in this seminar will in the next few years belong to the central research questions of the Department of Philosophy (supported by an institutional research grant of the Estonian Science Foundation). This seminar will provide an excellent preparation to students who plan to participate in our research group already with their BA project.

For some recent literature on all these topics, see the articles listed here.


FLFI.03.036 Introduction to Philosophy of Language
Daniel Cohnitz

Introduction to contemporary theories of reference and meaning, the basic concepts of formal semantics, and its central problems. The course also covers influential historical positions: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, Grice, Austin, Kripke, Kaplan, and Stalnaker.


FLFI.04.013 Introduction to Epistemology
Alexander Stewart Davies

An analytic introduction to contemporary epistemology with excursions to the epistemological problems throughout the history of philosophy. The course introduces the main topics in epistemology: the concepts and accounts of knowledge and justification, accounts of perception, scepticism, memory and a priori knowledge.


FLFI.02.063 Normative Ethics: Introduction to Value Theory
Francesco Orsi

What is it for a car, a movie, or a person to be good, bad, or better than another? What does it mean for love, knowledge, or pleasure to have intrinsic value, or value for their own sake, or personal value, and for health or money to have only instrumental value? Are different things to be valued differently? How do we compute the value of complex objects? Are there incommensurable values? The seminar explores the various dimensions, structures, and connections that value concepts express in ordinary practices of evaluation and in philosophical discussions. Rare stamps, Napoleon's hat, worlds of filth, and Kant's good will are all and equally taken for consideration in order to probe and question our intuitions.


FLFI.03.088 Essentialism, Psychology, Evolution and Ethics
Edit Talpsepp

Essentialism is a controversial doctrine according to which entities and groups have some necessary properties that underlie the identity and/or typical properties of these entities and groups. The notion of essentialism has a widespread scope of application in different fields from metaphysics to ethics, and it is relevant for the discussions concerning different areas from science politics to human rights.

The aim of this course is to introduce the notion of essentialism in its different fields of application, focusing especially on essentialism in human reasoning - psychological essentialism - and its influence for the interpretation/explanation of natural and social world. Psychological essentialism has been claimed to underlie the formation of stereotypes, xenophobia, racism and other reasoning patterns concerning different human groups. Psychological essentialism also allegedly complicates the understanding of evolutionary theory. One of the paradoxes to be considered in this course is that whereas on the one hand essentialism is a psychological tendency that leads to some unwanted results - on the other hand it is also a useful thinking heuristics that underlies the processes of inductive reasoning and inferring.

The course will involve the following topics:

  • the introduction to the notion of essentialism in different fields - for instance, the comparison between metaphysical and psychological essentialism;
  • psychological essentialism and its alternatives (for instance the prototype theory);
  • essentialism and its alleged clash with evolutionary theory;
  • genetic determinism as one of the expressions of essentialism;
  • the socio-political implications of essentialism and stereotypical thinking;
  • the comparison between essentialist and social constructivist theories of identity (are gender, sexual orientation, race etc socially constructed or 'innate'?);
  • the comparison between essentialist and non-essentialist politics of identity, etc.

FLFI.02.117 Social and Ethical Aspects of Engineering
Kadri Simm

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.


FLFI.01.088 Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Jan Szaif

This is a class designed for MA students and advanced Bachelor students. It will focus on Aristotle's theory of ethics, based on the most influential version of his ethical lectures, the "Nicomachean Ethics". Aristotle was the first philosopher to present a theory of ethics in the form of a systematic treatise. His Nicomachean Ethics became one of the classical texts in the history of ethics and moral philosophy. 'Neo-Aristotelian' positions still play a significant role in contemporary ethics and political theory.

This course will focus on how Aristotle establishes what the goal of a human life is and how the various virtues of our character and our intellect enable a successful performance in life.


FLFI.04.015 Logic II: Introduction to Philosophy of Logic
Daniel Cohnitz

Logic, in particular contemporary formal logic, is typically introduced as a strict system of rules and definitions that codify which inferences count as "logically valid" and which inferences do not. Usually there is not much time spend on questioning or discussing what justifies this particular choice of rules or this particular way of understanding logical validity. What is it that makes the "standard logic" we learn in introductions to logic the right logic? Couldn't there be alternative ways of reasoning and conceptualizing validity that would lead to other logics? Is it at all plausible to think that there is such a thing as THE right or true logic?

What about principles, such as the principle of non-contradiction? Some argue that there could be (and even actually are) cultures that don't share standard logic's abhorrence against contradictions. But could there be logics that in some sense allow contradictions and would still be logics? Is it possible to rationally discuss such alternatives? After all, logic defines the rules of reasoning and argumentation, how could rational disagreement about these very rules be even possible?

In this course we will introduce the main problems of contemporary philosophy of logic. After a brief overview of the main characteristics of standard logic, we will discuss alternative logics and the philosophical motivation for these, as well as the epistemological and metaphysical problems that arise for the foundations of logic.


For more courses in English, see http://www.ut.ee/en/courses-taught-english

For all the UT curricula and courses, see https://www.is.ut.ee/pls/ois/!tere.tulemast

Additional information: Ruth Jürjo, ruth.jurjo [ät] ut.ee

Fall term of year 2013/2014

Metaethics
Senior research fellow Francesco Orsi

Overview of contemporary metaethics.  What is it to make a moral judgment? Moral judgments are an expression of our emotional and practical subjectivity. Yet they are not matters of taste, and seem to be objectively true or false regardless of what each of us 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 metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind.

Topics covered: G.E. Moore's open question argument, emotivism, quasi-realism, error theory, naturalistic realism, forms of reductionism, judgment and motivation, non-naturalism.

Prerequisite: FLFI.02.003 Basics of Ethics or some other introductory ethics course.


Meaning, Truth, and Context
Research fellow Alexander Stewart Davies

The following topics will be covered in the course: truth-conditional semantics; context-sensitivity; context-shifting arguments; unarticulated constituents; minimalism; moderate contextualism; radical contextualism; occasion-sensitivity; indexicalism; relevance theory; truth-conditional pragmatics.

For graduate students who have passed elementary logic and/or formal semantics courses, and an introductory course in philosophy of language.


Logic I
Professor Daniel Cohnitz

Logic I introduces modern philosophical logic and its use in the analysis of arguments and natural language semantics.

Elective course for PhD students, optional for others. No prerequisites.


Logic II
Professor Daniel Cohnitz, research fellow Luis Estrada Gonzalez

Logic II introduces primarily metalogical notions and results about model theoretic semantics and deductive systems. This semester’s seminar will focus on philosophy of logic.

Prerequisite: FLFI.04.024 Logic I or some other introductory logic course.


For more courses in English, see http://www.ut.ee/en/courses-taught-english

For all the UT curricula and courses, see https://www.is.ut.ee/pls/ois/!tere.tulemast

Additional information: Ruth Jürjo, ruth.jurjo [ät] ut.ee

Spring term of year 2012/2013

Ethics and Philosophy of Sex
Lecturer: Francesco Orsi

This course examines philosophical questions related to sex. We will begin by analyzing the nature of sex, discussing a range of theories of sex including sex as essentially connected to reproduction, sex as a language or expression of love, and “plain sex” theories that emphasise sexual pleasure and desire. Then, we will consider more closely the ethics of sexual behaviour, discussing issues such as perversion, objectification, sexual consent, prostitution, pornography. We will examine some of the most relevant ethico-philosophical traditions for these issues: natural law theory, Kantianism, and feminism.


Social Skills and Ethics
Lecturer: Kadri Simm

The course aims that the students would acquire knowledge targeted to acting in situations complicated in terms of ethics, to be aware of ethical aspects, possibilities, restrictions and social role of one's activity and speciality and to be able to provide grounded judgments in questions concerning one's speciality. Topics to be covered in the course: Ethics and morality. Practical ethics and professional ethics. Descriptive and evaluative judgements. Are values subjective or objective? Are ethical principles universal or relative to culture? Why is trust important in science and society? What kind of social skills are needed in ethical leadership? What are the main issues in bioethics, ethics of technology, environmental ethics and business ethics?


Introduction to Philosophy of Language
Lecturer: Daniel Cohnitz

Philosophy of Language is one of the systematic core areas of theoretical philosophy. Central to it are theories of meaning (of linguistic items) and reference. This course introduces the main contemporary theories and basic concepts of the discipline in the analytic tradition. Introduction to contemporary theories of reference and meaning, the basic concepts of formal semantics, and its central problems. The course also covers influential historical positions: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, Grice, Austin, Kripke, Kaplan, and Stalnaker.


Logic I
Lecturer: Daniel Cohnitz

Logic I 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. The students should acquire a solid understanding of the main notions of formal syntax and semantics. They should acquire the ability to translate natural language sentences into first-order predicate logic, and reconstruct arguments and test their validity. Students should also acquire to carry out proofs in the object language (FOL).


Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy
Lecturer: Daniel Cohnitz

Imagination is obviously of importance in science as well as in philosophy. We need imagination to develop theories and models, and we need counterfactual thinking (what would happen, if…?) in order to understand causal connections. But in both, science and philosophy, imagination and, in particular, the imagination of weird and crazy hypothetical scenarios does more than just provide us with new ideas: it seems to teach us something about the world.

Since antiquity, scientists consider what would happen if we would stand at the edge of the universe, or what would happen to bodies falling in a void, or sitting on frictionless planes. Modern scientists such as Albert Einstein consider what it would be like to travel at the speed of light next to a light beam. Philosophers wonder what it would be like to be a bat, or whether you could survive teletransportation or splitting in half like an amoeba. From these considerations they draw conclusions about what the universe must be like, conclusions that often don’t seem to require additional empirical testing.

Some of the greatest philosophers of science, like Ernst Mach, Pierre Duhem, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn have struggled to understand how thought experiments in the sciences work. How can mere thinking teach us something new? Of course, there is considerable scepticism about the idea that these fancy science fiction consideration can tell us something new, but the fact that thought experimentation played significant roles in important stages in the history of science (e.g. in the Galilean Revolution, in the development of Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics) must be taken seriously.

In philosophy the situation is even more perplexing. Many major breakthroughs in the history of philosophy are connected to the consideration of hypothetical cases, and contemporary mainstream philosophy seems to be relying on this methodology heavily (while at the same time being very sceptical about it).

Fall term of year 2012/2013

FLFI.02.063 Normative Ethics
Lecturer: Francesco Orsi
This course examines John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism, through a close reading of his essay Utilitarianism (1861). The book has five chapters: 1. General Remarks; 2. What Utilitarianism Is; 3. Of the Ultimate Sanction of the Principle of Utility; 4. Of What Sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is Susceptible; and 5. On the Connection Between Justice and Utility. In the study materials I will indicate secondary literature that will help us in our interpretation and serve as basis for the written essay.


FLFI.02.070 Practical Ethics
Lecturers: Kadri Simm, Margit Sutrop, Francesco Orsi, Külli Keerus
The course provides an introduction into various classic and contemporary debates in practical ethics. In addition to more traditional issues from environmental ethics (the status of animals, vegetarianism), medical ethics (organ transplantation), and the political sphere (capital punishment, global justice), we will also debate business ethics and corporate social responsibility, feminist ethics, sexual ethics and security ethics - biometrics.


FLFI.02.112 Radical Political Philosophy
Lecturer: Paul McLaughlin
The course will trace the rise of radical political thought from Rousseau’s Second Discourse through utopian socialism and classical Marxist and anarchist theory up to the New Left and contemporary feminism and ecologism. Various critiques of modern exploitation, domination, and alienation will be explored, as will radical visions of alternative societies. Major theorists to be read and discussed include Godwin, Fourier, Marx, Bakunin, Luxemburg, Gramsci, and Marcuse.


FLFI.02.113 The Philosophy of the Young Marx
Lecturer: Paul McLaughlin
The course will focus on the reading and critical analysis of the early philosophical writings of Karl Marx, roughly from the period 1842-1846. We will examine (1) Marx’s philosophical background in German Idealism and Young Hegelianism, before paying particular attention to (2) the humanistic critique of ‘alienated labour’ in the Paris Manuscripts and (3) the development of the ‘materialist conception of history’ in the German Ideology. Finally, we will question (4) the influence of Marx’s early philosophical thought on his later social theory, as well as (5) the philosophical legacy of the young Marx. The following six works are to be read: On the Jewish Question (1843), Toward the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law: Introduction (1843), Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts (1844), The Holy Family (1844), Theses on Feuerbach (1845), The German Ideology (1845-46).


FLFI.02.122 Metaethics
Lecturer: Francesco Orsi
Contemporary metaethics. What is it to make a moral judgment? Moral judgments are an expression of our emotional and practical subjectivity. Yet they are not matters of taste, and seem to be objectively true or false regardless of what each of us 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 metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind. Topics covered: G.E. Moore's open question argument, emotivism, quasi-realism, error theory, naturalistic realism, forms of eductionism, judgment and motivation, non-naturalism.


Toleration
Lecturers: Anna Kusser, Margit Sutrop

FLFI.03.083 Social Epistemology
Lecturer: Simon Barker
With knowledge, belief and justification as their subject, epistemological concerns arise in every area of study, expertise and policy; yet epistemology as a field in its own right has traditionally been identified within the theoretical core of philosophy. In the last few decades, however, the practical and social implications of the study of knowledge and belief have risen to the surface, in the form of the burgeoning field of social epistemology. Forensic testimony, the value of experts vs. the wisdom of the internet crowd, privacy concerns, social injustice and gender inequalities, even democracy itself have all fallen under the purview of this growing area and with each new study it becomes yet clearer: that to properly address social, scientific and political concerns, epistemology in its applied form must play a role. The course plots a path through this practical turn in epistemology to examine some of the furthest reaching possibilities for social application that the field offers