What is knowledge, justice or good life? What is meant by "being"? Philosophy approaches these questions and many others from a general and theoretical point of view. While any human being may find it necessary to reflect on these questions from time to time, the academic discipline of philosophy addresses them in a systematic way with the aim of formulating a thesis or a theory. In philosophy one is expected to formulate views as clearly and distinctly as possible, and to argue for or against them.
The academic discipline of philosophy consists of both theoretical and practical philosophy. Whereas theoretical philosophy is concerned with the nature of being, reasoning, and knowledge, practical philosophy is concerned with the nature of human action, culture, and society. Yet, to understand the complexity of philosophical problems, one needs to master the basics of both theoretical and practical philosophy. For this reason, the degree program in philosophy at the University of Tampere aims to provide a broad survey of philosophy, ranging from metaphysics, logic, and epistemology to ethics and social philosophy. Courses on the history of philosophy are a substantial part of the degree program because in philosophy, unlike in many other academic disciplines, knowledge of the history of the discipline is integral to understanding its key concepts and research problems.
Even though philosophy is a distinct academic discipline with its own tradition and research problems, many research problems in philosophy are closely connected to those in other academic disciplines. When philosophy of science aims to understand the nature of scientific knowledge, it not only studies conceptions of scientific knowledge in other academic disciplines but also draws on their theories and methods. Similarly, research in social philosophy informs and is informed by research in the social sciences. Also, philosophy of mind proceeds hand-in-hand with recent developments in psychology and cognitive science. Contemporary research on logic overlaps with mathematics and computer science. Yet, the history of logic, the so called philosophical logic, and philosophy of language have remained in the domain of philosophy. The degree program in philosophy at the University of Tampere includes courses on formal logic because formal logic is an essential part of a philosopher's tool kit.
The Bachelor's studies in philosophy at the University of Tampere provide students with basic knowledge of philosophy, with a sufficiently broad scope to enable them to pursue a Master's degree in any area of philosophy. Besides philosophy courses, the students are required to accomplish some general basic level courses at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and they are encouraged to select some further courses, other than philosophy, at the University of Tampere. At the Master's level, the students are expected to focus on one area in philosophy and to prepare a Master's thesis on a well-defined research topic.
Content: The degree program in philosophy offers knowledge of philosophy in the Western tradition, covering the core areas of philosophy from metaphysics and logic to epistemology and philosophy of science, and to ethics and social philosophy. The degree program provides students with an opportunity to develop their skills in argumentation, both in philosophical debates and in scientific writing.
The majority of teaching is in Finnish, but the programme offers some of the courses in English. Information about the courses in English can be found in the Teaching Schedules.