Philosophy and Philosophy of Science
Philosophy studies basic questions about the world and our own existence; questions of norms, values, knowledge, reality, consciousness, language, and thought. What characterises a good society, right actions or a good life? Are there systematic ways to find objectively correct answers to such questions? What is knowledge and is it possible for us to have knowledge of an independent external world? Do we have a special type of knowledge about our own consciousness? What is the relationship between consciousness, thought, and material world – including our brains? How can language convey thought?
One important aim of philosophical research is to systematically answer these basic questions. The subject of philosophy is therefore as old as systematic thought and many other academic disciplines can be said to originate from philosophy. Subjects such as physics, computer science and economics are all results of finding systematic, empirical or mathematical methods based in philosophical methodology to tackle specific problems. Another aim is to clarify specific problems arising from social and scientific development, for example ethical matters concerning environmental pollution and family constellations.
We offer a wide range of courses in philosophy that introduce students to classical philosophical questions as well as to current philosophical discussions about consciousness, language, science, environment, society, and ethics. Analytic ability and critical thinking are important for all areas of philosophy. These skills are practised throughout the programme, but are also given more in-depth treatment in our methodology-oriented components. These skills are further developed at second-cycle level and applied to contemporary areas in philosophical research.
At Umeå University it is possible to study philosophy from first-cycle to third-cycle level. We offer freestanding courses both on campus in Umeå and online. Philosophy can form the main subject of a Bachelor of Arts degree. At second-cycle level, it is possible to complete a Master of Arts (60 or 120 credits) in Philosophy. We also offer philosophy as a main subject within our Bachelor’s programme in Philosophy and Social Analysis.
Courses in Philosophy and Philosophy of Science given in EnglishCourses in Philosophy and Philosophy of Science given in SwedishBachelor’s programme in Philosophy and Social Analysis (given in Swedish)
The link between philosophy and other disciplines is not just historical. Within both ethics and political philosophy, philosophers collaborate with sociologists, political scientists and economists. Logicians and philosophers of language work with mathematicians, computer scientists and linguists. Epistemologists and philosophers of mind collaborate with researchers in psychology, cognition, neuroscience and the educational sciences. Furthermore, research in philosophy aimed at concrete, topical problems is directly relevant to political decisions. Therefore philosophers often contribute to studies for governments and organisations, sit on ethics councils and participate in social debate.