Denna kurs är för dig som läst Praktisk filosofi II. Kandidatkursen ger dig möjlighet att ytterligare fördjupa dig i den praktiska filosofins problemområden. Kursen består av två litteraturkurser om vardera 7,5 högskolepoäng samt ett examensarbete i form av en kandidatuppsats om 15 högskolepoäng.


Praktisk filosofi – kandidatkurs höstterminen 2020


Upprop och introduktion

Tisdag 21 januari, kl. 11-12, sal D231. Observera att närvaro på uppropet är obligatoriskt för att bli registrerad på kandidatkursen.

Lärare: Åsa Burman

Aktuella kursscheman

Schema PF kandidatkurs våren 2020


Litteraturkurs 1: Decision theory (7,5 hp)

Lärare: H. Orri Stefánsson

The aim of this course is to introduce the basics of decision theory, and to critically discuss the philosophical foundations and implications of the theory. We start by discussing different uses of decision theory and the formulation of decision problems. After introducing the expected utility maxim, we discuss where the utilities are meant to come from and how to measure them according to the von Neumann-Morgenstern (vNM) expected utility theory. We go through the justification of the vNM axioms and consider criticism of the theory based on seemingly rational attitudes to risk that conflict with these axioms. A limitation of the vNM theory is that it assumes that alternatives give rise to an objective probability distribution over outcomes. In most realistic decision problems, however, the decision-maker has to use her own estimates of how likely an option is to lead to each of its possible outcomes (i.e., she needs to consult her subjective probabilities). Savage’s decision theory is meant to accounts for this. We discuss Savage’s axioms and the idea that a rational person’s preferences determine a unique subjective probability function (as Savage’s theory entails). We consider whether Savage’s representation theorem provides a convincing argument for Probabilism, the view that beliefs should be probabilistic. We conclude by discussing the so-called Dutch Book Argument for probabilism.

Course literature:

  • Peterson, Martin, An introduction to decision theory, Cambridge University Press 2009

Litteraturkurs 2: Social Ontology (7,5 hp)

Lärare: Åsa Burman
Social ontology is a rapidly growing field within analytic philosophy. The general topic is the metaphysics of the social world, for instance, the nature of events like the French Revolution, entities like nations and peoples, and institutions such as monarchy and private property. The main question is: What is the nature and structure of social and institutional reality?

A number of questions are related to this topic: What is an institutional fact, e.g. the fact that Stefan Löfven is the prime minister of Sweden? How are social and institutional facts possible? How do we construct an objective social reality? Which are the basic building blocks of social reality? Is there a principle underlying all institutional reality? Can we discover social facts? How do social facts fit into our theory of the natural world? And what is social power and social structures? These questions form the subject matter of social ontology and the foundation of the social sciences.

During this course, we will provide answers to the above questions by discussing two influential theories in this field - Ásta’s conferralist account and John Searle’s new theory of social reality - and some of the most important objections and additions to these theories. The purpose is to increase our understanding of the social phenomena we all encounter on an everyday basis, such as money, an institution like Stockholm University, and being a student with various forms of social power such as rights (positive deontic powers) and obligations (negative deontic powers).

Course literature:
    • Ásta, Categories we live by, Oxford University Press 2018.
    • Searle, John, Making the social world, Oxford University Press 2010.
    • Selected articles


Examensarbete (15 hp)

Denna delkurs består av ett examensarbete i form av en kandidatuppsats vars inriktning bestäms av handledare eller examinator. Förutom individuell handledning ingår ett antal seminarier under vilka uppsatsarbetena diskuteras och ventileras. 

Kandidatuppsatsen utgör den sista delen av grundutbildningen i praktisk filosofi och examensarbetet för kandidatexamen. Den utgör ett prov på hur väl man tillägnat sig denna utbildning och ligger till grund för urvalet till avancerad nivå. För att lyckas väl med uppsatsen rekommenderas att du noga studerar betygskriterierna och följer de anvisningar som ges. 

Betyget på examensarbetet bestämmer slutbetyget på hela kandidatkursen.

Lärare: Gunnar Björnsson, Håkan Salwén

Kurslitteratur: Hansson, S-O: Verktygslära för filosofer samt för examensarbetet anvisad litteratur