What is knowledge, justice or good life? What exists from a highly general point of view? 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 reasoning, knowledge and the ultimate constituents of reality, practical philosophy is concerned with the nature of human action, ethics, and politics. 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 Faculty of Social Sciences, 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.
The combined Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program in philosophy at the University of Tampere offers knowledge and skills students need in case they choose to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy and academic career. The program provides students with a competence to teach philosophy at schools which are part of the public education system in Finland. Moreover, a degree in philosophy provides students with skills of critical thinking and systematic analysis that are useful for anyone who wished to pursue a career as an expert in some other profession such as medicine, nursing, business, public management or communication.
The majority of teaching is in Finnish, but the programme offers some courses in English. Information about the courses in English can be found in the Teaching Schedules and Curricula Guides. One can also assign book exams and write essays in English.
Degree Programme in Philosophy
Faculty of Social Sciences
FI-33014 University of Tampere
Pinni B building, 4th Floor.
Tel: +358 (03) 355 111