SDP415 Vitenskapsteori i studier av miljø, samfunnsutvikling og planlegging


Ansvarlig fakultet:Fakultet for landskap og samfunn

Emneansvarlig:Timothy Kevin Richardson

Campus / nettbasert:Undervises campus Ås

Undervisningens språk:Engelsk

Antall plasser:15


Forventet arbeidsmengde:Three full days of workshops including lectures, seminars, discussions on research philosophy and four seminars on research ethics (35 hrs). In addition, 90 hrs of preparation, reading and independent work.

Undervisnings- og vurderingsperiode:The teaching on philosophy of science takes place between 20-22nd January 2025 with the final poster presentation and discussion session taking place on 4th June 2025. The seminars in ethics take place approximately once a month. You must attend four seminars and work sessions on research ethics from course MINA400. These four seminars can be taken either during Autumn semester 2024 or the Spring semester 2025.

Om dette emnet

How does your philosophical and ethical orientation affect your research? And how can an understanding of philosophy of science and ethics improve your research? This introductory course helps PhD candidates answer these questions.

During the course we explore a number of philosophical perspectives on science - that is, systems of generalised views of the world that guide action - and consider how they influence scientific practices. Through this examination, we address questions of ontology, epistemology and ethics, but in an applied manner by questioning how philosophy affects interpretations of the purpose(s) of research, research design, methodology and methods.

The precise philosophical positions that are covered in the course are partly determined based on the background and academic interests of the enrolled PhD candidates. In previous years, they have included perspectives from critical realism, critical theory, post-structuralism, constructivism and interpretivism.

The ethics component of this course is fulfilled by taking sessions from the cross-Faculty course, Research Education Across Disciplines (MINA400). Seminars take place on this course monthly and you must attend a minimum of four meetings and work sessions, during the Autumn and/or Spring semesters. The content of the seminars varies from year-to-year, but typically include such topics as: the ethics of publishing; ethical assessment of research; and, building a culture for research ethics.

The course ends with a poster workshop through which we seek to further clarify and debate our individual philosophical and ethical beliefs and their consequences for what you deem to constitute ‘good’ science in your PhD research.

Dette lærer du

The principal learning outcomes that you will realise through this course are as follows:

  • Recognise points of difference and intersections between philosophical perspectives
  • Understand what is deemed worthwhile and ‘good’ science under different philosophical perspectives
  • Identify the philosophical values guiding your own and others scientific inquiries and ethical questions relevant to your field
  • Appraise the philosophical and ethical basis for research design decisions that we make and how they affect research outcomes
  • The course will involve lectures/presentations, seminar activities, small and full group discussions, a poster workshop, and self-guided study.
  • A detailed reading list that includes literature on the particular philosophical perspective that we will cover in the course will be supplied to you prior to the start of the course. There are two introductory references that should be read before attending the course:

    • Moon, K. & Blackman, D. (2014) A guide to understanding social science research for natural scientists. Conservation Biology, 28 (5), 1167-1177,
    • Chapter 2 in Bryman, A. (2016) Social research methods (fifth edition). Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Two textbooks that cover this subject which I recommend are:

    • Howell, K. E. (2013) An introduction to the philosophy of methodology. Sage, London.
    • Blaikie, N. & Priest, J. (2017) Social research: paradigms in action. Polity Press, Cambridge.

    There are also some useful online resources available. The following informal lecture provides a highly watchable introduction to the subject:

  • Masterutdanning i planlegging, landskapsarkitektur, arealforvaltning, folkehelsevitenskap eller annet relevant fag. Kurset må inngå som del av et godkjent eksisternde PhD program.
  • Combined assessment: In order to pass the course, you must have attended and participated actively in at least 80% of the taught sessions on philosophy of science and attended four seminars and work sessions on research ethics; you must present a poster summarising your philosophical orientation at the end of course; and, submitted, and had approved by the course leader, a paper of 2000-3000 words. The paper will explore the philosophical orientation that you envisage, or are, applying in your PhD research.

    Mappe/sammensatt vurdering Karakterregel: Bestått/ Ikke bestått
  • Submission of paper, participation in at least 80 % of the taught sessions on philosophy of science and four seminars and work sessions on research ethics.
  • 35 timer
  • PhD-studenter som hører til Fakultet for landskap og samfunn.
  • Deltagene skal ha opptak på et PhD program