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Theory of Science for the Social Sciences - SIMM23



What social sciences is all about

Why do I need to take a course on the philosophy of science? Isn't this something that should be left to people who can get excited over the most abstract theories and philosophies? Philosophy of science – or theory of science, as it is called in this course – is in fact no exotic undertaking but lies at the very basis of what social science research is all about: it provides glimpses into the different ways that we, as social science researchers, perceive, define and theorize reality, in order to build our research upon this 'reality'.

This course will make you realize that these ways can be very different and often at odds with one another. It will also enable you to identify the main characteristics of important meta-approaches to doing social science research and see their merits and limitations: positivist, social constructivist, feminist, and critical realist conceptions of 'doing science'. 

Online course platform

This course uses Canvas as the online course platform. The course platform will be opened one week before the course begins to all students who were accepted. Here you will be able to access literature, assignments, announcements, as well as participate in discussions and communicate with teachers. 


The course schedule can be found under the course information on the right. Please note that the final version of the schedule will be made available four weeks before the course begins, and changes may occur until that point. A more detailed schedule will be available on the course platform on Canvas.

Excerpts from student evaluations

"(The) excercises were useful and I enjoyed debating with my classmates about the course content."

"I really liked the seminar about applying positivism, social constructivism, eminism and critical realism on the four themes. It was very useful."

About the course

Next course period: 
2024-04-25 to 2024-06-02

Course schedule:
List view | Calendar view

Course syllabus

Course literature