Advanced Studies in the Philosophy of Social Sciences A

lfilo2600  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Advanced Studies in the Philosophy of Social Sciences A
5 credits
30.0 h

  This biannual learning unit is not being organized in 2018-2019 !

Dedeurwaerdere Tom;
Reading knowledge of English sufficient to allow study of contemporary texts in the area of the philosophy of the human and social sciences.
Main themes
Each year the course will concentrate on a particular theme, and will make sure to present and contrast different philosophical approaches to the theme. The course will also attempt to combine the study of the selected theme with a reflection on the aims and methods of the philosophy of the human and social sciences.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to pursue, in a well-informed and original manner, a question chosen from the area of the philosophy of the human and social sciences.

After completing the course, the student should be able to :
- Use research tools appropriate for the philosophy of human sciences ;
- Conceptualise the question that has been selected;
- Situate the answers to this question within the framework of the history of key concepts in the human and social sciences, and in contemporary philosophical debates between different approaches and theories ;
- Include, in the philosophical discussion of the selected question, contributions from other disciplines that bear upon the response to the question ;
- Develop arguments regarding the response to the question in an original way. Submit the method chosen for the study of the selected question to a critical reflection.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.

The philosophical stakes of research into well-fare state policies for sustainable well-bing : from post-postivism to contemporary theories of subjectivation.
The dynamism of science has been catalytic for human prosperity in recent history. Conventional perspectives of the ivory tower model of modern science are however rivalled by the failure of humanity to tackle global crises of an economic, environmental and social nature. Operational solutions to these pressures have grown and exposed the pitfalls of modern science to date.
Contemporary research on sustainable well-being globally are eschewing traditional practice, converging around ideas of transdisciplinary sustainability science. New practice based on science-society research partnerships, experiential learning and participatory research into processes of subjectivation have become manifest.  This course investigates the core concepts, tools and institutional strategies of this evolving field. Prominent research programs within heterodox economics, the environmental sciences, theory of agency and well-being are explored through diverse case studies, revealing challenges and advancements for transdisciplinary research.
Teaching methods

Course ex cathedra : 22/09 ; 29/09 ; 6/10 ; 20/10 ; 27/10 ; 10/11 ; 17/11 ; 24/11 ; 1/12
Presentation of the texts by the students : 8/12 ; 15/12
Evaluation methods

The evaluation will be in 2 parts:
Part 1 (20% of the score): a summary of 2 pages will be prepared by the student of one of the background texts and presented orally at the course (compulsory part of the evaluation: presentation the 8th and the 15th of December). The commentary and presentation can be made in English or in French.
Part 2 (80% of the score): oral examination.
Oral examination : interrogation on one of the 8 texts indicated with an asterisk « * » and printed in the syllabus (selected at random at the exam). The oral examination will assess two items: a structured summary of the text and the capacity to situate the argument of the text in the broader argument of the course: 80% of the evaluation. 
Format of the work of 1,5 pages :
'    First page: 300 words max, containing: a short introduction on the topic of the fragment and/or the key thesis that is advanced. Then, presentation of the arguments that are developed
'    Second page: short critical remarks, justified with one or two arguments (200 words maximum)
Format of the slides for the oral presentation :
'    Three slides in power point to be send by email before the presentation: MAX 50 words for each dia. First slide: title of the fragment and bibliographical reference. Second slide: short introduction on the topic of the fragment and/or the key thesis that is advanced. Third slide: presentation of the arguments that are developed.
Other information
Online resources

Portefeuille de lecture
Introduction : le rôle de la philosophie dans l'analyse critique des théories du bien-être
·         Hamalainen, T.J., Michaelson, J. 2014. Well-Being and Beyond: Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
o   Chapter 2. In Search of Coherence: Sketching a Theory of Sustainable Well-Being: 17-67.
·         Putnam, H. Ethics without ontology. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard University Press.
o   Part II.1. The Three enlightenments: pp. 89-108.
Partie 1 : comprendre la subjectivation de l'acteur intentionnel dans les sciences humaines interprétatives et critiques
·         Ricoeur, P., 1986. Du texte à l'action. Paris : éditions du Seuil.
o   De l'interprétation : pp. 11-35
o   Expliquer et comprendre : pp. 161-182
o   Herméneutique et critique des idéologies : pp. 333-377
·         De Sousa Santos, B. 2014. Epistemologies of the South. Justice against epistemicide. Boulder: Paradigm publishers.
o   Chapter 3. is there a non-occidentalist West ?: pp. 99-117
·         Fraser, N., Honneth, A. 2003. Redistribution or Recognition ?. London/New-York: Verso.
o   Chapter 1. Social justice in the Age of Identity Politics: Redistribution, Recognition and Participation: pp. 7-109.
·         Argyris, Ch., Schön, D. Apprentissage organisationnel. Théorie, méthode, pratique. Paris/Bruxelles : De Boeck Université.
o   Chapitre 3. Le cas Mercury : les critères qui facilitent ou inhibent l'apprentissage organisationnel productif : pp. 81-106
Partie 2 : comprendre l'enchevêtrement des faits et des valeurs dans les sciences positives du développement humain
·         Husserl, E. La crise des sciences européennes et la phénoménologie transcendantale. Paris : Gallimard
o   Section 9. La mathématisation galiléenne de la nature : pp27-69.
·         George, A.L., Bennett, A., 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press.
o   Chapter 7.Case Studies and the Philosphy of Science: pp. 127-149.
·         Putnam, H. 2004 (éd. Originale 2002). L'enchevêtrement des faits et des valeurs. In Fait/Valeur : la fin d'un dogme. pp. 89-105, pp. 37-54
·         Funtowicz S.O., Ravetz, J.R., 1993. Science for the post-normal age. Futures: 739-755.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Ethics