Courses in English

Spring term 2021

Running the whole term

Arabic Philosophy

The aim of the course is to trace a general history of Islamic Philosophy from the 8th to the 13th century, following the evolution of thought from the introduction of Greek philosophy into Muslim world. We will try to mark the most important figures in this history and the major stages and issues in which Islamic Philosophy passed through. We will deal with names like: Al-Kindî, Al-Rāzî, Al- Farābî, Ibn Sîna (“Avicenna”), Al-Gazālî, Ibn Tufayl, Maimonides, Ibn Rushd (“Averroes”), Ibn Khaldûn. Our course will also deal with evolution of the thoughts and the intersections between philosophy and theology: ethics (Akhlāq), politics (sîyāsah), knowledge of God (Ma‘rifat all-Allah), creation and eternity of the world (khalq wa zalîyat al-‘Alam) and the immortality of the soul (khlûd al-Nafis).

7,5 credits, teaching premises in Södertälje
Course coordinator: Saad Hanna

Courses running the first half of the term (weeks 3–13)

Martyrdom

The idea of martyrdom and its interpretations in history are best described through the example of martyrs from different faith traditions and time periods. From this concrete basis, more speculative questions can be addressed, such as the following: is there a common idea of martyrdom? Does the example of Christ put Christian martyrdom in a special category? Can there be a concept of martyrdom outside a religious world-view? Does martyrdom inspire awe or condemnation? What is the danger of an unbridled martyr ideology? These questions are very relevant to understanding today’s world and living one’s faith in the midst of its conflicts. Examples from the past are considered not only for their historical value, but also in their role as markers of community belonging and shapers of ethical and philosophical positions in societies where martyrs were remembered and celebrated.

7,5 credits, partly distance
Course coordinator: Barbara Crostini

Philosophy of Science

The sciences occupy a prominent place in contemporary thinking, as well as in today’s society in general. In this course we will take a closer look at the different sciences’ knowledge claims and methods. In what sense can science be said to provide knowledge? What claim do sciences make to describe reality? And what are the possibilities and limitations of the scientific method? Only through such an analysis can scientific knowledge claims be compared to knowledge claims in other areas.

7,5 credits, partly distance

Analytical Philosophy in the 20th Century

Analytical Philosophy took a dominant position during the entirety of the 20th century throughout the Anglo-Saxon world, particularly in the middle of the century in the Scandinavian countries. Analytical Philosophy under the 20th century was characterized by its close proximity to the natural sciences and placed high emphasis on formal analyses and empirical methods. The course provides a review of the development of analytical philosophy from Gottlob Freges to today. Particular emphasis is placed upon reading and reflecting on the texts of the analytical philosophers.

7,5 credits, partly locally and partly distance
Course coordinators: Tomas Ekenberg and Erik Åkerlund

Existentialism

Existentialism was one of last century’s most important philosophical traditions. Philosophers like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre asked themselves what living an authentic life means. They struggled with questions about existence, freedom, anxiety, guilt, and lethargy. The questions that the existentialists raised were not new, as one can find them in different guises all the way from antiquity up to the present time. The course takes the concepts and thoughts developed by the 20th century existentialists as a point of departure and relates them to questions and concerns of our contemporary society.

7,5 credits, teaching sessions in the evening
Course coordinator: Kim Solin

Comic Relief: Humor as Social Criticism

Description coming soon.

7,5 credits, teaching premises in Stockholm
Course coordinators: Brian Palmer and Gustav Fridolin

Courses running the second half of the term (weeks 14–22)

Logic and Argumentation II: The Pragmatics of Logic

In this course, students learn how to apply the methods of formal and informal logical analyses to argumentative texts. Practical analyses of argumentative texts are included, where students learn to discover, reconstruct and evaluate the logical quality and the effectiveness of argumentation in larger contexts. The main focus will be to teach students how to use formal languages of propositional and predicate logic and the corresponding logical methods to analyze validity and soundness of arguments in philosophical texts or texts in cultural and social debates. In relation to this, students are also taught the principles of argument evaluation that differ from logical validity and soundness, such as plausibilityinductive strengthsophisms (logical fallacies)refutation, and defeasibility. In this context, a study of argumentation schemas and the standard logical fallacies (the reasoning that seems to be logically well-grounded but actually is not) is also provided. The course thus focuses on applications of logical methods, with the aim of improving the abilities of analytical and critical thinking.

7,5 credits, partly distance
Course coordinator: Taeda Tomic

What is Nature?

The course is divided in three parts: The first part analyses the use of the term “nature” in philosophy and theology in a historical perspective, giving special attention to modern times and the development of the dichotomy between nature and culture. The second part focuses on the hermeneutics of nature, how we experience it and how this experience expresses itself in for example literature or aesthetic theory. The third part will look at our use of nature (medicin, forestry etc.) and what this use does to nature (GMO, diversity etc.).

7,5 credits
Course coordinator: Ylva Jansson