The degree programme in philosophy at Tampere University aims to provide a broad survey of philosophy, ranging from metaphysics, logic, and epistemology to ethics and social philosophy.
The Bachelor’s studies in philosophy at Tampere University 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 (SOC), and they are encouraged to select some further courses, other than philosophy, at Tampere University. 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 programme in philosophy at Tampere University offers knowledge and skills students need in case they choose to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy. The programme provides students with the competence to teach philosophy at public schools in Finland. Moreover, a degree in philosophy provides the students with the critical thinking and systematic analysis skills that are useful for anyone pursuing a career in areas, such as medicine, business, public management, law, or communication.
Research in Philosophy
Philosophy in Tampere covers both theoretical and practical philosophy. The current research topics include the philosophy of human understanding (incl. knowledge, mind and language); social and political philosophy; metaphysics (incl. social ontology); philosophy of science, and research ethics.
Research projects on external funding are encouraged on diverse topics (at the moment they include e.g. philosophy of robotics, and research on social and cognitive diversity in science).
Arto Laitinen’s research interests include theories of mutual recognition, social ontology, normativity, personhood, and ethics of technology.
Panu Raatikainen's research has ranged from the realism issue to theories of truth and incompleteness theorems. His present research interests include mental causation, consciousness, theories of reference and fictional entities.He is the editor-in-chief of Ajatus.
Jani Hakkarainen works on metaphysics, metametaphysics, social ontology and David Hume's (1711-76) metaphysics and epistemology. In metaphysics, together with Dr Markku Keinänen, Hakkarainen specialises on trope theory, according to which the fundamental category of entities consists of particular thin natures. Part of this study is metaphysics of relations. In metametaphysics, Hakkarainen's approach is formal ontological (cf. Barry Smith, Kevin Mulligan, Peter Simons and E.J. Lowe), which he applies to ontological forms, categories and metaphysical fundamentality.
Kristina Rolin is University Lecturer in research ethics, teaching PhD students in all disciplines. Her research interests include Research Ethics, Philosophy of Science, Social Epistemology and Feminist Philosophy of Science and Epistemology. Kristina Rolin is a PI in an Academy of Finland research project "Cognitive and Social Diversity in Science: An Epistemic Assessment" (2018-2022).
Inkeri Koskinen works on scientific objectivity, the social epistemology of scientific knowledge, the role of values in science, diversity in science, democratisation of scientific knowledge production, philosophy of the humanities, philosophy of the social sciences, and demarcation.
Petri Räsänen (University Instructor) works on social and political philosophy, specially political philosophy of economics. His interests include the political significance of economics as the justification of competitive markets and capitalism, relating especially to the contradiction between economic rationality and democratic decision-making.
Markku Keinänen has publications on trope nominalism, realist theories of universals and formal ontology, many of which are joint papers with Dr Jani Hakkarainen. Keinänen is currently developing trope theory as a category system, which has analytic resources to replace traditional categories (objects, properties, relations and processes) with tropes. Together with Hakkarainen, he is also currently preparing a volume on the metatheory of formal ontology to Cambridge Elements-series.
Pasi Valtonen (Researcher) works on philosophy of language, specializing in the nature of slurs and offensive language.
Jaana Parviainen is a senior research fellow at Tampere University. She has specialised in the philosophy of technology, social epistemology, and phenomenology. Her research falls under the large field of how technology and humanities intersect and extend into philosophical questions about automation, robotization, decision-making, algorithms, disinformation, and epistemic inequalities. She has conducted and led several interdisciplinary research projects. One of her ongoing research projects, ‘Struggling with Ignorance: Negative Expertise and the Erosion of the Finnish Information Society at the Turn of 2020’ (NEGATE, 2018-2022) is motivated by the need to respond to intensified epistemic tensions between institutional authorities and citizens. The research project ‘Democracy, Language and the Politics of Algorithms Steering Vulnerable Citizens in Society’ (DIGITO, 2022-2025) interrogates AI ethics, power and epistemocracy, addressing questions such as: how the politics of algorithms changes the conditions of democracy in society from the perspective of vulnerable citizens. Her research has been published in journals, such as, Synthese; Social Epistemology; Ethics and Information Technology; Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology and Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy."
Antti Keskinen (Researcher) works on the philosophy of Quine and philosophy of language.
Renne Pesonen (Researcher) worked on Casual Reasoning in his PhD, and currently works as a post-doc in the Academy of Finland research project "Cognitive and Social Diversity in Science: An Epistemic Assessment".
Tommi Vehkavaara (Coordinator) has taught logic courses and various topics on classical pragmatism. His research interests concern C.S. Peirce's philosophy, philosophical logic and semiotic naturalism (biosemiotics, cognitive semiotics, interactivist representation theory, and evolutionary epistemology).
Lauri Lahikainen (Post-Doc Researcher) and works on a post-doc project on the climate responsibility of cities; and is affiliated to a project on eco-welfare state. He worked on individual responsibility for climate change in his PhD
Matias Slavov (Post-Doc Researcher). His research interests are the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of David Hume, and the philosophy of time.
Aleksi Honkasalo (PhD Researcher) works on normativity of meaning.
Otto Sahlgren (Doctoral Researcher) works on ethics of artificial intelligence and ethics of discrimination, focusing on substantial and methodological questions of algorithmic fairness, in particular.
Teemu Toppinen’s area of specialization is in ethics, very broadly construed. The philosophical issues that most occupy him concern the nature of normativity (oughts, reasons, values, etc.) – or, perhaps better: the nature and meaning of our thought and talk concerning normative issues. In addition to such metaethical or metanormative topics (e.g., expressivism, quasi-realism), Toppinen has also done some work in normative ethics (e.g., consequentialism, moral worth). His current research interests include transcendental arguments (the topic for his Academy of Finland project) and the history of the expressivist tradition in metaethics.
Corrado Piroddi (Post-Doc Researcher) mainly works on critical theory, social ontology, ethics. In his doctoral dissertation, he provided a novel comparative study of two prominent social theorists, Axel Honneth and Pierre Bourdieu, developing new conceptual tools useful for philosophical studies and social sciences. In his postdoctoral research project, Pandemics, Social Distancing, and Social Pathologies. An Ethical and Socio-Philosophical Perspective, Piroddi approaches bioethical and biopolitical topics concerning the ethical evaluation of social distancing and NPI from a perspective that is sensitive to social philosophy and theory of recognition.
Leila Haaparanta (Professor Emerita) works on 20th century philosophy and its roots in modern philosophy.
Ongoing doctoral research
Active PhD-students work e.g. on phenomenology; social construction of gender; theories of non-binary gender; 20th century receptions of Marx’s theories of value; normativity of meaning; nihilism and societal relevance of blockchain technology.
Philosophy seminars and events in Tampere University
Philosophy Research Seminars (PRS) From 2 pm to 4 pm unless otherwise stated)
14.9. PRS Tiia Sudenkaarne (University of Helsinki): "Reconfiguring Justice in a Queer Feminist, Posthumanist Framework: The Case of AMR Bioethics"
28.9. PRS Jussi Backman (Tampere University): "On the (Meta)biopolitics of Happiness"
23.–25.10. The congress of doctoral training network in philosophy
2.11. PRS Paavo Pylkkänen (University of Helsinki)
30.11. PRS John Davis (California State University, Fullerton)
Spring 2024 (Under construction)
15.2. PRS Maria Hämeen-Anttila
22.2. PRS Jarno Hietalahti
The majority of teaching is in Finnish, but the programme offers also some courses in English. Information about the courses in English can be found in Student's Guide's Curriculum. One can also assign book exams and write essays in English.
Doctoral Programme in Philosophy
The aim of the Doctoral Programme in Philosophy is to thoroughly familiarise students with philosophy, in particular with the subject of their independent dissertation, which also gives them experience in conducting research in their field.
At Tampere University, the current fields of expertise in philosophy include research of human reason (including knowledge, mind and language), social philosophy, metaphysics (including social ontology), and history of philosophy from early modern and modern philosophy to 20th century traditions.
Creating national and international networks and making use of them in research practices is an important part of doctoral education. The Doctoral Programme in Philosophy – which has close national and international connections – ensures that its graduates are equipped with sufficient general working life skills and for working in co-operation with other disciplines as well as are capable of conducting high-quality research in philosophy and providing instruction on the basis of their research.
Graduates from this programme are employed in research, teaching, public relations and the publishing sector, and as experts required to conceive broad contexts (e.g. as specialists in science administration).
For more information contact University Lecturer Jani Hakkarainen (jani.hakkarainen [at] tuni.ficlass="spamspan")
Santala, Tapio, Doctoral Researcher
Koskinen, Heikki J