Philosophy of Multidisciplinary Research: Theoretical Issues and Practical Skills, 3hp

Lecturer: Ingar Brinck, Lund University.
All lectures will be on Zoom.
Course days: 12-15 September.

The course will introduce the conceptual tools and philosophical skills for conducting interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences about AI and autonomous systems.  

The course has two parts. Part 1 presents a few central distinctions in the philosophy of science, social sciences, and humanities while discussing fundamental issues about truth, knowledge, reality, and the aim of scientific research. It provides the basic conceptual tools for conducting interdisciplinary research about AI and autonomous systems. 

Part 2 offers an introduction to interdisciplinarity and reviews ontological, conceptual, and methodological problems commonly associated with pluralism, including strategies for handling them.  

The theoretical material is applied to the research on AI and autonomous systems in the humanities and social sciences, and the social and cultural perspectives on AI and autonomous systems are highlighted. Philosophical skills will be trained continually in oral and written exercises during the course, in discussion time during lectures, and in the written assignment (see below). 

ExaminationIndividual written assignment. You will be asked to apply insights from the course to your own research project. Further information about the assignment will be given during the course. 
 

Course coordinator: Ingar Brinck, theoretical philosophy, Lund University

Literature: List of articles, to be distributed by the end of August.  

Learning outcomes 

  • demonstrate knowledge about the major forms of interdisciplinarity and understanding of the philosophical issues at stake in interdisciplinary research, 
  • discuss key concepts within the philosophy of science incl. the social sciences and humanities and their relevance for conducting scientific research, 
  • critically examine fundamental theoretical assumptions in interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities and their impact on the outcome of the research, 
  • describe the relevance of philosophical key concepts for their dissertation work,  
  • identify fundamental philosophical issues and problems of relevance for their dissertation work and explain how these might be approached. 

Preliminary schedule (based on the schedule in May 2021)

Day 1
9-9.15: Welcome (Zoom). Short introduction to course. 
9.30-12: Self-study of texts: preparation for Wednesday. Reading instructions will be distributed. 
12.15-13: Lunch together (students, optional, Zoom-link provided). 
13.30-16.30: Continued: Self-study of texts. 

Day 2 DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH. INTRODUCING INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH. 
9-12: Lectures, discussion in whole group. 
13.30-16.30: Group assignments, rotating groups. Discussions and presentations groupwise. 

Day 3 
9-12: Self-study: preparation for Friday. Reading instructions will be distributed.
12.15-13: Lunch together (students, optional, Zoom-link provided). 
13.30-15.30: Continued: Self-study of texts. Online tutoring available in the afternoon.
15.45-16.30: Study groups. Instructions will be available. 

Day 4 INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH. Pt1: IN PRACTISE. Pt2: ABOUT AI AND AS.
9-12: Lectures, discussion in whole group. 
13.30-16.30: Group work: discussions and presentations. Teaching interludes.
16.40-17: Final comments and summing up. 

(Preliminary) More detailed information about the examination

The examination consists in writing a reflection paper that discusses one of the topics from the course and applies it to the PhD student’s (your) own on-going PhD project.
The topic must occur among the (obligatory or optional) literature for the course (as found on the list of literature on the web page) OR be among the topics brought up during the lectures and discussion sessions/exercises.
Your reflections must be presented in a way that makes them understandable to a reader unfamiliar with your thesis work. This means you need to reflect about how to introduce your problem to the reader.

Format: The paper should be written in Calibri size 11 or Times New Roman size 12 (or corresponding), space between lines Exact: 16. The paper should be 5-7 pages long + an additional page for the list of references (containing literature from the Course).
The number of pages (5, 6 or 7 pages) does not have any bearing of the grade, but it is the substance that counts. 5 pages is fine — longer than 7 pages is not acceptable. A list of three references is sufficient, but it is possible to refer to more.
In all, this paper should take you about 3 days to write and not more than 5 days, full time.

Deadline: TBD
If you have a problem meeting the deadline you should communicate this to Ingar by e-mail to reach an agreement about submitting the paper later. The postponed deadline can be no later than TBD.
PLEASE NOTE! After an agreement has been made with Ingar, you have to email information about your postponed deadline to Eva Sjöstrand eva.sjostrand@fil.lu.se

Grades: Pass or Fail


Registration

Please register to the course through the form below.