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Archived Curricula Guide 2011–2012
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides

Philosophy focuses on problems concerning human beings and the world, for example, questions related to knowledge, being, and morality, on a general and theoretical level. It has its origin in everyday thought; however,   compared with everyday reasoning, it is more systematic and attempts to justify its claims and approaches as clearly and rigorously as possible. In Finnish universities, philosophy is often divided into theoretical and practical philosophy. Theoretical philosophy examines problems related to reality, reasoning, and knowledge, while practical philosophy studies questions concerning the human being, culture, and communities. Traditionally, the main fields of philosophy have been metaphysics, logic, epistemology, ethics, and social philosophy. Since tradition has an important role in philosophy, history of philosophy is an important object of study. For a long time, science and philosophy were synonymous and different sciences only gradually grew into independent fields. Philosophy is still in many ways connected to the sciences and the humanities. One of its tasks is to study their foundations, central concepts, methods, and theories, as well as theoretical reasoning.

Basic studies in philosophy give an overview of the nature of philosophical thought and the different fields within philosophy. Intermediate studies focus on these questions in more depth. Courses in history of philosophy, contemporary philosophy, logic, and philosophy of science are common to all students. Also proseminar is common to all. In addition, students have to choose courses that belong to either theoretical or practical philosophy. If a student chooses to focus on theoretical philosophy, he or she can study metaphysics and ontology, philosophy of the mind and cognition, or philosophy of language. If a student prefers practical philosophy, he or she can focus on ethics and social philosophy, and the philosophy of culture and art.

Advanced studies consist of  studies in two of the following six fields: a) modern and contemporary philosophy, b) history of logic, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of language, c) metaphysics, d) epistemology and philosophy of science, e) ethics and social philosophy, and f) philosophy of culture and art. From the very beginning, studies in philosophy involve practice in philosophical writing and argumentation, which facilitate the work done in seminars and writing the pro gradu (i.e. Master’s) thesis.

Philosophy courses are mainly offered only in Finnish. There are occasional lectures or lecture series by visitors that are given in English. Information about these lectures can be found on the philosophy bulletin board and online. However, a student can study philosophy at the University of Tampere by taking book exams and writing essays. Most of the course units can be taken by reading English books. Please see below for detailed requirements. There is a designated examination day about once a month. In intermediate and advanced studies a student can write essays, but he or she must always agree on the subject and length of the essay with the professor concerned. The staff will be happy to answer any questions concerning studies in philosophy.

It is possible to obtain the following degrees in philosophy:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
(Humanististen tieteiden kandidaatin tutkinto (HuK), kandidat i humanistiska vetenskaper

Master of Arts (M.A.).
(Filosofian maisterin tutkinto (FM), filosofie magister (FM)

For information on postgraduate (Doctoral) degrees, please see separate guides at

School of Social Sciences and Humanities