Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Interdisciplinarity, cognitive tools and future prospects

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

The mission of the CoE (Centre of Excellence) is defined by two broad goals. We pursue a practically relevant philosophy of the social sciences with consequences for scientific practice and its management. We also pursue a path towards a new philosophy of interdisciplinarity, with practical consequences for the philosophy of science. These two general objectives depend on one another in virtue of the fact that interdisciplinarity is a major characteristic of contemporary social science and beyond. The attainment of these goals requires creative collective effort that combines detailed case studies with inventive theorizing.

We understand the purpose of philosophical research to be the detection, analysis and resolution of conceptual problems in scientific practice. Philosophical analyses have the potential to increase methodological self-awareness among scientists and to alleviate problems of interdisciplinary communication. They also allow fuller exploitation of interdisciplinary synergies by liberating intellectual resources from futile battles between research traditions.

The CoE organises its research into five topic areas based on our earlier research on and diagnosis of the future challenges in the human and social sciences. This is expected to facilitate fruitful and timely interventions into the practices in these disciplines and to provide building blocks for the new philosophy of interdisciplinarity. The five intertwined and overlapping topic areas are:

1. Models and other transferable means of surrogate reasoning
2. Explanation and evidence across disciplinary boundaries
3. Social ontology: understanding sociality from the group perspective
4. Economics and interdisciplinary trade
5. Philosophical foundations of analytical sociology

Strands of research on these themes proceed in parallel and are mutually supportive. CoE members may work on more than one topic area, thereby contributing to the flow of information between the strands.
Effective start/end date01/01/201231/12/2017


  • Unknown funder

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • analytical sociology, collective intentionality, economics imperialism, evolutionary psychology, explanation, interdisciplinarity, models, simulation, social mechanisms, social ontology