Philosophy

About the subject

The philosophical questions about how we ought to conduct our lives, what we can know, and what our place in the universe is, were asked more than 2000 years ago, and they have been discussed intensely and methodically ever since. Philosophers of our time approach them with new methods and try to come up with new answers. At the Department of Philosophy you have an opportunity to take part in this discussion. Doing so is personally rewarding and it gives you intellectual tools you will benefit from for the rest of your life.

Philosophy consists of practical philosophy and theoretical philosophy. Both subjects are theoretical in nature and closely related, but concern some different issues. Within practical philosophy, we study fundamental questions about human practice and actions. In particular, we look at concepts such as rationality, norms and values. How should we live? Do we have a free will? What is a rational decision? Can norms and values be true, or are they merely expressions of feelings and attitudes? Central research areas within practical philosophy include decision theory, moral philosophy and political philosophy.

In theoretical philosophy, we study fundamental questions about the nature of existence and the conditions for knowledge. In particular, we look at concepts such as truth, existence and meaning. How does consciousness relate to the brain? Is there a reality independent of our minds and if so, how can we know anything about it? What characterizes a scientific explanation? What makes a conclusion valid? Central areas of research within theoretical philosophy include the theory of knowledge, philosophy of language, theory of science, and logic.

Career opportunities

Studying philosophy means that you train your analytical skills which you can benefit from in many different professions. Many former philosophy students combine their studies in philosophy with other subjects and then work in fields such as technology and science or in the humanities and social sciences sector.

For specific examples of how our former philosophy students are using their studies with us in their current professions.

You can read our alumni interviews here 

Courses and programmes

Degree

For a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy you can choose to study individual courses or join one of the bachelor’s programmes listed under Educations within the subject.

More information about degrees at Stockholm University

Research

The research environment in philosophy is leading both nationally and internationally. This applies to both theoretical and practical philosophy. Since 2007, philosophy has been ranked as one of Stockholm's leading research areas. Our researchers regularly publish their results in international journals. Many of our researchers are active internationally in the form of shorter or longer visits, guest lectures and conferences. Furthermore, through our colloquium and research seminars, we also have regular visits from prominent international researchers. There are three research centers at the department: The Center for Logic, Language, and Mind, Stockholm Centre for Health Care Ethics, and Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace. Our faculty members are involved in several different externally funded research projects, and we are also conducting a large research program called “Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences and Cures”.