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Åsa BurmanAdministrative Director of Studies

About me

I work as director of studies for undergraduate and advanced level in practical philosophy. I have previously worked as assistant professor in human rights and practical philosophy. I have professional experience from academia, business and social entrepreneurship.
My research is in the field of social ontology, with a special focus on power and social structures. During my time as a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, I came in contact with this research field which was new at the time. My dissertation entitled Power and Social Ontology was published in 2007. I have recently completed a new book manuscript (forthcoming): Nonideal Social Ontology (New York: Oxford University Press). I am an editor together with a few other researchers for the Journal of Social Ontology.
I am an assistant supervisor for a doctoral student. For the past 10 years, I have worked with doctoral students on techniques and strategies for increased academic productivity and reduced negative stress. The method is described in my book Bli klar i tid och må bra på vägen: Handbok för doktorander (Natur & Kultur 2016) and an English version: The Doctoral Student Handbook: Master Effectiveness, Reduce Stress, and Finish on Time.


Publications (selected)

Burman, Åsa, (forthcoming), Nonideal Social Ontology. New York: Oxford University Press

Burman, Åsa, 2018. The Doctoral Student Handbook: Master Effectiveness. Reduce Stress. Finish on Time. Stockholm: Finish on Time Publications

Burman, Åsa, 2016. Bli klar i tid och må bra på vägen. Handbok för doktorander. Natur & Kultur.

Burman (former Andersson), Åsa 2007 Power and Social Ontology, Malmö: Bokbox Publications

Burman, Åsa, 2020 ”Categories We Do Not Know We Live By”, Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2)

Burman, Åsa, 2019 ”Review of Categories We Live By”, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Burman, Åsa, 2018. “A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (5)

A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights

    2018. Åsa Burman. Philosophy of the social sciences 48 (5), 463-473


    This contradiction ”1. The universal right to free speech did not exist before the European Enlightenment, at which time it came into existence. 2. The universal right to free speech has always existed, but this right was recognized only at the time of the European Enlightenment.” (Searle) draws on two common and conflicting intuitions: The human right to free speech exists because institutions, or the law, says so. In contrast, the human right to free speech can exist independently of institutions—these institutions simply recognize a right we already have. John Searle argues that his status function account of human rights can preserve both intuitions by showing that the inconsistency between (1) and (2) is merely apparent. I argue that this solution works for tokens of human rights but not for types, while the contradiction concerns types. Hence, the status function account of human rights fails to preserve both intuitions.

    Read more about A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights

Show all publications by Åsa Burman at Stockholm University