Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy of Social Science

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jason Alexander


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Philosophy of the Social Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course is intended to develop the ability to make philosophical arguments and to write structured philosophical essays. It will serve to prepare students for research and writing their dissertation. In Lent term, seminars will cover topics that are chosen by MSc students for their theses. In Michaelmas term, the early meetings will discuss the structure and content of an MSc dissertation in Philosophy, the grading rubric used for marking dissertations. The remainder of Michaelmas term will cover some core topics in the philosophy of social science, such as: Methodological issues such as the use of mathematical models in the social sciences, methodological individualism and its rivals, collective intentionality and the autonomy of the social sciences.


10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

A number of assignments whose completion will aid the writing of the dissertation will be set over the course of MT and LT.


This course is not assessed.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy

Total students 2014/15: 14

Average class size 2014/15: 14

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Non-assessed

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication