Epistemology of Everyday Life

Epistemology of Everyday Life

Study Cycle: 2

Lectures: 30

Seminars: 30

Tutorials: 60

ECTS credit: 9

Lecturer(s): asist. Svetel Ana, izr. prof. dr. Podjed Dan, red. prof. dr. Muršič Rajko


Basic and developed notions and concepts from theory and philosophy of science. Explanation of concepts like episteme, techne and scientia, as well as notions of theory and method, induction, and deduction. Scientific data and scientific claim. Scientism, positivism, inductivism, neopositivism, falzificationism. Scientific paradigm and revolution. Epistemological anarchism. Structural theory of science. Analytical philosophy and pragmatism. A short overview of anthropological theories until the second half of the 20th century (evolutionism, diffusionism, historicism, functionalism, structuralism). Post-structuralism and postmodernism in anthropology. Particularism and universalism. Comparative methodology. Deep structure, system theory and game theory. Contemporary life, challenges and traps in studies of contemporary life. Complexity of symbolic order and cultural institutions. Textual analysis. Qualitative and quantitative methodology. Examples from manifold sub-disciplines: cognitive anthropology, anthropology of body and performance, symbolic anthropology… Responsibility of students of ways of life (professional ethics). Study material, presented and discussed, are each year supplemented with new disciplinary achievements.

The seminar offers views in recent theories of complex systems, e.g., system theory, theory of chaos and complexity, theory of self-organization and theory of auto-poetic systems. It as well presents other theories (game theory, theory of rational choice, theory of punctuated equilibrium, etc.) which can be used in studies of structure and dynamics of complex social systems, for example with studies of post-modern social systems, global networks of cooperation, sudden social changes on micro- and macro-level.
A very important part of the seminar is accentuated application of natural-sciences research methodology and terminology in social sciences. It as well presents to the students use of qualitative and quantitative studies of social systems (e.g., with analysis of networks).
Other relevant topics in the frame of the seminar are: cybernetics (e.g., study with feedback loops); originality of altruism and egoism in complex social systems, self-organized hierarchy and management of complex social systems.

At practical classes, the students upgrade their knowledge of ethnographic research as the fundament of anthropological endeavour. The main part of the practical classes is thus aimed to practical ethnographic fieldwork. Furthermore, students discus ethnography as interpretative practice, and they as well discuss ethnographic writing. Beside practical classes the students have to do additional 30 hours of guided (project) fieldwork.