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Event: The Helsinki-Copenhagen Colloquium in Evidence in Social Inquiry. First Workshop: The Roles of Values in Social Enquiry

Event date December 12, 2013 - December 13, 2013
Registration deadline November 18, 2013
Location University of Copenhagen
Host(s) Julie Zahle and Petri Ylikoski
Event website/information For more information, contact Julie Zahle -

The Helsinki-Copenhagen Colloquium in Evidence in Social Inquiry

First Workshop: The Roles of Values in Social Enquiry

December 12-13 2013

University of Copenhagen

Organizers: Julie Zahle and Petri Ylikoski


The Helsinki-Copenhagen Colloquium in Evidence in Social Enquiry is a series of workshops that bring together philosophers of science and social scientists to explore how social scientific data provides evidence for claims about social phenomena, how social scientists justify their interpretations and explanations, and how social scientific research can serve as evidence for policy purposes. The series will especially, but not exclusively, focus on so-called qualitative research. The aim is to start a debate that creatively combines modern philosophy of science with reflective understanding of actual social scientific research practices in order to better understand the nature of social scientific knowledge.

The first workshop “The Role of Values in Social Enquiry” will discuss the role of non-epistemic values – such as political, moral and social values – in the production of social scientific knowledge. Rather than focusing on the social role of the social scientist, the workshop will concentrate on the research process itself. The two key questions for the workshop are: In which ways can – and should – non-epistemic values influence the research process? And what are the consequences of these influences for the objectivity of the enquiry and its results? By focusing on these questions the workshop will give us a better understanding of the meaning of the concepts of evidence and objectivity in the context of social scientific research.


Talks at the workshop:


Margareta Bertilsson (University of Copenhagen): Facts, Values, and Pragmatist Concerns


Martyn Hammersley (The Open University): How Max Weber got it mostly right about the role of values in social research


Catthrine Hasse (Aarhus University): Learning Cultural Values


Rasmus Helles (University of Copenhagen): So what do YOU think?” On the epistemological consequences of the necessity to have opinions in policy research


Klemens Kappel (University of Copenhagen): How and Why Social Science Should Separate Facts and Values


Christopher Lloyd (Tampere and Jyväskylä Universities): Is social science history the objective foundation for a political program? The place of concepts and values of deep time, socio-biological potential, and human flourishing in the global social democratic critique of capitalism project.


Kristina Rolin (University of Helsinki): Social Values in the Social Sciences: A Case Study


Michael Root (University of Minnesota): Politics and Categories: The Role of Population Surveys in the Design of Research in the Social Sciences



Päivi Seppälä (University of Helsinki): Historians as scholars and historians as lawyers – moral responsibility and causal inferences


Malcolm Williams (Cardiff University): Situated Objectivity: Values and Realism


Julie Zahle (University of Copenhagen): Values and Participant Observation



The program will be available later.


Participation is free but registration is required. To register, please send an email to Julie Zahle – – no later than November 18.

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