Erik Jansson Boström

Researcher at Department of Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy; Academic Staff

+4618-471 7355
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 H
Postal address:
Box 627
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am interested in methodological and epistemological questions of social science.

My dissertation deals with Max Weber´s ideal types, objectivity, meaning, understanding and qualitative sociology.

I'm also interested in Wittgenstein's och J.L Austin's language philosphy, phenomenology and existentialism.

Co-founder and Editor for Poros: A Journal for cultural criticism and other essays (, 2015-

Also available at

My courses


Questions that interest me:

What does it mean to understand the cultural meaning of a social phenomenon?

What is the difference between "knowledge" on the one hand and "ideologies", "prejudices" and "worldviews" on the other hand?

What is the relation between social science and politics?


I am interested in investigating what kind of methods that could produce sociological research that is more relevant for us as individuals in our ordinary lives. Max Weber is considered to be one of the founding fathers of sociology; hence his works have had an immense impact upon sociological research and methodological discussions during the 20'th century. But his methodological remarks about the function of the “ideal type” have been influential in the social sciences even though many expert commentators agree that Weber left the epistemological grounds of the ideal type unexplored and unjustified. (Bruun, 2007, Josephson, 2005) If one studies the idea of the ideal type on a fundamental level, the question of the relation between our concepts and the phenomena becomes crucial. Do we first experience the social phenomena and then apply concepts to describe them? Or do we rather start out with the concepts and thus experience the phenomena differently depending on what concepts we have at hand?

In my dissertation I will first of all try to give an extensive analysis of the role that the ideal type plays in Weber’s methodology and what kind of knowledge of the cultural meaning of social phenomena the ideal type can give us.

Secondly, I will investigate the potentiality of justifying and developing Weber’s idea of the ideal type in relation to Cavell's understanding of Ludwig Wittgenstein's and J. L. Austin's remarks about how important our ordinary language is in shaping our experiences of the social phenomena of our every day surroundings.

Other interests of mine:

Simone de Beauvoir's and Iris Murdoch's ethics
Sociology in general, although mostly intersectionality and post colonial feministic sociology

Ancient philosophy, mostly Plato's idea of the good
Kant and neo-kantianism
Edmund Husserl

Philosophy of natural science


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