Pia Nykänen

Visiting Research Fellow

Philosophy and Logic
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Pia Nykänen

I was born in 1970 and have lived in Mölndal since 2008. My academic education is mainly in practical philosophy, comparative literature, art history, and two years of literary composition at Valand Academy.

Research I have a doctoral degree in practical philosophy with the dissertation Fundamental values, democracy and tolerance. On public school education in a multicultural society. My chief research interest and most of my scholarly works proceed from a stance of moral and political philosophy, with a focus on issues of upbringing and education.

From September 2016 to September 2018 I was a Flexit researcher at Råd & Stöd in Linköping municipality as part of a three-year project. My project was entitled Evidence-based Practice, Shared Decision-Making and Performance in Social Services and was funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. My current research interest specifically concerns ethical issues within social work and social services.


In 2001–2022 I taught at the following departments at Gothenburg University: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, the Department of Education, Communication and Learning, the former Department of History of Ideas and Theory of Science, and the Unit for Pedagogical Development and Interactive Learning. I have taught several different courses in teacher training, Liberal Arts, in philosophy with courses on history of philosophy, normative ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics, and courses to qualify as university teachers.

I have supervised students in discipline-specific courses in philosophy, Liberal Arts and pedagogy, and I have been responsible for leading and coordinating various courses, large (500 students) and small, at different levels.

Cooperation External assignments include various lectures on ethics and fundamental values for Krus (Competence Council for Development in the State), DISI (Diversity in the Swedish Industry), Blekinge County Administration, Gothenburg City Office, etc. Together with a colleague I have also led a training programme in analytical thinking for one of Gothenburg’s neighbourhood committees.

As part of my Flexit position 2016–2019 I also gave lectures to employees in social services, on issues of ethics and values and on evidence-based practice, user participation, and shared decision-making. In this field I have also undertaken assignments for the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services. Since 2021, I am one of the members of the National Board of Health and Welfare's Ethics Council.

Miscellaneous/leadership assignments From 2015 to 2016 I was deputy head of department with special responsibility for post-graduate study at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning and subsequently assistant head of department with the same responsibility until September 2016.