Admission to this course is restricted to students enrolled in the MA Philosophy 120 EC, specialisations Philosophy of Natural Science and Philosophy of Psychology.
Students must complete the mandatory research seminar in their first year.
Characteristics of the research seminar
The research seminar is a mandatory part of the MA programme. In this intensive seminar students will hone their skills necessary for writing a successful MA thesis so they are well prepared for writing their thesis in the following semester. In particular, the research seminar pays attention to topics such as formulating relevant research questions, composing research plans, and efficient writing. The instructor of the research seminar will also the be the staff member who is responsible for making sure that the process of thesis writing remains on track.
Is the world nothing but matter pushing matter in a void? Are humans nothing but machines for the survival of genes? Is the mind nothing but the brain? Is all science reducible to physics? These and other questions will be discussed in this seminar on reductionism and the unity of knowledge. Core readings will include E.O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998), to be complemented with recent work on the metaphysical status of psychology, biology, or the social sciences, depending on participants’ interests.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:
key issues in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of psychology concerning reductionism and its critics;
recent discussions on the metaphysics of psychology, biology, and the social sciences.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
present this knowledge in written form (essay);
formulate a philosophically relevant question;
formulate a research topic that reflects both knowledge and understanding of key discussions and methods relevant to the field;
formulate a research plan that is feasible within the time available for its completion;
write a coherent argumentative text within limited time.
See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetables MA Philosophy 60 EC/120 EC.
Mode of instruction
Class attendance is required for taking the exam.
Total course (10 ECTS credits x 28 hours): 280 hours
Attending (14 weeks x 3 hours): 42 hours
Time for studying the mandatory literature: 90 hours
Time for completing weekly assignments: 90 hours
Research plan: 10 hours
Writing midterm paper: 15 hours
Comments: 8 hours
Writing final paper: 25 hours
Weekly assignments (30% of the final grade)
Detailed research plan (prerequisite for taking the exam)
Midterm paper (30% of the final grade)
Comments on research plan and midterm paper fellow student (prerequisite for taking the exam)
Expanded final paper, based on research plan, midterm paper and received comments (40% of the final grade)
One resit will be offered, consisting of the final paper. Any student who did not take the first examinations (assignments, midterm paper and final paper) cannot take the resit.
10-04-2015: detailed research plan
24-04-2015: midterm paper
01-05-2015: comments on research plan and midterm paper fellow student
26-06-2015: expanded final paper
Blackboard will be used for:
peer review and discussion
paper submissions and feedback
- A reader with selected literature will be maid available via Blackboard.
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