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Selected Topics in Theoretical Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialization History and Philosophy of the Science

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialization Philosophy of Natural Sciences, or Philosophy of Psychology.


The course will treat of some recent relevant topics and debates from Theoretical Philosophy, dependent on the interests op participants, in (the intersection of) Metaphysics, Epistemology, and the Philosophies of Logic and Language.

Examples of possible topics and texts include:

  • Franz Brentano on objectivity in epistemology and in ethics;

  • Saul Kripke, Reference and existence. (John Locke Lectures), OUP, 2013;

  • Michael Dummett, ‘What is a Theory of Meaning?, II”,

  • Simon Blackburn and K. Simmons (eds.), Truth, Oxford Readings in Philosophy, OUP 1999;

  • Ian Hacking, Why is there Philosophy of Mathematics at all?, Cambridge UP, 2014;

    *Per Martin-Löf, ‘On the Meanings of the Logical Constants and the Justification of Logical Laws’, Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic, Vol 1, and Johan Granstörm, Perennial Intuitionism, unpublished manuscript; - Marco Panza and Andrea Sereni, Plato’s problem. An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

Before the start of the course, students that want to take the course are requested to make their preferred interests known, after which the topics for inclusion – at most four – will be chosen.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • some recent debates in Theoretical Philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • present their ideas orally (in a class presentation and discussion) and in writing (in an essay).


The timetable is available on the MA Philosophy website
MA Philosophy 60 EC, or MA Philosophy 120 EC

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Class attendance and online participation are required.

Course Load

Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (3 hours x 14 weeks): 42 hours

  • Preparation of seminars and study of compulsory literature: 168 hours

  • Preparation of presentation: 20 hours

  • Writing final paper (including research and reading additional literature): 50 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral presentation

  • Written essay

Active class attendance is required and is a condition for submission of the final paper.


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests. A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.


One resit will be offered, consisting of the final paper. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests paper or presentation. The mark will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.
Class and online participation is a mandatory requirement for taking the resit.
Active class attendance is required and is a condition for submission of the resit paper.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examinations cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • announcements

  • distribution of texts

  • distribution of reading assignments

Reading list

Texts will be announced and/or distributed during the course.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for and exams in the column under the heading “uSis-Actnbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. B.G. Sundholm


Not applicable.