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Philosophy of Science

Vak 2016-2017

All scientific research is conducted against a background conception of science: what it is and what it should be like. Frequently, however, this conception remains implicit – but this does not mean that it is incapable of guiding the inquiry. This course discusses and analyses the most important presuppositions of current conceptions of social science. Attention will be paid to a number of core questions pertaining to social scientific research and its epistemology. Related to this, we will also discuss ethical aspects of conducting social scientific research.

Course objectives

The objective of this course is to make students first of all familiar with important works and fundamental debates in the tradition of thinking on social science research and ethics and to enable them to critically assess their own research projects in that light. In addition, they should be able to construe and communicate philosophical arguments about the strengths and weaknesses of various kinds of social science research.

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar sessions with presentations and discussions.

Course Load

Literature study: about 100 hours
Seminar sessions: 14 hours (2 hours per week x 7 weeks)
Assignment writing: about 20 hours
Preparation of presentation: about 6 hours

Total course load: 140 hours (5 ECTS x 28 hours)

Assessment method

Written assignments

Blackboard

Yes, BlackBoard provides basic information on the course and background information.
The BlackBoard-site will be available about two weeks before the start of the course.

Reading list

T.b.a.

Registration

Completed by OSC staff

Schedule

Tuesdays, 15.00-17.00 hrs, Pieter de la Court Building, Leiden
31/1: 1A03
7/2: 1A15
14/2: 5B14
21/2: 1A15
28/2: 1A12
7/3: 1A15
14/3: 1A22
21/3: 5A19

Contact

n.t.b.

Remarks

Please note that students themselves are responsible to obtain the required readings (mostly widely available books). For all sessions, including the first (!), reading the literature in advance is strictly required. More information will be provided on BlackBoard.