This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have failed the course Philosophy of Science in 2016-2017 or 2015-2016.
Anyone who works in International Studies must be able to recognize, assess, and combine contributions made by different scientific and academic disciplines to our understanding of a complex reality. To do this, one must have an overview of the outlook and methods of the social sciences and humanities, the ways in which these disciplines engage with their objects, and the forms of knowledge that they produce.
Philosophy of science is the philosophical study of the presuppositions, concepts, methods, and output of the sciences. This course opens with a comparison of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities: it studies the ways in which these disciplines engage with their objects and the forms of knowledge that they produce. Later, the course examines key issues and problems of present-day philosophy of science. These include observation, theory, explanation, law, falsification, paradigm, and revolution. The course helps students of International Studies recognize, appreciate, and assess contributions made by different scientific and academic disciplines to our understanding of a complex reality.
A student successfully completing this course has knowledge of and insight in the following topics:
Typical features of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities; elements of the historical development of these disciplines; characteristics of the methods that they pursue and the knowledge that they yield; the differences between them;
Key concepts, issues, and problems in present-day philosophy of science, including observation, induction, theory, explanation, law of nature, falsification, paradigm, and revolution;
Some modern debates in philosophy of science concerning the above concepts;
The contributions to philosophy of science of some important thinkers, including Karl R. Popper and Thomas S. Kuhn.
A student successfully completing this course has the skills to:
Give an account of the similarities and differences between scientific and academic disciplines belonging to the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities;
Give an account of the key concepts, issues, and problems listed above, as well as of the debates concerning them and the contributions of the important philosophers of science named above;
Choose and motivate views and assessments of his or her own with relation to all the above.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
There are no tutorials for this course.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 24 hours
Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours
Reading and preparing for lectures and exams: 112 hours
Midterm exam: Written examination with closed questions (multiple choice).
Final exam: Written examination with closed questions (multiple choice).
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the midterm exam and the final exam.
The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 100% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
A selection of articles and other literature items. Details will be circulated during the course.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.