This course gives an introduction to the most important subjects of contemporary philosophy of science: scientific explanation, laws of nature, causation, the aim and structure of scientific theories, realism and anti-realism, induction and confirmation, relativism and the objectivity of science. Through primary texts the students become acquainted with important figurs in 20th century philosophy of science such as Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Quine, Feyerabend and Laudan.
This course aims to introduce students to the central ideas and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and to train them in the reading and discussing of philosophical papers in this area.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:
the central ideas of contemporary philosophy of science: scientific explanation, laws of nature, causation, the aim and structure of scientific theories, realism and anti-realism, induction and confirmation, relativism and the objectivity of science;
the ideas of 20th century philosophers in the field of philosophy of science, such as Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Quine, Feyerabend and Laudan.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
reproduce the most important theories and ideas from contemporary philosophy of science;
take up a position concerning these ideas and defend that position;
read a philosophical paper by themselves and take up a position regarding it.
- Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives - BA2
Mode of instruction
Lectures (2 hours per week)
Tutorials (2 hours per week)
Class attendance is required for both lectures and tutorials.
Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours.
Attending lectures: 13 x 2 = 26 hours
Attending tutorials: 13 x 2 = 26 hours
Assessment: exams 2 + 3 = 5 hours
Weekly preparation: 13 x 4 = 52 hours
Preparation for exams: 31 hours
Midterm written exam (40%)
Final written exam (60%)
The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests.
Written exam (100%).
The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once, consisting of a written exam covering the entire course content. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Blackboard will be used for:
- providing information
Alex Rosenberg, Philosophy of Science, third edition, Routledge, ISBN 9780415891776. (Beware: do not accidentally buy the book Philosophy of Social Science by the same author!)
Yuri Balashov & Alex Rosenberg, Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings, Routledge, ISBN 9780415257824.
Chapters 1 and 2 of Rosenberg should be read before the first lecture.
Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs