Please note: this course description is not fully up-to-date for the academic year 2022-2023. Updates will be published shortly.
Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Psychologie en Wetenschap
This course offers an introduction to the main concepts and developments within classical epistemology, addressing the question of how knowledge, including scientific knowledge, is established. Considerable attention is also paid to the various forms of reasoning used within (and outside) science, the errors (fallacies) that may occur, and the different ways in which people try to convince others. Attention is also given to examples of fraud in science and ethical considerations concerning participation in experiments.
Knowledge and understanding:
1. Knowledge and understanding of the main ideas on the nature of scientific knowledge, and the way in which science has developed in the course of history.
2. Knowledge of the main forms of reasoning used within science and beyond. This also prepares for the profession of researcher (and beyond) because forms of reasoning play a crucial part in this profession.
3. Applying knowledge and understanding of basic skills in analysing and understanding types of logical reasoning, and the errors (fallacies) that may occur, in combination with skill in recognising different methods of persuasion (rhetoric). This also prepares for the profession of researcher, in which the application of forms of reasoning and the ability to recognize fallacies plays a crucial part.
For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable
Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.
It is mandatory for all students, including first-year bachelor students, to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap.
Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.
Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.
Mode of instruction
8 2-hour lectures and 4 2-hour work group sessions.
In the first 4 lectures, the 'Chapters on Philosophy of Science and Logic' and the parts of ‘Critical Thinking’ related to the philosophy of science and logic are discussed. The remaining lectures focus on Critical Thinking (in particular with respect to fallacies and persuasion) and a final lecture is devoted to questions raised by students.
There are 4 work group sessions, running parallel to the first 4 lectures. The work group sessions cover topics from philosophy of science, along with the logic involved. A work group consists of 1 instructor and a maximum of 24 students (2 tutorial groups combined). Work groups meet weekly on 4 occasions. This means each student attends 4 sessions in total. Attendance is mandatory, and students are graded on it. The work group grade is included in the calculation of the final grade.
The course material will be examined with a multiple choice (MC) exam and open questions that have to be answered during the practice sessions. This holds for course objectives 1 and 2. Course objective 3 is also tested with open questions that have to be answered during the practice sessions. The materials to be studied for the examination consist of chapters from the reading list (books) and lecture material, as assigned by the instructor. The examination consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. The grade for the work group sessions is included in the calculation of the final grade. The calculation of the final grade is described in the course workbook. The MC exam weighs for 70% and the practice course weighs for 30% in the overall grade. However, for each (MC exam and final result of practice course) a minimum result of a 5 must be obtained.
The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.
Prof. F. van der Velde. Chapters on Philosophy of Science and Logic. Available on Brightspace.
Moore, B. N. & Parker, R. (2016). Critical Thinking (12th edition). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-1-259-921315
Course work book for the work group sessions: Available on Brightspace. .
Dr. Z. Sjoerds and Dr. S. Uithol PsychologyAndScience@fsw.leidenuniv.nl