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Belief, Opinion and the Free Market of Ideas


Admission requirements



Philosophers in the past have defended a view on judgement, opinion and belief that suited their ideas in practical philosophy. John Locke used his definition of belief to give a defence of religious toleration, and John Stuart Mill used his definition of opinion in his argument for liberty.

The course starts with reading classical passages from Descartes, Locke, Hume and Mill. The second part of the course will take the topic to modern philosophy, and an author like Jonathan Cohen will be read. The aim of the course is to develop an account of judgement and opinion that suits a democractic society.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2012-2013, MA Philosophy.
See Timetables Philosophy 2012-2013, MA Philosophy.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Assessment method

  • Paper

  • Presentation during course



Reading list

The reading list will be made available on Blackboard at the start of the course.


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens

Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply. See also Registration for courses and examinations

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs via:
Na aanmelding ook inschrijven voor cursus en tentamen via uSis

Contact information

Dr. M.S. van der Schaar