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Admission requirements

  • Students in the BA programme Philosophy: first year BA has been successfully completed.

  • Prerequisites for students from other departments (including contractstudenten): first year BA has been successfully completed as well as the BA courses Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics, or equivalent courses offered by another university.

This course has a limited number of places available for students from other departments.


For 2000 years TRUTH has been a central notion in philosophy; it plays a decisive role within logic, epistemology, philosophy of language and metaphysics. In particular it is intimately tied up with the notion of objectivity and that of error; without a norm of truth, error is impossible.

In the course a number of themes from within the recent debates on truth with be dealt with. Tarski’s so called “theory of truth” will be discussed, as will the question of relativism. Could it really be the case that “truth-for-me” is different from “truth-for-you”?

Course objectives

This course aims to give the student insight into the central philosophical question pertaining to and roles played by the notion of truth, as well as into (part of) the relevant historical development.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the central philosophical question pertaining to and the cocneptual roles played by the notion of truth, and their history.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • spell out alternative philosophical conceptions with regard to truth and formulate these in clear prose.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2014-2015, BA Wijsbegeerte (BA Plus-traject or Standaardtraject), derde jaar.
See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetable Undergraduate Courses in English

Mode of instruction

  • Lecures and seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load (10 EC): 280 hours
Attending classes (14 × 3 hours): 42 hours
Studying of texts (14 × 7 hours): 98 hours
Solving/preparing assignments (14 × 5 hours): 70 hours
Fomulation of topic and search for literature etc.: 30 hours
Writing final paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

  • Weekly assignments

  • Final paper

Active participation in the sessions and preparation of weekly assignments regarding the relevant texts to be read are mandatory requirements for admittance to the exam (final paper).

One resit will be offered, consisting of the final paper. Any student who did not take the first examination cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used as a message board for assigments and the posting of texts and references.

Reading list

For the first class participants will be expected to read:

  • B.G. Sundholm, Antirealism and the roles of truth, §§ 1-4. In: I. Niniluoto and M. Sintonen (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Dordrecht: Kluwer 2004, 437-466. (A master copy will be available at the secretary’s office for copying.)

  • Further literature to be announced.


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens
See Registration for courses and examinations

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the collegerooster in the column under the heading “”.

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte: not applicable


Prof.dr. B.G. Sundholm