This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies only.
Urban Studies has a strong interdisciplinary profile: it combines theories and methods of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Successful work in Urban Studies requires students to understand the differences between sciences of these families, their strengths and weaknesses, what formats of knowledge they deliver, and how they can be integrated. The course “Philosophy of Science” is the venue within the BA programme in which students explore these basic methodological issues. It opens with a comparison of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities: we discuss the ways in which these disciplines engage with their objects and the forms of knowledge that they produce. Later, the course examines key problems of present-day philosophy of science. These include observation, theory, explanation, law, falsification, paradigm, revolution, and interpretation. The course helps students of Urban Studies recognize, appreciate, and assess contributions made by different scientific and academic disciplines to our understanding of a complex reality.
The student who has successfully completed the course is able to:
Describe and discuss typical features of the natural sciences, social sciences, and 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;
Apply basic knowledge on key concepts in present-day philosophy of science, modern debates in philosophy of science, and important contributions to philosophy of science.
Assess contributions to Urban Studies from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and sketch ways to combine and integrate these contributions.
The timetable is available on the BA Urban Studies website
Mode of instruction
Total course load is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), equal to 140 hours, devoted to:
Attending lectures: 26 hours
Taking part in work groups (4 x 2 hours): 8 hours
Studying the prescribed literature and preparing for exams: 106 hours
All learning objectives in this course will be assessed through two subtests:
Midterm examination: written examination with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions, ranging over the lectures and literature of the first period.
Final examination: written examination with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions, ranging over the lectures and literature of the entire course, with an emphasis on the second period.
Midterm examination: 20%
Final examination: 80%
Written examination with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions, ranging over the lectures and literature of the entire course.
Blackboard will be used for access to the prescribed literature.
A selection of articles and other literature items. Details will be placed on Blackboard.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs