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Philosophy of a Specific Discipline: Philosophy of Political Science

With effect from September 2012 the name of this master’s programme will be
MA Philosophy (120 EC): Philosophy of Political Science. description

Philosophy of Political Science is a specialisation of the MA programme in Philosophy of a Specific Discipline. For information about the objectives and general structure of the programme, the MA thesis and the requirements for graduation, please see MA in Philosophy of Specific Discipline . For a brief description of this specialisation click on ‘Meer info/More Info’ below.

Structure of the programme

The programme consists of five components:

  • 40 EC / MA courses in the chosen discipline outside philosophy (Political Science)

  • 20 EC / 2 Specialist MA courses in Philosophy of Political Science

  • 30 EC / 3 MA courses in Philosophy (to be chosen from the selected courses listed below)

  • 10 EC / Supervised literature study in the area of the master’s thesis

  • 20 EC / Master’s thesis

The structure of the two-year programme is presented below. The subjects of the philosophy seminars are varying yearly. Please note that the sequence of the various components of individual programmes may deviate from the structure proposed due to the availability of courses in a particular semester, or to the extent to which the non-philosophical part of the programme has already been completed. However, the two specialist courses are compulsory, and students must take one specialist course each year. The master’s thesis will be the final part of the programme. Students are requested to discuss their programme with their tutor before the start of their first semester.

First Year

  • 30 EC / Courses in the chosen discipline outside philosophy (Political Science)

  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Political Science

  • 20 EC / 2 MA courses in Philosophy

Second Year

  • 10 EC / MA courses in chosen discipline outside philosophy (Political Science)

  • 10 EC / Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Political Science

  • 10 EC / MA course in Philosophy

  • 10 EC / Supervised literature study in the area of the MA thesis

  • 20 EC / MA thesis

First/Second Year

In 2011-2012 the following philosophy courses are on offer for the specialisation Philosophy of Political Science. (For courses on offer in the chosen discipline please see the programmes of the discipline concerned.)

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Specialist MA course in Philosophy of Political Science

In total, students take two specialist courses, one course in year 1 and one course in year 2.

Philosophy of Social Sciences: Methodological Questions 10

MA courses in Philosophy

In total, students take three MA courses in Philosophy, two courses in year 1 and one course in year 2.

Introduction to Kant: Metaphysics, Epistemology and the Problem of Freedom 10
Philosophy and Science of Free Will 10
Hobbesian Moral Psychology 10
Political Obligation 10
Kant & Kantian Ethics 10
Character, Situation and Behaviour 10
Schelling over vrijheid 10
Philosophy of Law: History and Philosophy of the Rule of Law 10

Supervised literature study in the area of the master's thesis

Literature Study (Philosophy) 10

MA Thesis

MA Thesis (Philosophy of a Specific Discipline) 20

Meer info


The specialisation Philosophy of Political Science aims at philosophical reflection on the (foundations of the) Political and Administratieve sciences as well as their application. This reflection is rooted in two types of concerns.

First, there are methodological concerns. Are social structures better conceived of as systems of laws and forces, or as webs of meanings and practices? Is social action better viewed as rational behaviour, or as self-expression? And is the proper aim of the social sciences to explain the social world in a manner devised for the natural world, or should we aim to understand the social world from within? These questions and others are the topic of the specialist course Philosophy of Social Sciences I.

The second type of concern is normative. What is a just society? How should we evaluate the institutions that govern our everyday lives? How do freedom and equality relate? How to conceive of members of society, as citizens or as private individuals? These questions come up in the second specialist course, Philosophy of Social Sciences II.

Specialisation co-ordinator

Dr. B.J.E. (Bruno) Verbeek