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Core: Philosophy of science


Admission requirements

No special admission requirements.


This course is part of the faculty’s core curriculum. We will discuss general themes from the philosophy of science, the unique nature of the humanities, as well as several philosophical positions and currents of thought that have had a large impact on the humanities, such as structuralism, hermeneutics and postmodernism. One of our main focal points will be the question of scientific method: how do scientists achieve the kinds of success that they have undeniably achieved? We try to answer this question by looking at thinkers such as the logical positivists, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn and Michel Foucault. Our other main focal point will be the unique nature of the humanities and the relevance of this nature for the methods, results and ambitions of scholars working in these disciplines. While discussing these topics, we get to known thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Marx, Collingwood, White, Dilthey, Gadamer, De Saussure, Nietzsche, Derrida and Rorty.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students should:

  • have gained insight into the nature of science in general and the humanities specifically;

  • known the most important currents of thought that have shaped and are still shaping the sciences and the humanities.


The timetable is available on the core curriculum schedule

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

  • Lectures 2 hours a week during 12 weeks: total 24 hours

  • Preparation of lectures: 60 hours

  • Preparation of exam: 56 hours Note: we have initiated a ‘flipped classroom’ project, so some of these number may change.

Assessment method

  • Written examination with multiple choice questions


not applicable


written examination

Exam review

An exam review will be organised before the next resit


Blackboard will be used for:

  • dissemination of materials

  • information about the course

Reading list

“Literature: teacher’s course book on Blackboard, and a reader.”


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. V.A. Gijsbers


Not applicable