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2013/2014  BA-2PS  Philosophy of Science

English Title
Philosophy of Science

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Liv Egholm Feldt - Department of Business and Politics (DBP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
Last updated on 07-01-2014
Learning objectives
On successful completion of this course, the student should have acquired basic knowledge about some of the main ideas of science which have informed and still inform the social science
More specifically, the student should be able to:
  • give an account of the basic ontological and epistemological assumptions within the different philosophy of knowledge traditions presented in the syllabus,
  • locate the theoretical positions and key concepts in a broader science-philosophical context,
  • identify central similarities and differences between the main ideas within the different philosophy of knowledge traditions presented in the syllabus, and
  • integrate an understanding of the different philosophy of knowledge traditions with the methodological considerations in the first year project
Course prerequisites
The courses 2IOS, 2PS, 2IRM, and 2QNM have one intergrated exam. The exam is 30 ECTS. You can only participate in 2PS if you also register for the other courses: 2IOS, 2IRM, and 2QNM.
First year project on organisational sociology and research design:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 30 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
30 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
See the guidelines at e-campus

Learning objectives for the exam
The student should demonstrate ability to:
  • formulate, delimit and analyse an academic problem,
  • apply and discuss the theories and methods relevant to the project, in particular the concepts and theories relevant to organisational sociology,
  • select and apply fundamental quantitative methods, and relate these to theoretical positions presented in the syllabi of the courses ’Philosophy of Science’ and ’Introduction to Organisational Sociology’,
  • structure the layout and present the material in a clearly formulated and accessible way in terms of both language and content,
  • discuss how the knowledge acquired in the second semester courses ‘Philosophy of Science’, ‘Introduction to Research Methods’, and ‘Quantitative Methods I’ is reflected throughout the project, and
  • reflect upon his/her own ways of applying data.

    The aims of the 1st year project are:

  • To facilitate and reinforce the learning of the subjects taught during the second semester by encouraging students to work independently and in a focused way with selected theories.
  • To develop analytical skills needed to undertake problem-oriented project work. The problem-solving process during project work is shaped by the systematic, professional and scientific demands of academic knowledge production.
Course content and structure
Course Content. Philosophy of knowledge is the backbone in all scholarly work because it is concerned with the conditions for saying that some statements are more correct than others. In other words, it provides the basis for calling some knowledge ‘scientific’, ‘true’, or ‘correct’ because philosophy of knowledge provides the fundamental rules by which to judge and evaluate so-called knowledge claims. Hence, by taking this course, students will learn how different ideas about the world and about knowledge lead to different ways of understanding what true knowledge are. This allows students to establish scholarly arguments themselves, as well as, improving their ability to understand and criticise other knowledge claims. This is not only relevant in academic work but also in knowledge intensive work contexts where different kinds of statements have to be dissected. The course will demonstrate how different perceptions of the world have consequences for the way we describe and explain it. The course will show how the different perspectives (universal, contextual and situational) are informed by meta- theoretical assumptions as well as different understanding of what science is. While the course should be seen in relation to all the courses on the programme, the exam is integrated with ‘Introduction to Organisational Sociology’, ‘Introduction to Research Methods’, and ‘Quantitative Methods I’. During the workshops we will discuss themes that are related to these other courses but the overall thrust of the course is aimed towards a general introduction to the philosophy of social science. Aim of the course The aim of this course is to provide the student with (1) a general insight into the different conceptions of science which have informed social sciences to this day; (2) knowledge about different perceptions of the society and the individual, rooted in the ontological and epistemological assumptions of different philosophy of knowledge traditions. The course is an introduction to philosophy of knowledge and will provide both knowledge as well as tools to identify the general paradigms which have informed the social science. As such, it relates to the other courses in the programme in such a way that it provides the meta-theories for the other courses as well as for the first-year project. Students will not only engage with meta-theoritical assumptions but also with how to identify these assumptions.
Teaching methods
We have 10 Lectures/ workshops which will be based on a combination of lectures, group work and classroom discussions as well as integrate case-teaching. It is expected that students will participate actively in classes and contribute during the lectures. A heavy workload is to be expected both in regard to difficult theoretical readings and group work between classes and as minor written group assignments/​essays/​casework to present and discuss in class.
Last updated on 07-01-2014