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2014/2015  BA-BSOCU1011U  Philosophy of Science

English Title
Philosophy of Science

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Liv Egholm - Department of Business and Politics (DBP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
Last updated on 12-08-2014
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 science 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 science traditions presented in the syllabus, and
  • integrate an understanding of the different philosophy of science traditions with the methodological considerations in the first year project
Course prerequisites
The courses BA-BSOCU1009U Introduction to Organisational Sociology, BA-BSOCU1010U Introduction to Research Methods, BA-BSOCU1011U Philosophy of Science, and BA-BSOCU1012U Quantitative Methods I have one intergrated exam. You can only participate in BA-BSOCU1011U Philosophy of Science if you also register for the other courses: BA-BSOCU1009U Introduction to Organisational Sociology, BA-BSOCU1010U Introduction to Research Methods, and BA-BSOCU1012U Quantitative Methods I.
The course shares exams with
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 12-08-2014