Language: NOR | ENG
2020/2021

BUK4001 Philosophy of Science and Ethics of Research

Læringsutbytte

Learning Outcomes: 

Knowledge

 After completing the course, the student

  • will possess knowledge of and insight into central debates about the main problems of the philosophy of science.
  • will have developed a critical and reflective understanding of key issues related to central approaches within the philosophy of science such as empiricism, positivism, pragmatism, critical rationalism, recent analytical philosophy of science, hermeneutics, critical theory and critical realism
  • will have developed a foundation for evaluating questions related to the ethics of research
  • will have developed a methodological and ethical  basis for work with their own thesis.

Skills

After completing the course, the student will have the skills to

  • tackle and challenge complex questions of the philosophy of science related to the students’ own research, and understand their own choice of methods in the perspective of the relevant positions of the philosophy of science
  • tackle issues of ethics of research related to the work with their own thesis
  • formulate research questions of the philosophy of science related to social scientific research and research in the humanities.
  • place their own project into one or more paradigms within the philosophy of science
  • discuss topics within philosophy of science with researchers within their field of study and other PhD students in their own field and other fields
  • reflect on the relationship between philosophy of science, and social science and the humanities as fields of research and practice.

General competence

After completing the course, the student will have the competence to

  • assess their thesis work within the framework of the philosophy of science and the history of science   and examine their own methodological choices based on relevant positions of the philosophy of science,
  • identify issues within philosophy of science in their own and others' research, and carry out their research in line with relevant philosophy of science,
  • identify issues of the ethics of science in their own and others' research and execute their research with academic integrity,
  • participate in debates related to philosophy of science within their academic field.

 

These learning objectives are closely linked. A broad orientation to the philosophy of science and  ethics of research  will be important in helping give the individual the best possible basis for reflection on – and discussion of – approaches within the philosophy of science in his/her thesis.

There is room for a large degree of flexibility and choice with regard to reading material and research questions for the work with the essay (see below). At the same time, the course has a core that includes central issues within the philosophy of science.

Innhold

Course content: 

There is room for a large degree of flexibility and choice with regard to reading material and research questions for the work with the essay (see below). At the same time, the course has a core that includes central issues within the philosophy of science.

The course is structured as instruction and discussions of approaches within the philosophy of science, such as empiricism and positivism, pragmatism, critical rationalism, phenomenology, the tradition of Wittgenstein, hermeneutics, critical theory, critical realism as well as post-structuralism and postmodernism. Key debates to be addressed are:

  • positivism, pragmatism, Popper and Kuhn
  • scientific explanation and confirmation
  • understanding, interpretations and explanations in the humanities and social sciences
  • the linguistic turn in social science (Habermas)
  • critical realism in the social sciences
  • the ethics of science and research, and prejudice in science

The students will also delve into Analytical philosophy of science, Pragmatism and Continental philosophical considerations of the sciences. Emphasis is placed on both the general philosophy of science, as well as issues within the humanities and social sciences. The course also includes an introduction to the ethics of research, related to the various positions within philosophy of science.

The participants will familiarize themselves with the various thematic areas by working with given syllabus texts and through writing an essay.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Teaching and working methods: 

The course will be taught during one week.

Obligatoriske krav som må være godkjent før eksamen kan avlegges

Coursework requirements

A short written note on one’s own PhD project. The deadline for submission of a note about your plan for dissertation i the 11th of May 2020

Eksamen

Examination

Documentation with formal evaluation: the participants prepare an essay within the philosophy of science. It may well be designed with an intention of being included (wholly or partly) in the student’s own thesis. In the work on this essay, guidance is provided by scientific staff. The essay is assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.

If it is graded as failed, an option to rewrite the essay towards approval is given. Prior to rewriting, the candidate will be given feedback with the assessment of the essay.

Tillatte hjelpemidler til eksamen

Examination support material

All available materials.