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PhD Course in Philosophy of Science DUH102

Course description for study year 2022-2023. Please note that changes may occur.

Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian

The course will give a broad orientation on central issues in the philosophy of science related to the social sciences and the humanities (‘the human sciences’). Topics include:
  • Objectivity and the role of values in the human sciences.
  • Understanding (interpretation) versus explanation.
  • Holism versus methodological individualism.
Learning outcome


The student will gain knowledge of:

  • The philosophical foundations for different theoretical research approaches in the social sciences and the humanities.


By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Facilitate critical reflection and argumentation upon presuppositions that may easily be taken for granted in their own research tradition, or in science as a whole.
  • Relate discipline-specific topics to general reflections and concepts of philosophy of science.

General competence

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in analytical discussion and well-structured academic argumentation.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

• Evaluation will be based on one individual paper (4000 words (+/- 10%)) on a self-chosen topic approved by the instructor.
• The paper must be written in English or in a Scandinavian language.
• The paper must be submitted within six weeks after the topic has been approved.
• The paper is evaluated pass/fail.

Coursework requirements
Active participation in lectures and seminarsActive participation in lectures and seminars
Active participation in lectures and seminars (at least 75% attendance).
Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Ståle Gundersen
Method of work
The course will be held as five seminars.
Open for
PhD candidates enrolled in PhD programmes at the University of Stavanger and at cooperating research institutions may participate in the course.
Course assessment
An evaluation form in accordance with the expectations in the UiS quality system will be made available to the candidates after the completion of the course. The course participants are encouraged to contribute to the course evaluation.
Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
PhD Course in Philosophy of Science (DSP102) 5
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