Introduction Philosophy and Ethics of Science
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-FFIL101
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionDutch, English
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Institute for Science, Innovation and Society;
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L. Consoli
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
KW1  (06/09/2021 to 07/11/2021)
Starting block
KW1/  KW2
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
  • Students are able to place science and scientific practices in a broader intellectual context
  • Students are able to reflect critically about the foundations of science
  • Students are able to reflect about their own actions as scientists
  • Students are able to formulate and justify a standpoint about questions pertaining the philosophy and ethics of science formuleren
In this course we shall discuss some fundamental questions about the philosophy and the ethics of the (natural) sciences. The course will be given twice, with a slightly different content (zie further in the description)
  • What is science? Wat is scientific knowledge? What are the epistemologic properties that make scientific knowledge 'special' (if any)?
  • Models and theories: what does it mean to make a model of reality? What is the relationship between the model and the material entities?
  • Is mathematics a science?
  • Popper/Kuhn/Lakatos
  • Ethics and morality: which models van we use to analyse / justify moral decisions and actions?
  • Scientific integrity: who is the 'good' scientist? Examples of research misconduct
Instructional Modes

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information
The students will be asked to write a final paper and 2 short commands. There is no exam. The short assignments count for 50% of the final grade, the final assignment for the remaining 50%.
The course is given twice. The content of the course varies slightly between the two 'variants'. Version 1: the accent is more on foundational aspects and the relationship between mathematics and its formalism and the natural sciences. Version 2: the accent is more on epistemological aspects of scientific experiments and the theory-experiment relationship. Fundamental concepts in the philosophy and ethics of science are provided in both versions. Version 1 will be taught in Dutch, version 2 will be taught in English
Required materials
To be announced
Literature will be distributed on Blackboard.

Instructional modes
Course occurrence

Final result
Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2