Course code PHI102

PHI102 Examen Philosophicum - English option

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2019 .

Course responsible: Rani Lill Anjum
ECTS credits: 10
Department: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Maximum 100 students.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in the January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in the Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually. The course is taught in the January/Spring each year from 2020. Corresponds to the courses PHI100/PHI101 which are offered in Norwegian in the Autumn parallel.
First time: 2015H
Course contents:

The course consists of three parts: history of philosophy, ethics and philosophy of science.

History of philosophy starts with the antiquity and ends in the 19th Century. This part starts with the Sophists and Plato, going up to Hume and Kant. The general topic is: Is certain knowledge possible? What can we have knowledge of? And how can we know that we really know what we think we know?   Ethics and practical philosophy is from the same period as in history of philosophy.

In addition it includes philosophers such as Mill and Singer. The topic is: Is there something universally right or wrong, good or evil? If so, how can we find out if an action is one or the other? Where does morality come from?

At the end of the ethics period we arrange an ethics debate, where the students are divided into groups. One overall issue is chosen for the debate and the different groups are told which ethical position they represent and their overall attitude towards the issue to be debated. The groups develop the best arguments in collaboration, for or against (e.g. genetic manipulation of humans) from their given ethical position. On the day of the ethics debate the groups present their arguments, two and two groups put up against each other, with the possibility of participation from the audience.

In philosophy of science we consider the question of scientific knowledge. How is scientific knowledge possible? Can we prove scientific truths? Is scientific progress possible? What is the best method for gaining scientific knowledge?

We use poster presentation in groups for history of philosophy and philosophy of science, where each group gets one theme to explain for the class.

The teaching is organised as lectures with discussions in class and in smaller groups. The new material is presented in the first part of class, and the students are encouraged to participate and share their thoughts. In the group work the students answer questions related to the contents of the lecture, and also they work on discussion assignments where they are free to contribute with their own reflections and arguments.

Learning outcome:

The students should possess basic knowledge about the most important philosophical traditions in the history of Western philosophy, within ontology, epistemology and moral philosophy/ethics. In addition to having knowledge about individual philosophers and their ideas, the students should be able to account for general philosophical approaches, such as empiricism, rationalism, dualism, reductionism and relativism, and explain central philosophical concepts. In philosophy of science the students should possess knowledge about various philosophical approaches to science, scientific methods, scientific progress, and explain how these different approaches relate to philosophical traditions and themes from history of philosophy.

The course should contribute to sharpen the students' critical ability and their ability to independent reflection. In particular, the philosophy of science should prepare the students for scientific disagreement and discussions within their own discipline, and enable them to recognise philosophical assumptions such as reductionism, empiricism and relativism.

In ethics, the students should be able to account for and identify ethical positions such as relativism, utilitarianism, duty ethics and virtue ethics. They should also be able to develop their own arguments using the different ethical positions.

Learning activities:
Lectures, including discussions and problem-solving exercises. Ethics debate. Poster presentations. Guest lectures.
Teaching support:
The students acquire practical experience in discussion, argumentation and solving exercises.
The syllabus is defined by the topics, and is specified in the study plan. Supporting material (texts, videos, summaries, lecture notes) will be made available in Canvas.
Recommended prerequisites:
Longitude evaluation: 1 hour short answer test (individual) (1/3), participation in ethics debate (group work) (1/3), poster with presentation (group work) (1/3). No re-examination. 
Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Reduction of credits:
The course overlaps 10 ECTS credits with PHI100 and PHI101.
Type of course:
50 hours of teaching, including lectures, presentation and discussion in groups and class.

The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. 

The course is equivalent to Examen Philosophicum at other universities in Norway. It is offered in English in the January/Spring every year. It is offered in Norwegian in the Autumn parallel every year as PHI100/PHI101. The exam in PHI102 will be given in English only.

External evaluation of the course.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

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