Course code PHI102

PHI102 Examen Philosophicum - English Option

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Rani Lill Anjum
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: Study year 2015-2016
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, but also 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?

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?

The teaching is organised as lectures with discussions and assignments 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. Work in groups and individually, orally and written. The students acquire practical experience in discussion, argumentation and solving exercises. We work systematically with repetition, reflection over how the different parts of the syllabus are related, and with peer feedback.
Teaching support:
Teachers are available for support and supervision and will prepare material for repetition and reflection to be used in classes and between lectures.
The syllabus is defined by the topics, and is specified in the study plan, but students are free to use text books for examen philosophicum (not repetition material but texts written as exphil syllabus). Supporting material (texts, videos, summaries, lecture notes, exam preparation material, assignments) will be made available in Canvas.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
65% of the lectures must be attended. In addition, all exam activities are mandatory participation.
Combined assessment: (1) Portfolio (75 % of final grade): 2 short answer tests in history of philosophy and in ethics and philosophy of science (individual) will be arranged during the semester (approximately 2/3 of the grade for the portfolio) and a primarily oral assignment in ethics (group work) will be arranged for the final class (approx. 1/3 of the grade for the portfolio). (2) Assignment (25 % of final grade): a primarily written assignment in philosophy of science will be arranged in the exam period after the classes have ended (group work). No re-examination.
Nominal workload:
250 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 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: Portfolio: Letter grades