Course code PHI402

PHI402 Research Ethics and Philosophy of Science II

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2015 - 2016 .

Course responsible: Terje Bent Kvilhaug
Teachers: Deborah Helen Oughton, Frode Kjosavik, Terje Bent Kvilhaug
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, January block, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2009-2010
Preferential right:
Course contents:
The contents and structure of this course are by far the same as in the course PHI 401 (see "Contents" under PHI 401). But the course PHI 402 offers an extended study in philosophy of science especially. It should be noted that the following examples of issues to be discussed here are also ethically relevant: The relation between natural and human sciences science in society (science as social practice) what nature must be like for science to be possible open and closed systems epistemological problems in open (natural and social) systems, naturalism and its limits the transformative model of society laws, powers, models and idealization, reductionism and anti-reductionism in biology problems related to the understanding of the selection entities anti-reductionism and the developmental system-theories about onto-genesis and evolution.
Learning outcome:
Teaching goals as well as lectures, seminars and syllabus are by far the same as in the course PHI 401 (see "Teaching goals" under PHI 401). But the course PHI 402 will, with an extended course in philosophy of science as its point of departure, give the students an opportunity to go deeper into philosophical and/or ethical issues related to their own research projects. Through the work with a term paper related to their own projects, the students will receive a possibility to think through pressing problems of the kind.
Learning activities:
Lectures, seminars, group discussions, self studies and work with term paper of free choice.
Teaching support:
The students will receive individual supervision.

Course Readings, PHI401 and PHI402


PHI401: Selection from below, ca. 300 pages

PHI402: Selection from below, ca. 600 pages


Textbook (Chapters 9 and 12 may be skipped):


Chalmers, A. What is this thing called Science?, 3rd edition, Open University Press, Buckingham, 1999.


Further material (may be subject to revision):


Cartwright, N. The Dappled World. A Study of the Boundaries of Science, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1999, Chap. 4.

Cartwright, N. Nature's Capacities and their Measurement. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989, Chap. 5.

Caruana, Louis. 'Method.' In: Science and Virtue. An Essay on the Impact of the Scientific Mentality on Moral Character, Ashgate, Hampshire, 2006, 33-57.

Collier, A. Critical Realism. An Introduction to Roy Bhaskar's Philosophy, Verso, London, 1994, Chap. 2, 31-51, Chap. 4, 107-120, Chap. 5, 137-169.

Feyerabend, P. Against Method, 3rd ed., Verso, London, 1994, 'Introduction', 9-13, Parts 1-5, 14-53, and Parts 15-19, 147-251.

Geertz, C. 'The Strange Estrangement: Taylor and Natural Sciences.' In: J. Tully (ed.), Philosophy in an Age of Pluralism, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994, 83-95.

Gibbons, M. 'Science's New Social Contract with Society.' Nature 402/C81, 1999, 11-17.

Hodgson, G. 'Biological and Physical Metaphors in Economics', in S. Maasen, E. Mendelsohn, and P. Weingart (Eds.), Biology as Society, Society as Biology: Metaphors, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1994, 339-355.

Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd edition, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970, Chaps. IX-X.

Kuhn, T. 'Postcript - 1969'. In: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1996, 174-210.

Maasen, S., 'Who is afraid of Metaphors?' In: S. Maasen, E. Mendelsohn, and P. Weingart (Eds.), Biology as Society, Society as Biology: Metaphors, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1994, 11-35.

Miller, R. W. 'Value Freedom' excerpted from 'Fact and Method in the Social Sciences.' In: Boyd, R. et al (Eds.), The Philosophy of Science, 1991, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 744-749.

Nanda, M. 'The Epistemic Charity of the Social Constructivist Critics of Science and Why the Third World Should Refuse the Offer.' In: N. Koertge (Ed.), A House Built on Sand. Exposing Postmodernist Myths about Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998.

Penslar, R. L. Research Ethics. Cases

Recommended prerequisites:
Examen Philosophicum or equivalent.
Mandatory activity:
Students must attend at least 65 % of lectures and seminars in the part that is common with PHI401 and 65 % of the additional part that is exclusive to PHI402.
Term paper.
Nominal workload:
Around 300 hours, work with term paper included.
Entrance requirements:
Master degree
Reduction of credits:
See PHI 401.
Type of course:
Around 40-44 hours lectures + seminars/group discussions.
Lectures, seminars and syllabus in the first part of the course will be the same as for the course PHI 401.
Cooperation with external examiner
Examination details: Term paper: Bestått / Ikke bestått