Course code PHI402

PHI402 Research Ethics and Philosophy of Science II

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2018 - 2019 .

Course responsible: Terje Bent Kvilhaug, Frode Kjosavik
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. NB! The course is not offered in the Autumn 2018.
Course frequency: The course will not be pffered in the Autumn 2018.
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 more deeply into philosophical and/or ethical issues related to their own research projects.
Learning activities:
Lectures, seminars, group discussions, self-study, work on term paper on a self-chosen topic.
Teaching support:
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 it has in common with PHI401 and 65 % of the additional part that is exclusive to PHI402. Approved mandatory activites are valid until the end of the next course period, meaning that it is possible to hand in a new term paper in the next period without attending the seminars and lectures for that period.
Term paper (100%). No re-examination. In writing the term paper, students are required to make use of - and include references to - relevant course literature. They are encouraged to make use of additional literature as well, if they find it interesting or necessary to do so.
Nominal workload:
Around 300 hours, work with term paper included.
Entrance requirements:
Master degree
Reduction of credits:
Students who take the course PHI 402 in addition to PHI 401 will only receive 5 study points. Students who have taken the course PHI 400 (given last time autumn 2008) will not receive any study points by taking the courses PHI 401 or PHI 402.
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 PHI401. NB! The course is not offered in the Autumn 2018.
Cooperation with external examiner
Examination details: Term paper: Bestått / Ikke bestått