PHI102 Examen Philosophicum - English Option

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Rani Lill Anjum

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually.

Nominal workload:250 hours

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.

About this course

Philosophy is about our most basic assumptions. What exists? What can we know? What is a human? What is right or wrong? What is science? In this course, students will be introduced to a range of philosophical themes.

The course consists of three parts: (1) history of philosophy; (2) philosophy of science; (3) ethics. Part 1 introduces some significant stages of Western history of philosophy, as it has developed from antiquity to modern time. This includes the emergence of modern thinking and its philosophical foundation in different worldviews (e.g. the ecological and the mechanistic worldview). Another emphasis is on how philosophical theories influence our thinking about human nature and society. Part 2 introduces some important themes within philosophy of science, including what characterises scientific knowledge and methods, and what separates various disciplines. Emphasis is placed on foundational philosophical assumptions in the tension between different disciplinary traditions and perspectives, and how these are expressed in interdisciplinary collaborations over complex scientific and societal problems, as in research on climate and sustainable solutions. Part 3 gives an overview of different forms of ethical argumentation, and in the application of such argumentation on important moral questions, including questions related to cultural conflicts, equality, animal rights, natural resource management and sustainability. The emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and sustainability is grounded in NMBU's commitment to "Joint efforts for a sustainable future".

Learning outcome

KNOWLEDGE: The students will get introductory knowledge about individual philosophers, philosophical traditions and central concepts within history of philosophy, ethics and philosophy of science. They will be given some tools for critical reflections over their own and others' most basic assumptions of a philosophical nature.

SKILLS: The students should be able to recognise various philosophical positions and perspectives, such as empiricism, rationalism, dualism, reductionism and relativism. They should be able to distinguish between some moral theories and to use these to formulate their own moral arguments. They should understand how different disciplinary traditions might rely on different philosophical assumptions about scientific knowledge and methods.

GENERAL COMPETENCE: The students should be able to account for the various philosophical theories and concepts within history of philosophy, ethics and philosophy of science. They should be able to identify philosophical assumptions in moral arguments and scientific approaches. They should be able to formulate their own moral arguments in line with the different theories. They should have competence in argumentation and critical reflections, also concerning foundational assumptions within their own discipline.

  • Campus-based lectures without streaming. Lectures are discussion-based and are aimed at engaging the students in philosophical reflection. There is time allocated for working on repetition- and reflection questions in smaller groups in class. The students are trained in ethical argumentation, interdisciplinary collaboration and peer-mentoring. Emphasis is placed on recognising philosophical basic assumptions in disciplinary perspectives and tensions between research traditions.
  • The Canvas page is updated regularly and includes all learning material and resources. The teacher is available for support and supervision and will prepare material for repetition and reflection to be used in classes and between lectures.
  • Portfolio assessment:

    • Repetition- and reflections notes in philosophy of science and ethics (individual written submission, 4-5 pages)
    • Participation in ethics debate on sustainability (group work, oral presentation)
    • Contribution to interdisciplinary student conference in philosophy of science (group work, digital format, peer mentoring)

    Evaluation: Pass / Fail for each of these.

    In order to pass the course all the components in the portfolio must be passed in the same semester.

    All activities and submissions take place within the semester. The student conference is arranged in the final class. No re-examination.

  • An external examiner evaluates the course and participates in and evaluates the contributions to the ethics debate and student conference.
  • 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.

  • 4 hours teaching per week. In addition, 2 hours per week is set aside for group work in Zoom.
  • The course overlaps 10 ECTS credits with PHI100 and PHI101.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).