EXPHIL03E – Examen philosophicum - English option

Course content

NB: Starting in the autumn of 2020, the English version of Exphil will be offered within the course EXPHIL03 and not as a separate course. EXPHIL03E - Exam philosophicum - English option is therefore closed.

The subject consists of two main parts: Exphil I – History of philosophy and science, and Exphil II – Ethics.

Exphil I combines themes from the history of philosophy and the history of science in order to highlight important issues in the complex development of contemporary rational and scientific ideas. The students are introduced to some of the seminal thinkers from the important epochs which have shaped modern western civilisation.

Exphil II provides a systematic introduction to ethics. Meta-ethics, ethical theories and applied ethics in their comtemporary forms are presented.

In both these main parts the curriculum is presented partly through the original writings of philosophers and scientists and partly through commentaries.

Learning outcome

The focus on key original texts should improve the student’s ability to take an appreciative and at the same time critical stand towards important features of western philosophy and science. Through the writing of essays, the student is encouraged to reflect upon basic ethical, philosophical and scientific problems.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

A good ability to read and understand English is required for this course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with EXPHIL03 – Examen philosophicum


This course has the form of digital lectures combined with digital seminary classes. There are a total of 20 lectures, for the most part twice a week for 10 weeks. The lectures are open and attendance is voluntary but highly recommended. The seminary classes require registration. Seminary classes meet every second week, for at total of seven classes. Students are expected to participate actively during classes.

You will be asked to submit two assignments which are both compulsory. On the first assignment, your teacher will give feedback to the seminar group as a whole. On the second assignment, your teacher will give feedback to students individully. Both assignments must be approved by the teacher. Approval is based on formal criteria. If your assignment is not approved, you will not be allowed to hand it in a second time.

Compulsory tuition activities

  • Submission and approval of two written assignments

Approved compulsory tuition activities are prerequisites for being allowed to sit for the final examination. In this course, all compulsory activities must be completed and approved the same semester you wish to sit for the exam. In the event of illness, the same rules apply as regarding non-attendance at an examination. This means that you must submit documentation showing that your illness has prevented you from handing in your assignment. This documentation must reach the department, IFIKKnot later than three business days after the deadline for submission of your assignment. If you realise that you are prevented handing in an assignment, we also ask you to contact us before the deadline.


The examination is a digital home examination in which you:

  • submit the final version of an assignment based on the second of the two written assignments submitted during the semester
  • answer exam questions

To have a final pass grade on the course, you must both upload the assignment and answer exam questions.

Assignments previously given for the two hour home examination.

Students who do not have all their compulsory teaching activities approved, will be transferred to a single, 4-hour home exam.

Assignments previously given for the four hour examination.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Withdrawal from an examination

Please refer to the semester pages for the deadline for withdrawal from the examination.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Spring and autumn
Spring and autumn
Teaching language