FIL2900 – Major - Philosophy of science

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course focuses on selected topics in the philosophy of science. Contents may vary between general philosophy of science and philosophical problems connected to specific sciences, such as biology or physics. Relevant topics may be:

  • scientific explanation
  • causality
  • scientific realism (to what degree are scientific truths and the objects of science objective?)
  • the biological species concept
  • philosophical problems regarding the theory of evolution
  • space and time
  • interpretations of Quantum mechanics

Learning outcome

After having completed this course, you should be able to:

  • document a solid understanding of problems in the philosophy of science
  • understand and evaluate different perspectives critically and by using arguments
  • demonstrate an overview of differences, similarities and connections between different perspectives in the general philosophy of science or specific sciences such as biology or physics.


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

We recommend you take FIL1002 - Introduction to epistemology and philosophy of science or a similar course first.


12 double sessions which will be a combination of seminars and lectures. The course has the following compulsory tuition activities:

  • an oral presentation (individual or in groups depending on the number of students)
  • a draft for the components in the portfolio (see Canvas for deadlines)
  • commenting on a fellow student's draft (peer review)

All the activities must be completed and judged satisfactory in order to be able to take the exam.



A portfolio exam of 10-12 pages in total which consists of 2 essays of 5-6 pages each, literature list and footnotes not included. You submit the portfolio in Inspera within the given deadline. Supervision will be given.

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

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language