Level of Study
Spring or Fall
Objectives and Content
Metaphysics attempts to formulate, clarify and answer the basic and most general questions about the world, such as: What really exists? Do souls, numbers and God exist? What are time and space? What are cause and effect? What do we say when we say that some truths are necessary and others only contingent? Do we have free will? What is a law of nature? A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the first principles of reality. This course will provide students with an overview of important basic concepts, arguments and positions in metaphysics. The main topics are chosen from contemporary philosophy, but we will often discuss philosophical works from the past.
After completing the course students should have good knowledge of the key Because concepts, arguments and positions in metaphysics.
After completing the course the student should be able to: - identify strengths and weaknesses at various positions in metaphysics (eg. realism v. nominalism, determinism v. indeterminism, causality, comaptibilism v. incompatibilsm about free will, etc.) - identify relevant arguments and principles of metaphysics (e.g., the causal closure principle) - reading metaphysical articles and books on an relatively high academic level - continue studies in metaphysics at Master level
The course provides a basis for further studies aimed at the bachelor's degree with a specialization in philosophy. In combination with other courses the student will be eligible for the teaching of philosophy in secondary school or upper secondary school. The course may also be suitable to support specialization in fundamental questions in connection with the study of other subjects.
Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor degree with 90 credits specializing in philosophy or equivalent.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.
Access to the Course
A condition for entry into this course is having been accepted for the Masters programme in philosophy.
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and/or seminars.
Individual tuition: up to 1 hours per student.
The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given.
Submission of a draft of the semester assignment paper before supervision.
Individual supervision given by the teacher of the course.
Forms of Assessment
Two written assignments to be handed in before a deadline set by the department. The first assignment is between 2500 and 3000 words (excluding table of contents, list of references, etc.). The second assignment is between 3500 and 4000 words (excluding table of contents, list of references, etc.), and is supervised. Each student chooses her or his own subject, which has to be approved by the supervisor in advance. With regards to the final grade, the first assignment makes up 30 % and the supervised assignment 70 % of the grade.
Exams in the course are held every semester.
The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.
The compulsory requirements have to be formally approved in a semester in which there is teaching in the relevant course in order to register for the examination in a semester in which there is no teaching in that course.
From A to F
The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.
Department of Philosophy
Type of assessment: Portfolio assessment
Exam part: Portfolio paper 1
- Examination system
- Digital exam
Exam part: Portfolio paper 2
- Examination system
- Digital exam