Introductory Topics in Philosophy

Tanja Traxler
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2023S, Proseminar (PS), 2.0 ECTS, 1.0 semester hours, course number S04490


How have natural scientists and especially physicists gathered knowledge throughout the centuries? Why is reality in quantum physics not the way it seems in everyday life? How can science be distinguished from pseudo-science and fraud? And what role do the arts and asthetics play in deriving the laws of nature? In this course we will investigate past and present methods of gaining knowledge in the physical sciences. The historical analysis of epistemology in science will be accompanied by philosophical and sociological considerations as well as gender reflections.
Evidently, quantity and quality of scientific knowledge has changed dramatically e. g. between Newton’s classical mechanics in the 17th century and the development of quantum mechanics or Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the 20th century. What was once established as a scientific fact has been revealed as a limited perspective. In this course, we will discuss the methods scientists use to gain knowledge that is as solid as possible.
This course is the continuation of my course "Introductory Topics in Philosophy" (winter term) and many topics from the previous term will be discussed in more detail. However, the course is also open for participants who did not attend the course during the winter term.

Examination Modalities

Regular attendence and active participation. (30 %)

Seminar presentation. (40 %)

Seminar paper á 3000 words due April 20th. (30 %)


02 March 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room (preliminary discussion)
09 March 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room
16 March 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room
23 March 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room
30 March 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room
27 April 2023, 11:15–13:00 CDS Lecture Room

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas: Study Area 4: Philosophy 569/020.04

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Elective Field: only students without a bachelor's degree in CDS: from Study Areas 1-6 569/080.10

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Philosophy: Foundation 700/003.10

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible