Introductory Topics in Philosophy

Tanja Traxler
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2023W, Lecture and Discussion (VD), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04489


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 natural 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 and yet under constant scrutiny and open for revisions.

This course is open for participants of all departments.

Examination Modalities

Regular attendence and active participation. (30 %)

Seminar presentation. (30 %)

Seminar paper due at the end of the course. (40 %)


16 January 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Lecture Room
17 January 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Lecture Room
18 January 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Lecture Room
19 January 2024, 10:00–16:00 CDS Lecture Room

Course Enrolment

From 15 September 2023, 00:00 to 15 January 2024, 00:00
Via online registration

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

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas 4-6: Study Area 4: Philosophy 569/022.04

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible