Topics in the Philosophy of Science


This course aims to:

  • Introduce key concepts and problems in the philosophy of science.
  • Develop the capacity of students to critically evaluate concepts and approaches in management science with regards to fundamental problems in the philosophy of science.


This course will explore questions in the philosophy of science and discuss them in relation to examples from all areas of management science. These topics include:

  • How do we decide what is scientific and what is not? How can we demarcate science from other activities?
  • What makes science hard? What are the problems of induction and underdetermination, and how can they be addressed?
  • What are the goals of science? What are concepts of causality? What counts as a good explanation? When are models successful?
  • How can we evaluate science? What are the notions of scientific revolutions, paradigms and research programmes? Can science be objective and value-free?

Each session includes a lecture part that introduces key concepts in philosophy of science, and a seminar part in which the readings as well as examples from all areas of management science are discussed.


Contributions to seminar preparation and discussion (40%); two essay assignments which include a peer-review and revision process amongst students (60%).

Additional info

The timetable for this course can be found here.

ERIM PhD candidates can register for this course via Osiris Student.

External (non-ERIM) participants are welcome to this course. To register, please fill in the registration form and e-mail it to the ERIM Doctoral Office by four weeks prior to the start of the course. For external participants, the course fee is 260 euro per 1 ECTS credit.