Courses in 2018-2019
Coming academic year I am teaching the following courses:
of science, BA first year. This course is an introduction in the
philosophy of science for philosophers, dealing with the nature of
scientific theory, the problem of induction, realism, and scientific
BA second year. This course picks up a number of notions from
epistemology and scientific method, including uncertainty, causality,
simplicity and deliberation, and offers conceptual and formal analyses
- Methods of PPE, MA.
This course focuses on
evidence-based policy making and offers students from the master progam
on PPE the required insight into causal modeling and statistical
Change, MA. This course concerns the nature of conceptual change in
science. We read Kuhn's classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
and then Michael Friedman's Dynamics of Reason. The goal of the course
is to make philosophical sense of changes in one's frame of mind or, if
you wish, one's relativized synthetic apriori judgments.
In past years I have among other things taught the following courses:
- Understanding Digital
Humanities, MA. This course
is taught together with Susan Aasman from the Faculty of Arts. My part
concerns an introduction of, and reflection on computational and
empirical methods in the humanities, with examples from archaeology, musicology,
representation, MA. This course serves as introduction for MA students
in the programme for Philosophy of Science for Scientists, dealing with
modes of representation in a variety of disciplines, including the
humanities, the social and the natural sciences. We read the first part
of Foucault's The Order of Things, and Scientific Representation by van
Fraassen in its entirety.
and metaphysics, BA third year. A number of themes in the philosophy of
the natural sciences are presented, and illustrated with examples from
physics: classical mechanics, the physics of space and time,
non-euclidean geometries, the direction of time, 'chaos theory', chance
and determinism, and the quantum-mechanical nature of matter.
- Philosophy of science,
Minor. This course is an introduction in the philosophy of science for
scientists, dealing with topics such as natural laws, induction,
explanation, experimentation, and scientific inference.
of psychology, together with Fred Keijzer, BA third year. In this
course I discuss a number of themes on the intersection of
psychological science and philosophy of science, like psychological
models and explanations, the use of introspection and experimentation
in psychology, scientific inference and statistics in psychological
research, and themes like reductionism, evolutionary psychology, and
free will and determinism.
- Statistical inference and
causality, MA course. This course covers a number of specific
discussions in the philosophy of science: classical vs Bayesian
statistics, model selection and simplicity, probabilistic causality,
and Bayesian networks.
- Analytical methods, MA course.
This is a research master course introducing our best students to the
analytic method by showing some examples of good analytic philosophy,
thereby implicitly investigating what that method really is.
- Belief, probability, and uncertainty, MA course. An
introduction into probabilistic models of belief and reasoning,
starting with an overview of interpretations of probability, and ending
with a number of debates in formal epistemology concerning
confirmation, evidence, and abduction.
foundations of psychology, Department of Psychology, University of
Amsterdam, BA second year. This course introduced themes from the
philosophy of science to psychology undergraduates.
approaches to scientific method, together with Theo Kuipers, MA course.
This course introduced two important research programmes in the
philosophy of science: confirmation theory and truth approximation. It
highlights their common objectives, as well as some differences in
motivation and outlook.
- Probabilistic logic and probabilistic networks, a
course in ESSLLI
2008 on the work of the research collective Progicnet.