The Master’s programme in Philosophy at Leiden University is characterised by a firm integration of historical and systematic approaches in philosophy and an emphasis on studying primary philosophical texts. This constantly links both historical scholarship and current philosophical debates.
The specialisations Ethics and Politics, History and Philosophy of the Sciences, and Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture aim to give students a broad and deep knowledge of and insight into philosophy, a number of its branches, and their historical development. The programme is characterised by a firm integration of historical and systematic approaches in philosophy and an emphasis on studying primary philosophical texts. This constantly links both historical scholarship and current philosophical debates.
The specialisation Philosophy, Politics and Economics has a distinctively interdisciplinary profile. The programme enables students to engage with issues in philosophy, politics, and economics at the cutting edge of these fields. It aims to draw sophisticated connections between social, political, and economic phenomena, using the methods of philosophical inquiry as tools for addressing these issues.
“Provocative philosophical claims rely on sound historical knowledge and vice versa.”
“I hold the chair of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. In the master’s in Philosophy, I teach Ancient Philosophy and its relation to mathematics and the sciences. It is characteristic of the study of philosophy in Leiden that historical and systematic aspects of philosophy are correlated with one another. Provocative philosophical claims rely on sound historical knowledge and vice versa. This is clear from our programme: in many courses philosophical issues are interwoven with the history of philosophy and the sciences.
In philosophy of science, for instance, Aristotle played a fundamental role. This Greek philosopher wrote a standard work on true knowledge and how to acquire it. He established which demands science had to meet, and defined the structure of proofs. His model was the mathematical practice of his day, and it is likely that Aristotle, in turn, influenced Euclid when he was writing his Elements of Geometry.
In the Renaissance, there was a revival of interest in late antiquity in philosophers and scientists who studied Aristotle’s texts anew. The scientific revolution in the 17th century cannot be understood without knowledge of the Aristotelian model of science. Even today, it is difficult to keep up with the number of works on Aristotle that are being published. It is a pleasure to work with students on these and related topics.”