Philosophy (60EC)

Specialisations

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.

About the specialisations

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.

Reasons to choose Philosophy in Leiden

  1. The Leiden Institute for Philosophy offers a combination of Continental and analytical philosophy, which is an attractive feature for students searching for a confrontation of different types of philosophical method. The institute represents a wide range of research interests, enabling students (depending on the specialisation(s) to which they have been admitted) to take courses in:
    • History of Philosophy,
    • Logic,
    • Philosophy of Science,
    • Philosophy of Mind and Cognition,
    • Ethics and Political Philosophy,
    • Philosophical Anthropology,
    • Cultural Philosophy
    • Comparative Philosophy.
  2. The specialisation Philosophy, Politics and Economics is an inter- and multidisciplinary programme with a unique profile, aiming to provide graduates with the skills necessary both to critique as well as intervene in issues of public significance in creative and innovative ways.
  3. The Leiden Philosophy department has a committed teaching staff, and as courses are offered in small groups there is ample room for discussion and interaction.
  4. The Leiden Institute for Philosophy has strong international links with philosophy departments worldwide, resulting in an active programme of visiting scholars and lecturers.

Master details

  • Degree Master of Arts in Philosophy
  • Mode of study Full-time, part-time. Non-EU/EEA students must study full-time.
  • Duration 1 year (2 years in part-time study)
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60822

Prof. Frans de Haas

Frans de Haas

“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.”

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