ØK8000 - Philosophy of Science and Ethics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Passed/Failed

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The subject Philosophy of Science and Ethics is compulsory and an important tool for gathering all the PhD-students at the doctoral programme in Economics and management in a common arena. The Faculty therefore attaches great importance to the subject being of high academic standard, relevant and of interest to students regardless of research project and methodological approach.

Topic list:
- The role philosophy of science
- Main positions and paradigms in philosophy of science
- Scientific reasoning
- Explanation in science
- Explanation vs understanding
- Causality and economic explanations
- Theory and reality
- Theory formulation and testing and criteria for evaluating and accepting theories and research
- Falsification and social science research and the effectiveness of falsification strategies for finding truth
- Research etichs
- Normative-ethical examination of modern technology in its social context
- Ethical standards, expectations and institutions in the social sciences

Learning outcome

The purpose of this course is to develop the students' understanding of the foundations of philosophy of science and implications for scientific practice in economics and management.
The course will address different topics in philosophy of science such as scientific reasoning; explanation in science and scientific notions of causality and will relate these topics to the social practice of science in economics and related disciplines. The course will also offer different perspectives on the role of theories in predicting and explaining social phenomenon and criteria to evaluate and test such theories. Another important goal of the course is to present issues and perspectives on ethics in social science research.
The course will draw on literature in philosophy of science, methodology and on contributions in areas like economics, organization and management studies, marketing and technology management.
Having completed the course, the student should:

- Develop an in-depth understanding of main positions in philosophy of science and the role of philosophy of science in the social practice of science
- Assess the role of theories for predicting and explaining the reality and assess the logic behind procedures for developing and testing theories
- Reflect on the nature of ethical issues in research and evaluate the appropriateness and application of different designs and methods in research from an ethical perspective
- Reflexively discuss the philosophical and ethical underpinnings of management, and innovation and modern technology in its social context

- Be able to critically evaluate theories and research contributions in economics and management
- Be able to relate notions of causality to the philosophy of social science and assess and understand the role and appropriateness of different designs
- Be able to discuss and carry out scientific research in line with the ethical standards and expectations in their field

General competence:
- Be able to relate scientific traditions to positions in the philosophy of science
- Identify philosophical and ethical issues and implications of different theoretical approaches and research practices
- Engage in ethical dialogues about research ethics and research quality

Learning methods and activities

Intensive seminars, with lectures, presentations and discussions.

Active participation (compulsory) in class discussions, presentation of one assigned/self-selected article from the course material and acting as discussant for the paper presentation of another course participant.
Essay on topic with relevance for the candidate's PhD project, with a scope of 4-7000 words.

Required previous knowledge

Normally students have to be admitted to a PhD programme at the Faculty of Economics and management. Students from similar PhD programmes at partner institutions might also be awarded access to the course on individual basis.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  5.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Economics
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Faculty of Economics and Management



Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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