Introduction to Theoretical Philosophy

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Philosophy is often divided into theoretical- and practical philosophy. In theoretical philosophy one often mention areas such as epistemology, metaphysics, ontology, logic, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. But the distinction between theoretical and practical philosophy is not always sharp, nor is it uncontroversial and issues within theoretical philosophy is often relevant to the issues in practical philosophy. Therefore it is important for all students of philosophy to have knowledge of theoretical philosophy, even if they are in the continuing study well to concentrate on practical philosophy.

FIL125 will provide students with an overview of important basic concepts, arguments and positions in theoretical philosophy. The main emphasis lies on the theme in contemporary philosophy, but it will often be necessary to lean on philosophical works and positions from ancient times. After completing the course the students should be able to convey important theories and issues within theoretical philosophy and see the relevance of these in other contexts. The course will provide the basis for further studies in philosophy at the undergraduate level.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, students should be familiar with important basic concepts, arguments and positions in theoretical philosophy.


Students should be able to recognize and provide insight into fundamental issues and arguments within theoretical philosophy in different contexts.


The course provides a basis for further studies aimed at the bachelor's degree with a specialisation in philosophy. In combination with other courses the student will be eligible for the teaching of philosophy in secondary school or upper secondary school. The course may also be suitable to support specialization in fundamental questions in connection with the study of other subjects.

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Recommended Previous Knowledge
A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.
Access to the Course
The course is open to students admitted at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and seminars. Seminars are compulsary.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Oral presentation at the seminar in groups

Students must attend at least two thirds of the seminars

An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given.

Forms of Assessment

A four hour school exam.

Exams in the course are held every semester.

The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.

The compulsory requirements have to be formally approved in a semester in which there is teaching in the relevant course in order to register for the examination in a semester in which there is no teaching in that course.

Grading Scale
From A to F
Course Evaluation
The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.