Open course

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The topic of this course is based on research at the department which is not covered by other courses on 200 level. Such topics may focus on specific philosophical problem areas or approaches, or on particular philosophical works or authors.

In semesters where the course does not have its own academic lectures, it can only be taken in connection with other courses that have teaching in the given semester by agreement with the department.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student should have

  • insight into a topic focusing on a specific philosophical problem area or approach, or on particular philosophical works or authorships
  • an overview of central problems, arguments and positions on this topic


After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • recognize and critically assess main positions and arguments in other philosophical texts on the same topic
  • keep up with contemporary philosophical discussions on the topic on moderate levels of difficulty
  • assess the relevance of the topic for other philosophical questions, for other disciplines, or wider contexts
  • produce clear, well composed and relatively thorough written expositions withing the topic, suited for a philosophical as well as a wider audience


After completing the course, the student should be competent to

  • more advanced academic studies based on the topic, for example in the form of a bachelor thesis (FIL250 (Bachelor essay in philosophy)) or on masters level
  • communicating basic insight into the topic, for example in the form of teaching at high school level
  • produce expository or advisory documents for use in context where the topic is of relevance

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring and Fall

Place of Instruction

Recommended Previous Knowledge
Specialized study courses presuppose good background knowledge in philosophy, and students should normally have finished their exams in all 100-level cumpolsary courses. A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
FIL231 might overlap with other courses in Philosophy. Please contact the studierettleiar@fof.uib for further information.
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/or seminars.

Guidance of semester assignment paper: guidance is a voluntary offer and can occur individually or in groups.

The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

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

Submission of reading list by 15 April in the Spring and by 15 October in the Fall. The reading list should contain course code, semester of examination, and names of the student and teacher, and adher to usual standards for bibliographic references. Number of pages for each book/book excerpt or article should be given (for electronic sources without page numbers one should count 500 words per page). The reading list must be signed by the teacher and approved by the Department.

Forms of Assessment

A semester assignment paper of 3000- 5000 words (not including table of contents, list of references etc.) The topic of the paper must be approved in advance by the teacher of the course. . The semester assignment paper will be assessed at the end of the semester.

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.

Grading Scale
From A to F
Reading List
There is a fixed reading list which the student, in cooperation with the teacher, is supposed to supply with additional reading.
Course Evaluation
The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.