Philosophical methods

Methodology courses and philosophy of sciences

ECTS: 2.5 
Number of sessions: 4
Hours per session: 4
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 575- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School)

In the academic year 2023-2024 this course will take place offline.

Session 1
January 8 (Monday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 2
January 15 (Monday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 3
January 22 (Monday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 4
January 29 (Monday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01


We are facing an era of major global transitions, involving a plethora of ecological, political, societal and scientific challenges. How can philosophy contribute to coming to terms with these challenges? We believe that philosophy has something to offer, while the exposure to concrete urgent challenges and interdisciplinary dialogue is a beneficial experience for philosophy as well, triggering reflection on the nature and relevance of philosophical knowledge as part of a more comprehensive and inclusive approach.

Aims and working method

The focus of the course is on methodology, on the how and now. How to practice philosophy today? How to bridge the gap between the way philosophy is often practiced in academic settings (e.g. author studies) and how philosophy evolves in interdisciplinary settings, addressing concrete societal challenges via transdisciplinary collaborations? The course entails a short introduction into a number of key philosophical approaches via readings, lectures, discussions and case studies.

Entry level

Previous knowledge of the approaches presented during this course is not required. We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Learning objectives

After completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Familiarised themselves with the core concepts and methods of important philosophical approaches;
  • Learned how to apply these concepts and methods in the context of contemporary challenges;
  • Developed their skills for interdisciplinary dialogue;
  • Reflected on the role and challenges of normativity and engaged scholarship in contemporary academic work.

Session descriptions

Session 1: Introduction and phenomenology

Session 2: Analytic philosophy and author studies

Session 3: Post-structuralism and dialectics

Session 4: Integrity and open science

About the instructors

Prof. dr. Hub Zwart (1960) studied philosophy and psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen and defended his thesis in 1993 (cum laude). In 2000 he became full Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Science RU Nijmegen. In 2018 he was appointed as Dean of Erasmus School of Philosophy (Erasmus University Rotterdam). He is editor-in-chief of the Library for Ethics and Applied Philosophy (Springer). His research develops a philosophical (dialectical) assessment of contemporary technoscience. Special attention is devoted to the dialectical relationship between science and genres of the imagination (drama, poetry, cinema, novels, music) He published 20 books (7 in English), 150 international peer-reviewed articles as first or single author and presented more than 200 international academic lectures, most of them invited. His open-access monograph entitled Continental Philosophy of Technoscience has just been published (Springer; 2021).

Dr. Maren Wehrle is assistant professor in practical philosophy at Erasmus School of Philosophy. Maren Wehrle, obtained a Master degree in Philosophy, German Literature and Historical Anthropology at the University of Freiburg, Germany (2006). In 2011 she received a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Freiburg with a dissertation entitled ‘Horizonte der Aufmerksamkeit. Entwurf einer dynamischen Konzeption der Aufmerksamkeit aus phänomenologischer und kognitionspsychologischer Sicht‘. From 2012 until 2017 she worked as Post-Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy (Center of Phenomenoloigcal and Continental Philosophy: Husserl Archives) of KU Leuven, Belgium. Her areas of specializations are Phenomenology, Philosophical and Historical Anthropology, Feminist Philosophy and Cognitive Psychology. 

Prof. dr. Han van Ruler is Professor of Intellectual History and Vice-Dean of Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 2019, he was awarded an NWO 'Open Competition' Research Grant for the project Decoding Descartes. Formerly, Han van Ruler acted as President of the Dutch National ‘Philosophy Month’ Foundation (Stichting Maand van de Filosofie; 2014-2019), as Scientific Director of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy OZSW (2014-2018), as President of the OZSW History of Philosophy Section (2014-2018), as President of the Dutch National Philosophy Olympiad NFO (2012-2017) and as Co-organiser of the 25th International Philosophy Olympiad, Rotterdam, 25-28 May 2017. Since 2011, he is General Editor of the prestigious book series Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History (BSIH) – founded by Arjo Vanderjagt in 1987.

Prof. dr. Ruud Welten is Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Associate Professor at Tilburg University. He mainly publishes on French existentialist philosophy. Welten wrote several books and articles – nationally and internationally – including Meaningful Violence. Sartre, Camus, Simone de Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty.


Dr. Tim De Mey (1973) is Lecturer in Philosophy at Erasmus School of Philosophy and has been Guest Professor in Groningen, Helsinki, Turku and Ghent. He has published on abduction, colours, humour, scepticism, scientific discovery and thought experiments. The focus of his research is on the role of imagination and creativity in knowledge in general, and in science in particular. Because of his activities in the Community for Learning and Innovation, resulting hitherto in three MOOCs and still counting.