2023-2024 / PHIL0091-1

Issues in the philosophy of the sciences


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in philosophy (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in philosophy (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


Laurence Bouquiaux, Pascal Poncin, Louis Rouillé

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Starting from specific issues of contemporary science (especially in mathematics, physics and biology), epistemological questions will be raised within a dialogue between scientists and philosophers.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Linking epistemological investigation to specific scientific problems.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

First degree philosophical or scientific training.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is devoted to the consideration of questions in the fields of

-general epistemology (for example definition of scientific knowledge, realism in science, etc.);

-philosophy of mathematics (for example, the question of the existence and nature of mathematical entities, or the explanatory status of mathematical proofs);

-philosophy of physics (for example issues related to general relativity and quantum mechanics);

-philosophy of biology (sexual and asexual reproduction, sexual differentiation; genetic manipulation as well as egg and embryo manipulation; origin of life and life diversification; origin of man and genetic diversity; anthropogenic influences and ecology; difference between humans and animals; viruses).

The detailed program of the seminar will be fixed at the beginning of the academic year in the eyes of the students attending it.

Students who would like to attend the seminar are requested to contact Laurence Bouquiaux before the 3th of October 2023.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


For the part of the course devoted to the philosophy of biology, students will be invited to watch videos and to prepare questions and comments on the issues raised by these videos for the in-person session

Recommended or required readings


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Additional information:

Oral and written presentation of an essay (10 pages) articulating epistemological questions with some of the scientific problems considered in the seminar. These scientific problems should be adequately mastered.

The topic of the essay should be chosen before April 15. The essay itself should be orally presented at the beginning of May and handed in before May 15 (or August 15).

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Students who plan to register for this course are expected to send a mail to laurence.bouquiaux@uliege.be before october 3. Otherwise, they won't be allowed to validate the cours for the academic year 2023-2024.


Laurence Bouquiaux,
Département de Philosophie, pl. du 20-Août, 7 - 4000 Liège.

Pascal Poncin
Biologie du comportement - Ethologie et psychologie animale
Quai Van Beneden, 22 - 4020 Liège

Louis Rouillé,
Département de Philosophie, pl. du 20-Août, 7 - 4000 Liège.

Association of one or more MOOCs