History & Philosophy of Science

The Master’s programme in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practice and culture of science from historical and philosophical viewpoints.

There are four thematic focus areas:

History of Science or the Humanities
The historical approach focuses on the development of knowledge and scientific practice in the past. It does not limit itself to the problems, methods and solutions studied by scientists, but extends its scope to include their interplay with cultural, social or institutional features at particular times and places. Subjects studied range from mathematics to disciplines in the humanities.

Philosophy of Science
The philosophy of science addresses general questions concerning the nature of scientific knowledge and scientific methods, but also includes conceptual analysis of fundamental theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution and modern genetics.

Foundations of Physics
Foundational research in physics focuses on the conceptual challenges that modern theories of physics pose, and addresses their impact on philosophical questions. Subjects studied are, for example, the physical basis for the direction of time, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and related topics.

Foundations of Mathematics and Logic
This focus area offers insight into the most recent developments in philosophical logic and foundational debates in mathematics and artificial intelligence; advanced classes in the history of mathematics are also recommended.

Why HPS in Utrecht?

The Utrecht HPS programme is the only English taught programme in the field on the European continent. Also, HPS is the best Dutch Master’s programme in this field, according to the Dutch Master’s guide “Keuzegids Masters 2013”. The programme is both broad and flexible and it offers excellent career opportunities.

Critical attitude
You are expected to form a critical attitude with regard to the literature and a readiness to express your views in an open discussion. Participation in debates on science and scholarship with fellow students and faculty is strongly encouraged.

Ervaring van een student

Ervaring van een student History and Philosophy of Science (in het Nederlands)