Philosophising your research

Methodology courses and philosophy of sciences


We are facing an era of major global transitions, involving a plethora of ecological, political, societal and scientific challenges. To come to terms with these challenges, researchers in many disciplines are reconsidering their methods, putting more emphasis on interdisciplinarity and participatory research (epistemic inclusion). These raises a number of questions concerning science, truth and responsibility, and precisely here we believe that philosophy has something to offer. How to make research more engaging, comprehensive, and responsive? 

Course information

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

Key Facts & Figures

Instruction language
Mode of instruction

What will you achieve?

  • After completion of this course, you will have familiarised themselves with the core concepts and methods of important philosophical approaches.
  • After completion of this course, you will have learned how to apply these concepts and methods in the context of contemporary challenges.
  • After this course, you will have developed your skills for interdisciplinary dialogue.
  • After this course, you will have reflected on the role and challenges of normativity and engaged scholarship in contemporary academic work.

Start dates


Session 1 Tuesday 9.1.2024 
Introduction (13:00-15:00) All
Phenomenology (15:00-17:00)Maren Wehrle 
Session 2 Tuesday 16.1.2024 
Dialectics (13:00-15:00)Hub Zwart
Analytic philosophy (15:00-17:00)Tim de Mey
Session 3 Tuesday 23.1.2024 
Author studies (13:00-15:00)Han van Ruler
Post-structuralism (15:00-17:00)Ruud Welten
Session 4 Tuesday 30.1.2024 
Final session (13:00-17:00) case study (conspiracy theories)All
Evaluation and follow-up 


Aims and working method

The focus of the course is on research practice, on the how and now. How to practice philosophical reflection today and how to initiate a mutual learning dialogue among social sciences and humanities disciplines? How to bridge the gap between the way research is often practiced in academic settings and how concrete societal challenges may be addressed via transdisciplinary reflection? The course entails a short introduction into a number of key philosophical approaches via lectures, supported by readings. Subsequently participants will be challenged to consider how to philosophise their research. Conspiracy theories will serve as a case study for a comparative interpretative exercise. 

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.

Session descriptions

Session 1: Introduction and phenomenology

Session 2: Dialectics and analytic philosophy

Session 3: Author studies and post-structuralism 

Session 4: Case study: conspiracy theories and retrospect


  • Portrait of Hub Zwart
    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. He recently published his open-access monograph entitled Continental Philosophy of Technoscience (SpringerNature; 2022).
    Email address
  • Maren Wehrle is associate 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. J.A. (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.
  • 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.


Facts & Figures

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • €575- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information
Not applicable
Offered by
Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities
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