Philosophy literally means: love of wisdom, but we see it first and foremost as asking and exploring very basic questions: about what knowledge is and how to attain it, about our relationship to the world, and about how we should live. In philosophy, it is common to ask questions about things we normally just take for granted. Does the world exist? Can we trust our senses? Can we have knowledge about what is right or wrong? What is happiness? It is a bit like children who can continue asking "why is that so?" This might sound silly sometimes, but it can also lead to new insights. Wisdom is maybe not to know a lot, but, much more, to be aware of the limitations of what one can know. And we can find those limits only by continuing to ask questions.
Philosophy is not always abstract and theoretical, it can be very practical. For example when we try to to give good ethical reasons for choices we should make, in policy or in private life. Can it be justified for the government to require parents to have their children vaccinated? Is it right to kill animals for food? Do we have obligations to future generations, if it comes to reducing climate change? These questions require careful reflection and analysis. But they also raise deep controversies and conflicting views. Can systematic thinking help overcoming such conflicts?
In the minor we do not only study and discuss ethical and philosophical themes. We also practice specific ways of reasoning, with the aim to develop skills in critical thinking. This includes, for example, argumentation analysis and thought experiments, but also specific forms of deliberation, such as Socratic dialogue. Students interested in philosophy or applied ethics can deepen their skills in critical reflection, acquire a broader understanding of philosophical traditions, and engage in ethical analysis of societal problems in the Wageningen domain that (includes but also) goes beyond the specific domain of their own study program.
CPT-55206 | Period 5 | afternoon | compulsory course
CPT-55503 | period 4 | whole day | compulsory course
Ethics, Health and Society
CPT-13806 | Period 5 | afternoon | compulsory course
Data Science Ethics
CPT-30503 | Period 6 | afternoon | compulsory course
Current Ethical Controversies
CPT-55303 | Period 6 | afternoon | compulsory course
Ethics and Philosophy for Biologists
CPT-10303 | Period 5 | afternoon | restricted choice
Response & Reflection in Molecular Life Science
YML20303 | Period 5 | afternoon | restricted choice
See also the study handbook