Universität Wien

180184 VO-L Philosophy of psychology (2021W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: German

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The exam will take place via MOODLE on January 31, 2022.

Monday 11.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 18.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 25.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 08.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 15.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 22.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 29.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 06.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 13.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 10.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 17.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Monday 24.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

In this interdisciplinary lecture, we will discuss selected philosophical questions and fundamental problems of psychology from a philosophy of science perspective. For example, we will ask the following questions and critically discuss possible solutions:
What is the relationship between philosophy and psychology and how should it be? What is a psychological experiment? What epistemological questions arise in brain research? To what extent can empirical results and cognitive models help to solve problems of the philosophy of mind? What does rationality mean and to what extent is human reasoning rational? What ethical questions arise in psychological research? What are cognitive representations? How does reasoning actually work and how should we ideally draw conclusions? How did historical psychological and philosophical concepts and theories contribute to the develompent of the psychology of reasoning?

The aim of the lecture is to be able to follow and critically assess selected historical and contemporary debates and positions in the philosophy of psychology. This includes, for example, being able to define relevant philosophical terms and positions, critically evaluate arguments or contextualise them historically.

The lecture will be given online via Zoom in synchronous format and is supported by Moodle. There you will also find the specific course literature as well as the slides, which are constantly updated. The lecturer offers office hours via Zoom (after appointment via email). The virtual lecture hall remains open for mutual exchange among students.

More information about the lecture can be found on Moodle.

Assessment and permitted materials

Multiple-choice exam at the end of the semester.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Minimum requirement:
More than 60% of the maximally possible points in the multiple-choice exam.

Assessment standard:
1 (very good) 100 - 90 points
2 (good) 89 - 81 points
3 (satisfactory) 80 - 71 points
4 (sufficient) 70 - 61 points
5 (insufficient) 60 - 0 points

Examination topics

Lecture with slides and compulsory specific literature

Reading list

Background literature (see Moodle for specific literature)

Bechtel, W. (2008). Mental mechanisms. Philosophical perspectives on cognitive neuroscience. New York: Routledge.

Bunge, M. & Ardila, M. (1987). Philosophy of psychology. New York: Springer.

Haig, B. D. (2018). Method matters in psychology. Essays in applied philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer.

Hegtvedt, K. A. (2014). Ethics and experiments. In M. J. Webster & J. Sell (Ed.), Laboratory experiments in the social sciences (S. 23–51). New York: Elsevier.

Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. (2017). Experimental philosophy. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of
philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/experimental-philosophy/.

Knuuttila, S. & Sihvola, J. (Eds.) (2014). Sourcebook for the
history of the philosophy of mind. Dordrecht: Springer.

Logothetis, N. K. (2008). What we can do and what we cannot do with fMRI. Nature, 453, 869–878.

Newen, A., de Bruin, L. & Gallagher, S. (Eds.). (2018). The Oxford handbook of 4E cognition. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Oaksford, M. & Chater, N. (2020). New paradigms in the psychology of reasoning. Annual Review of Psychology, 71, 305–330.

Pfeifer, N. (2013). The new psychology of reasoning: A mental probability logical perspective. Thinking &
Reasoning, 19 (3–4), 329–345.

Robins, S., Symons, J., & Calvo, P. (Eds.) (2019), The Routledge
companion to philosophy of psychology. New York: Routledge.

Weiskopf, D. & Adams, F. (2015). An introduction to the philosophy of psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.

Wilson, R. A. & Foglia, L. (2017). Embodied Cognition. In E. N. Zalta (Hrsg.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2017 Aufl.). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2017/entries/embodied-cognition/.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:18