Scientific Methods

MET528 Scientific Methods

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The course is divided into two parts, each taught in intensive parts. The first part concern philosophy of science and scientific-internal questions, the second part discusses scientific practice from external perspectives: Historical, ethical , political, and the sociology of scientific practice.

    The aim is that students should know and discuss the most common arguments made on the knowledge-theoretical grounding of scientific practice in economics and related fields such as finance and management science.

  • Learning outcome

    After completion of the course, the student should be able to:


    • Account for the main positions in philosophy of science.
    • Account for the role of philosophy of science in current practice.
    • Relate the history of scientific practice to positions in philosophy of science.
    • Relate scientific notions of causality to those in the philosophy of social science.
    • Recognize competing scientific traditions and how they relate to positions in the philosophy of science.


    • Discuss own scientific practice in light of the National guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and humanities and the NHH ethical guidelines.
    • Discuss reflexively  the social practice of science in light of his or her own scientific tradition.

    General competence

    • Evaluate specific scientific practices with respect to foundational methodological principles.
    • Recognize how scientific practice is social practice.

  • Teaching

    Lectures. The lectures will be filmed and/or streamed.

  • Requirements for course approval

    1. active participation in class
    2. one brief presentation to the class

    Both elements are necessary for course approval.

  • Assessment

    Each participant submits an individual term-paper for evaluation, on a topic they choose themselves but which is approved by the lecturer by March 1st. Students then have 14 weeks to work on the paper.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Second Edition, Oxford University Press.

    Papers that will be made available.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered Spring 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Erik Ø. Sørensen, Department of Economics