wfarm1160  2020-2021  Bruxelles Woluwe

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
3 credits
30.0 h
Botbol Mylene; Bruschi Fabio (compensates Botbol Mylene);
Main themes
An incursion into philosophy of science aims at enabling the student to tackle, with a philosophical mind, the signification of occidental science. It will imply a familiarization with the issues raised by epistemological turns in philosophy of science and biotechnologies. We will for instance question the contributions of Darwinism or Lamarckism to philosophical representations to bioethical issues we will confront the challenges of evolutionary sciences in an ethical perspective.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


The objective is to offer the students some familiarity with continental philosophers and conceptual schemas that will help them situate the occidental history of medical science and analyse the social impact of medical and scientific discoveries. This basic knowledge of philosophers (Platon, Descartes, Kant, Canguilhem) will aim at helping the students articulate philosophical interrogations and the history of scientific inquiry throughout modern history.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The course will be composed of three parts:
1) Firstly, we will present some important figures of the history of philosophy (Descartes, Hume, Kant, Comte), in order to identify the different possible relations between philosophy and sciences.
2) Secondly, we will concentrate on modern and contemporary philosophy of sciences (Carnap, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyerabend), by addressing in particular the question of scientific progress and the relation between science and truth.
3) Thirdly, we will identify the mechanist paradigm and the darwinist paradigm as the two fundamental paradigms of contemporary life sciences, and we will study different forms of social impact of these paradigms, from social darwinism to pharmacology and medical practice
Other information
New information and texts will regularly be offered on Moodle 
B. Feltz, La science et le vivant. Philosophie des sciences et modernité critique, Bruxelles, De Boeck, 2eéd., 2014.
P. Tort, Darwin et le darwinisme, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 4eéd., 2011.
G. Canguilhem, Le normal et le pathologiqueaugmenté de Nouvelles refléxions concernant le normal et le pathologique, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1966.
P. Pignarre, Qu’est-ce qu’un médicament ? Un objet étrange, entre science, marché et société, Paris, La Découverte, 1997.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Pharmacy

Bachelor in Biomedicine