For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Theoretical Philosophy

In the minor Theoretical Philosophy you will study four fundamental philosophical fields: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. You will encounter questions such as: What is the nature of 'things'? How do reason and perception condition our knowledge? How are language and thought related, and what is the role of society? You will learn to identify and assess positions and arguments in these debates.

In the courses Theoretical Philosophy 1 and 2 (together 12 EC) we broadly outline a number of philosophical debates on the nature of knowledge and perception, truth and meaning, by some of the most well-known authors in Western Philosophy, as well as some critical commentators. You gain deeper understanding of these positions in the seminars, through close reading of contemporary and historical philosophical texts on these subjects. The systematic study of theoretical philosophy is complemented with a broad, critical course on the history of philosophy through the literature programme (6 EC).

In the second semester you may choose. You may follow Metaphysics (12 EC), further exploring questions on entities and identity in contemporary analytical metaphysics. Or else follow Language and Cognition (6 EC) and Embodied Cognition (6 EC), offering insight into recent debates in philosophy of cognition, along with critical discussions of the underlying assumptions on the relations between language, thought, brain and body.

This minor is offered by the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty’s minors consist of 30 ECTS credits and earn you a second qualification that will be listed on the transcript accompanying your degree certificate. 

Study schedule

  • Theoretical Philosophy 1
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 1
  • Theoretical Philosophy 2
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 2
  • Literatuurstudie Geschiedenis van de filosofie
    ???studyprogramme .period??? 3
  • Choice between either Metaphysics (12 EC) or Language and Cognition (6 EC) or Embodied cognition (6 EC)
UvA Course Catalogue: Minor Theoretical Philosophy

Master's programme

The minor Theoretical Philosophy can be extended to 60 EC. If you have an academic Bachelor's degree other than Philosophy, the extended minor will make you eligible for admission to the Master’s programme Philosophy / Filosofie. If you are interested in extending the minor, please contact the study adviser.

Always check the entry requirements on the Application and Admission page of the Master’s programme you are interested in.

Entry requirements

This minor is open for application to students who have obtained an academic first-year diploma or a positive Binding Study Advice from an academic Bachelor's programme.

The minor is also open for application to students from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) who have completed their propaedeutic year. However, HBO students are not eligible for admission to a Master's programme in Philosophy, even after completing this minor. If you are an HBO student and would like to prepare for a Master's programme at the UvA, please check our range of pre-Master's programmes.


The enrolment for the academic year of 2023-2024 will start 15 May 2023.

Facts & Figures
Mode Full-time
Credits 30 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
Location University Quarter