Netherlands, Amsterdam

The City Through a Philosopher’s Eye

when 4 July 2020 - 18 July 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1150

In this course, students will be introduced to the practical world of philosophy and will learn how to look at the city through the perspective of the philosopher. This course will introduce and discuss general philosophical concepts such as ‘freedom,’ ‘justice,’ ‘trust, ’ ‘tolerance, ’ ’wonder,’ and ‘the good life’. There will be discussions centred around a wide range of topics.

Such topics include:
- Positive and negative freedom.
- The communitarian perspective on justice.
- Trust in institutions.
- The role of tolerance in the discussion about freedom of religion and the wearing of head scarfs.
- The concepts of inquisitive and contemplative wonder.
- A hedonistic and moral view on the Good Life.

After each meeting we will encourage students to go into the city and walk around, observing their surroundings while taking pictures or videos to document examples of philosophy in practice. Afterwards, they will present their findings and discuss them within the group. In the presentation, students will combine the information from the lecture with literature and their real-world observations.

Course leader

Dr. Cor van Montfort

Target group

This course is for Advanced Bachelor’s students. However, enthusiastic Master’s students, PhD candidates, and professionals who are interested in practical philosophy are also very welcome to register for this summer course. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know.

Course aim

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a solid understanding of philosophical concepts
- Show understanding of the real-world application of the philosophical concepts covered in the course.
- To consider at a city through a philosopher’s eye.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 45
Do you want to make the most out of your summer? You can combine this course with a course in session 2 to create a 4-week programme.

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee of a two-week course is €1150. This tuition fee includes:

- Airport pick-up service
- Course excursions
- Orientation programme and welcome
- On-site support and 24/7 emergency assistance
- A transcript of records and certificate of attendance after completing the course
- Meal vouchers to be spent at the university restaurant for either lunch or dinner
- A discounted access to our sport facilities


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers three kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship, the Photographer Scholarship and the Vlogger/Videographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.