Amsterdam, Netherlands

The City Through a Philosopher’s Eye

when 3 July 2021 - 17 July 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 850

NOTE: Given the insecurity about the development of covid-19 and its influence on on-campus (offline) activities, all –then applicable- guidelines from the Dutch government will be followed. On 1 May, we will decide whether this course can run on-campus or if we will have to cancel it.

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.
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 850: The tuition fee of a two-week course depends on your situation and ranges from €850-1150. This tuition fee includes:
- Two week course;
- Exclusive content for a limited number of students;
- Transcript of records with a maximum of 3 ECTS (European study credits);
- Certificate of attendance after completing the course;
- Individual/group guidance from professor;
- Interactive classes;
- Full support from the summer school team;
- For on-campus courses: airport pick-up and welcome activities.


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.

Register for this course
on course website