MA and PhD


Duración: 5 años
Modalidad: Online
Sede: Pilar

About the degrees

The MA and PhD in Philosophy of Natural and Cognitive Sciences at Austral University offer a solid interdisciplinary foundation to tackle with the utmost academic rigour the fundaments of the natural and cognitive sciences.

Eligible candidates for these degrees are Spanish-speaking scholars based in Latin America with undergraduate degrees on philosophy, religion, or the natural and cognitive sciences. A central goal of these degrees is the consolidation of a regional Latin American research community, linked with other regions of the world, which can continue to engage in the future. The international composition of the faculty offers the possibility to interact with specialists of different intellectual traditions.

The degrees are blended, including online courses and four intensive on Campus weeks at Austral University. The curricula are divided into three cycles:

– The foundation cycle introduces the essential contents for interdisciplinary dialogue between the natural and cognitive sciences, philosophy and theology.
– The methodological cycle promotes the development of skills necessary for academic research: academic writing, conference presentations, and the preparation of a dissertation plan.
– The specialisation cycle offers a wide selection of elective seminars, conceived for students to delve deep in their own research topics.

The final dissertation will be the result of personal research on topics within the intersection of the sciences, philosophy and/or theology.

A distinctive feature of these programmes is the personalised academic tutoring. Each student will have online periodic tutorials with an academic tutor, who will assist the student in her progression through the degree, the selection of the elective seminars and the research topic for her research. The on Campus weeks will provide the opportunity to meet personally with tutors and students, as well as with dissertation supervisors.

The first cohort will be selected through an open call for applications for scholarships.



Director: Claudia Vanney

Co-Director: Ignacio Silva

Academic Board: Claudia Vanney, Ignacio Silva, Juan Francisco Franck

Assessing Academic Board: Mariano Asla, Juan José Sanguineti, Miguel De Asúa, Olimpia Lombardi, Belén Mesurado, Cristina Carriego

These programmes have been subject to a double peer-review nationally and internationally.

The degrees have received a favourable review from Comisión Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación Universitaria (CONEAU), session N° 517, Act N° 517, 16/12/2019.


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The Superior Council of the Universidad Austral approved through Resolutions Nº 57/19 and Nº 60/19 the curricula of the Master's and Doctorate in Philosophy with Orientation in the Fundamentals of Natural and Cognitive Sciences. The approved plan, shared almost entirely by both programs, is as follows:


Cod. Asignatura Régimen Modalidad Carga Horaria
Teórica Práctica Total

Ciclo de Fundamentación
1 Cuestiones de epistemología Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
2 Introducción a la filosofía de la física y de las ciencias formales Trimestral Virtual 30 - 30
3 Introducción a la filosofía de la química y de la biología Trimestral Virtual 30 - 30
4 Filosofía de la persona y ciencias cognitivas Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
5 Ciencia y sociedad Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
6 Ciencia y teología Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
7 Relaciones históricas entre ciencia y religión Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
8 Cuestiones éticas en torno a la ciencia y a la tecnología Trimestral Virtual 35 - 35
Carga horaria total 270

Ciclo Metodológico
9 Metodología de la investigación I Bimestral Virtual - 52 52
10 Metodología de la investigación II* Bimestral Semipresencial - 64 64
11 Metodología de la investigación III* Bimestral Semipresencial
40 52
12 Metodología de la investigación IV*** Bimestral Virtual - 40 40
Carga horaria total 208

Ciclo de Especialización
13 Seminarios de Especialización - Presencial o Virtual 130
Carga horaria total 130

Actividades Complementarias
14 Tutoría Académica Personalizada 40

Actividades de Investigación


15 Trabajo de Tesis 1000 3000

Carga horaria total de la carrera



* La asignatura divide su carga horaria en 50 horas a distancia y 14 horas presenciales.

** La asignatura divide su carga horaria en 40 horas a distancia y 12 horas presenciales.

*** La asignatura Metodología de la Investigación IV solamente será dictada para alumnos del Doctorado.

Organisation of the curriculum

Both careers have a semi-structured curriculum that is dictated under the distance modality. The curriculum is comprised of:

Foundation Cycle: this cycle introduces the essential contents for interdisciplinary dialogue between the natural and cognitive sciences, philosophy and theology. It consists on eight compulsory courses. The subjects, on the one hand, ensure all students access to minimum contents of the contemporary interdisciplinary dialogue between natural sciences, philosophy and theology. On the other hand, they present an overview of the various approaches that frame interdisciplinary research: 1) epistemological framing; 2) the fundamentals of natural sciences (philosophy of physics, chemistry, biology, etc.); 3) the study of the human person; 4) the ethical dimension; 5) the relationships between science and society; 6) the historical perspective; 7) the dialogue between science and theology.

Methodologycal Cycle: the methodological cycle is completed with the development of three or four research methodology workshops. The first two workshops will focus on the development of academic writing skills. The third workshop will lay the foundations for the development of the thesis project. The last workshop, typical of the doctorate, will take place at the end of the degree and will guide future doctoral students in the writing of a postdoctoral research project.

Specialisation Cycle: students must attend at least 150 hours of optional seminars offered by the Institute of Philosophy, another Academic Unit of the Austral University, or other Universities or Research Centers.

This cycle is recognised as a personalised phase where students select, with the guidance of their academic tutor, the specialisation seminars they wish to carry out.

Students will be able to carry out the seminars offered by the Institute of Philosophy at the time of enrollment to the race or all those seminars that are created in the future, both in face-to-face and distance mode.

Below is a tentative list of specialisation cycle seminars organized by modality:

Virtuales Presenciales
Consciencia y autoconsciencia: Cuestiones neurobiológicas Causación y agentividad humana
Teología y método analítico Contingencia y acción divina
Psicología positiva Cosmología y teología
Filosofía de la química Inteligencia artificial
Filosofía de la biología Epistemología de la religión
Reducción, emergencia y superveniencia Evolución
Filosofía de la información Filosofía de la mente
Origen del hombre Filosofía de la neurociencia
Teología filosófica: argumentos a favor y en contra de la existencia de Dios El fenómeno de la vida: definición, su origen en la tierra y su búsqueda en el universo
Problemas de filosofía de la física Transhumanismo
Teología y medioambiente El debate sobre el determinismo
Identidad personal El debate sobre el realismo científico
Neurobiología y experiencia del dolor Perspectiva de segunda persona
El problema de la flecha del tiempo
y la irreversibilidad en física
Modelos cosmológicos contemporáneos
Biología evolutiva del desarrollo
Fenomenología de la corporalidad
Problemas ontológicos de la mecánica cuántica

This new hybrid postgraduate programs require students to work remotely on virtual classrooms for most of the program, and to participate in four residential on-campus Intensive Study Weeks (two consecutive weeks each of the first two years), in which students will participate on graduate discussion seminars and workshops with world leaders on offered subjects.

The program includes personalised supervision for each student by an Academic Tutor, who will ensure the best distance learning experience on all aspects of the program. It is expected that students will need to dedicate two full days per week for coursework, study-time, and tutorials during the first two years.

Thesis work: to obtain the Master's or Doctor's degree it is a mandatory requirement to complete and pass the master's or doctoral dissertation. This will consist of an original contribution to a specific topic, framed in a recent research or discussion area at the intersection of philosophy and science.

Original contribution means any of the following items:

  1. the proposal and defense of a novel thesis, argued from a rigorous state of affairs;
  2. the development of a novel argument for or against a relevant position in an ongoing discussion;
  3. the demonstration of un-themed assumptions or of unresolved and unnoticed problems in an ongoing investigation or discussion;
  4. the proposal of a superior, methodological or content position, within the framework of an ongoing investigation or discussion.

The final extension of the Master's dissertation will be between 15,000 and 25,000 words, and that of the Doctoral dissertation will be between 60,000 and 80,000 words, including the notes and excluding the bibliography. As a whole, notes and quotes will not exceed 15% of the total work extension.

Graduate profile

The programs are geared for students to develop the following skills:

  1. Understand the philosophical foundations of contemporary scientific discussions.
  2. Philosophically analyze various questions posed by research in physics, chemistry, biology and cognitive sciences.
  3. Understand the great currents of thought related to the relationship between science and philosophy.
  4. Exercise critical thinking that values ​​the contributions of science and philosophy.
  5. Recognize the cognitive reach of scientific and philosophical methodologies.
  6. Rethink various classic anthropological and ethical problems in light of contemporary scientific research.
  7. Identify and analyze the theological questions raised by research in physics, chemistry, biology and cognitive sciences.
  8. Autonomously develop a personal research project, which can be framed in the work of an interdisciplinary team of science, philosophy and / or theology. (Doctorate)


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