PHIL 330: Philosophy of Science
This is not, and does not pretend to be, a
science course. It is a philosophy course the subject matter
of which is a subset of the set of issues that arise as a
result of the philosophical examination of science. Science
is a remarkably successful, complex, human social activity
and, as such, is of considerable philosophical
We consider the main issues and concepts in the philosophy of
science. We start with a working definition of a scientific theory. We then investigate
certain concepts involved in that definition. These concepts include the concepts of
justification and explanation. In addition, we consider both the plausibility and
implications of that working definition. Extending our investigation
of the nature of evidence or justification, we
consider the Problem of Induction. Finally, we explore issues involved in the
dispute between Realism and Anti-Realism in science.
- Philosophy of
Natural Science. Hempel.
- Reading the Book
of Nature. Kosso.
- The Foundations of
Scientific Inference. Salmon.
- The Scientific
Image. van Fraassen.
- The Philosopher's
You must make a
presentation on Reading the Book of Nature, take both the mid-term and the final, and 4 out of the
Of the 100 points possible,
20 are from the presentation, 20 are from the quizzes, 30
are from the mid-term, and 30 are from the final.
- Hempel's Basic Philosophy of Science..
- Hypotheses and Tests.
- Laws and Generalizations.
- Theories and Explanations.
Kosso's, post-Kuhnian, Philosophy of Science.
- Epistemology in
Philosophy of Science: The Problem of Induction.
- Hume's Problem of Induction.
- Inductivist solutions.
- Kantian approaches.
- Russell's discussion.
- A "scientific"
- A pragmatic solution.
- Goodman's New Riddle of Induction.
- Ontology in Philosophy
of Science: Van Fraassen's critique of Scientific Realism.