2017 Winter School Subject List

What is this thing called Science? (HPSC2101) - Applications Closed

Faculty: Science
Department: Science
Level: Undergraduate
Credit Points: 6

Instructors:
(1)  Claire Kennedy - claire.kennedy@sydney.edu.au

Contacts:
(1)  Debbie Castle - debbie.castle@sydney.edu.au

Start Date: 09 Jan 2017 
End Date: 17 Feb 2017 
Capacity: 50 
Status: Applications Closed 
Applications Open: 04 Oct 2016 
Applications Close: 07 Dec 2016 
Census date: 18 Jan 2017 
On-time withdrawals close: 18 Jan 2017 
Available to audit: No
Open to HSC graduates?: No

Prerequisites:

    There are no listed prerequisites for this course.

Description

Philosophers of science aim to define what distinguishes creationism from evolutionary theory, or astrology from astronomy. They give reasons why we can believe that today’s theories are improvements over those that preceded them and how we know that what we see and do in scientific practice reflects the nature of reality. This course critically examines the most important attempts to define the scientific method, to draw a line dividing science from non-science, and to justify the high status generally accorded to scientific knowledge. The philosophies of science studied include Karl Popper’s idea that truly scientific theories are falsifiable, Thomas Kuhn’s proposal that science consists of a series of paradigms separated by scientific revolutions; and Feyerabend’s anarchist claim that there are no objective criteria by which science can be distinguished from pseudo-science. This unit of study also explores contemporary theories about the nature of science and explores ideas about the nature of the experimental method and concepts such as underdetermination, the nature of scientific explanation, theory confirmation, realism, the role of social values in science, sociological approaches to understanding science, and the nature of scientific change.

Assessment

ASSIGNMENT AND TUTORIAL PARTICIPATION

Timetable

Start Date: 09 Jan 2017     End Date: 17 Feb 2017

Lectures: Mon, Tue & Wed: 11:00 - 13:00 hrs

Tutorials: Wed 13:00 - 14:00 hrs

Location:

Sydney Nanoscience Hub Building, Seminar Room 4001

Texts

Curd,M. Cover,J.A., Pincock, C (2013) PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE:THE CENTRAL ISSUES. W.W.NORTON AND COMPANY. NEW YORK.