2018 Summer School Subject List

What Is This Thing Called Science? (HPSC2101) - Opens 03 Oct 2017

Faculty: Science
Department: History and Philosophy of 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: 25 Jan 2018 
End Date: 14 Feb 2018 
Capacity: 50 
Status: Places available 
Applications Open: 03 Oct 2017 
Applications Close: 08 Dec 2017 
Census date: 02 Feb 2018 
On-time withdrawals close: 02 Feb 2018 
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

Assignments and Tutorial Participation

Timetable

Start Date: 25 Jan 2018     End Date: 14 Feb 2018

Lectures

Mon 11:00 - 13:00

Tues 11:00 - 13:00

Wed 11:00 - 13:00

Tutorials

Wed 13:00 - 14:00

Texts

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