Faculty of Arts


PHIL 360

Philosophy of Science


Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for PHIL 360.

Description

The picture we learn in school of “the scientific method” tends to greatly simplify what science is, how it works, and the logic of how we learn from it. The philosophy of science is concerned with developing a deep understanding of all of those points.

In this course we will examine questions like the following: What distinguishes science from “pseudoscience?” How does science explain the world? Is the ultimate goal of science to uncover laws of nature? Why should we feel licensed to believe in things we cannot directly observe? Do scientific theories give us literally true accounts of how the world is, or are they just useful tools for predicting and making sense of things? 

We will study these questions, and others, by discussing influential philosophical accounts of science and examining cases from historical and contemporary scientific research. Science majors are encouraged to take this course; however, no particular background in science is assumed or expected.

A particular focus in this course is on honing your critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills, with an emphasis on writing concisely about complex, interdisciplinary topics.

Assessment: Coursework only

Availability 2020

Not offered in 2020; planned for 2021

Lecturer(s)

Lecturer(s) Dr Emily Parke

Points

PHIL 360: 15.0 points

Prerequisites

30 points at Stage II in Philosophy 

Restrictions

PHIL 260


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