Philosophy of Science (PHIL 150.001)

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Instructor: Finnur Dellsen. This course meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00AM – 9:50AM in Caldwell 103.

Why should scientists accept one particular scientific theory rather than another? What are scientists doing when they explain something? Why think that scientific theories are getting at the truth concerning things that we cannot see, hear and feel? And what is science anyway? These are some of the questions that we will address in this course. The course is aimed at students with little or no background in philosophy (though those who have taken philosophy courses before are very welcome as well). A background in science is not necessary either. We will read parts of some of the classic works in philosophy of science by authors such as Pierre Duhem, Carl Hempel, Thomas Kuhn, Nancy Cartwright, and Mary Hesse, as well as various short papers and excerpts. And we will use Samir Okasha’s Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction as an orientation around these readings.

Please note: Some seats in this class have been reserved for freshmen and sophomores.

This course satisfies the PH general education requirement.

Finnur Dellsen’s webpage