The goal of this course is to introduce you to the philosophy of science. We will do this by exploring a variety of key ideas, issues, and thinkers in the philosophy of science. A brief sampling of the questions we will consider are as follows:
In addition to these central issues, we will explore, in some more detail, the relation of science and the philosophy of science to pseudoscience. In particular, we will investigate what science can say about the paranormal, supernatural, and theological. A brief sampling of the questions we will consider are as follows:
Lesson 1: Does science need philosophy?
Lesson 2: Is science wholly based on observation?
Lesson 3: Does science have a specific method (inductivism)?
Lesson 4: Does science have a specific method (falsificationism)?
Lesson 5: Does science have a specific method (explanation)?
Lesson 6: How does evidence relate to theory: Bayesianism
Lesson 7: Are the hypotheses of science systematically generated?
Lesson 8: How does science progress (Kuhn)?
Lesson 9: How does science progress (Lakatos)?
Lesson 10: How does science progress (Feyerabend)?
Lesson 21: Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science