Postgraduate Course: Realism, Relativism, and Reality MSc (PHIL11120)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course provides an introduction to the vast arena of philosophical inquiry that goes under the names of realism and relativism in science. What is truth in science? and why do experts disagree on scientific evidence? what good might relativism be? The course is structured in two Parts. In Part I, we read some classical texts (from Quine's ontological relativity, to Goodman's ways of worldmaking and Rorty's epistemic relativism, among others). Part II of the course zooms into contemporary debates on realism in science and on the values of truth, objectivity, disagreement and progress in scientific research.
This course is core to the MSc specialisation in Philosophy of Science
Realism, Relativism and Reality MSc is also shared with the undergraduate version Realism, Relativism and Reality (PHIL10138).
What is truth in science? Why do scientists disagree sometimes on the same evidence? Is our scientific knowledge relative to different principles endorsed by rival scientific communities? When it comes to allocating research funds for scientific programmes, what principles should guide policy-making? Join this course to explore these cutting-edge questions for contemporary science. The course will map the territory of the vast debate between realism and relativism in science, with a focus on both classic texts and more contemporary approaches.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a well-rounded view of central debates in philosophy of science
- engage with essential readings by identifying strengths and weaknesses in the arguments
- understand reasons for defending or rejecting specific philosophical views
- analyse philosophical ideas and learn how to refine them
- write with clarity and originality
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Michela Massimi
Tel: (0131 6)50 3662
|Course secretary||Ms Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002