Postgraduate Course: Philosophy of Science (Online) (PHIL11133)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course aims to introduce you to a number of perennially-interesting and enduringly relevant issues from the philosophy of science. No previous scientific, philosophical or logical expertise is required and any technical / unfamiliar terms will be defined as we go.
Please note auditing is not allowed on this course. Students must only take for credit.
Key questions will include:
- What is the problem of induction, chiefly associated with Hume?
- Does the problem of induction present a challenge to scientific rationality?
- What is Popper's falsificationism all about?
- Did Popper solve the problem of induction and thereby provide a successful theory of scientific method?
- What is scientific explanation? Which accounts of explanation are best?
- What is distinctive about explanations in the biological sciences?
- What is scientific measurement? Which accounts of measurement are best?
- How should we conceive of probability? What is Bayes' Theorem and what can it tell us about the confirmation of theories?
- What are scientific realism and scientific anti-realism? What arguments can be made for or against realist and anti-realist views of science?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Students will be assessed by a 2500 word essay (85%) and successful participation in on-line activities associated with the course (15%). How the participation component will be assessed will be made clear to the students at the start of the course.
Word limit: 2500 maximum (excluding references)
||Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay. The essay cannot be draft of the summative essay but it can be on the same topic.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- grasp fundamental issues in the philosophy of philosophy of science, e.g. the problem of induction, falsificationism, theories of explanation, Bayesianism and probability, scientific realism and anti-realism.
- critically analyse and engage with literature by key philosophers in this field.
- understand how empirical and scientific work can support philosophical arguments, and be able to use data derived therefrom in their essays and arguments.
- present arguments clearly and concisely both within a classroom context and in a 2,500 word essay.
- gain transferable skills in research, analysis and argumentation
|Available through Talis aspire|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students can develop their ability for independent learning through online resources.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Priority for this course will be given to online Epistemology, Ethics and Mind students. Students on any other programme must obtain permission to enrol from the Programme Director.
|Keywords||Philosophy of science; epistemology
|Course organiser||Dr James Collin
|Course secretary||Ms Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002