Undergraduate Course: Philosophy of Science 1 (PHIL08005)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course introduces students to major topics in philosophy of science, aiming to address the central question: "What makes science special?" No background in either philosophy or science will be assumed.
The course is organized around philosophical concepts and debates that arise in the attempt to identify, justify, and explain the distinctive features of scientific practice, including:
- the nature of scientific explanation
- laws of nature
- the realism vs. antirealism debate
- the structure and justification of inductive reasoning
- modeling vs. experimentation
- effects of gender and race bias in science
- unity or disunity of scientific disciplines
Along the way, we will also survey key issues that arise in the philosophical study of particular sciences, such as astronomy, physics, biology, economics, and climate science.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 33,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The course will be assessed by a Mid-Term Essay (25%), Short Assignments (5%), and a Final Assignment (70%).
The resit will occur during the April/May diet.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate characteristically philosophical ways of thinking.
- Express philosophical ideas and arguments, especially those characteristic of philosophy of science.
- Critically assess scientific claims from a philosophical standpoint.
- Articulate the key issues in debates about the philosophical status of scientific practice and the empirical relationship between scientific theories and the world.
|Course organiser||Dr Alistair Isaac
Tel: (0131 6)51 5174
|Course secretary||Ms Vera Spiliotakou
Tel: (0131 6)50 3628