Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Philosophy of Science 1 (PHIL08005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.
Course description 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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Midterm Essay (30%)
Final Exam (70%)

Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate characteristically philosophical ways of thinking.
  2. Express philosophical ideas and arguments, especially those characteristic of philosophy of science.
  3. Critically assess scientific claims from a philosophical standpoint.
  4. Articulate the key issues in debates about the philosophical status of scientific practice and the empirical relationship between scientific theories and the world.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course aims to introduce the philosophy of science and the many questions that surround it. Students will have their beliefs challenged as they question what science is, and they will need to adapt and be open to questioning the status quo and looking for alternative interpretations. They will learn how to engage with scientific literature, deconstruct complex ideas and critically analyse its validity. In the tutorials they will learn how to discuss and debate respectfully. The assessments will develop their writing skills - they will learn how to be concise, write academically and how to articulate their point of view.

Core skills gained on this course:
Critical analysis, challenging personal perspectives and assumptions, confidence engaging with scientific literature, deconstructing complex ideas, not taking arguments at face value - considering alternate interpretations, debating respectfully, public speaking, writing concisely, writing academically, time management.
Additional Class Delivery Information Lecturers:
Dr Lavelle
Dr Chirimuuta

KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Suilin Lavelle
Tel: (0131 6)50 3665
Course secretary
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information