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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Philosophy of Science (Honours) (PHIL10242)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to discuss topics in the Philosophy of Science for Honours students. In any year, it can cover various areas of the philosophy of science. Pre-honours Philosophy of Science 1 is not a prerequisite.
Course description This course aims
a) To look at how philosophical tools can aid in the revision of scientific concepts and frameworks when they are rendered untenable by new empirical discoveries.
b) To consider how these discoveries may also prompt a revision to more foundational philosophical theories, for instance regarding our understanding of individuality, agency, rationality, anthropocentrism, and the relation between models and reality.
c) To consider real-world examples of the factors that either drive the revision of scientific concepts or guard them against revision in the face of new evidence.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay 1 50%
Essay 2 35%
Presentation 15%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate theories in the philosophy of science.
  2. Present and defend arguments in written form and/or in the form of a presentation.
  3. Analyse the relation between science and philosophy
Reading List
Reading list

Ball, P. (2023). How Life Works: A User¿s Guide to the New Biology. University of Chicago Press.

Boden, M. A. (1999). Is Metabolism Necessary? The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 50(2), 231¿248.

Godfrey-Smith, P. (2011). The evolution of the individual. Lakatos Award Lecture, LSE, June.

Hein, H. (1969). Molecular Biology vs. Organicism: The Enduring Dispute between Mechanism and Vitalism. Synthese, 20(2), 238¿253.

Chapter Two of Sterling, P., & Laughlin, S. B. (2017). Principles of neural design. MIT press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry
Communication; Personal and intellectual autonomy
Enquiry and lifelong learning
KeywordsNot entered
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