Philosophy of Science (saylor.org)

Philosophy of Science (saylor.org)
Free Course
Categories
Effort
Certification
Languages
Misc

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Philosophy of Science (saylor.org)
This course is a survey of philosophical issues surrounding the concepts and practices of modern science. The course covers the major areas of contemporary philosophy of science, including scientific reasoning, scientific progress, interpretations of scientific knowledge, and the social organization of scientific practice.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Please note: this legacy course does not offer a certificate and may contain broken links and outdated information. Although archived, it is open for learning without registration or enrollment.

This course is a survey of philosophical issues surrounding the concepts and practices of modern science. The course covers the major areas of contemporary philosophy of science, including scientific reasoning, scientific progress, interpretations of scientific knowledge, and the social organization of scientific practice. Its aim is not only to familiarize you with philosophical issues about science but also to equip you to critically interpret popular reports about contemporary scientific research. Unit 1 introduces philosophy of science as a discipline distinct from psychology of science, history of science, and sociology of science. Unit 2 examines the nature and objectivity of observational evidence, and Unit 3 examines methods of reasoning relevant to induction, confirmation, and explanation. Unit 4 examines accounts of theory change and scientific progress, and Unit 5 addresses the interpretation of scientific knowledge. Finally, Unit 6 explores various topics concerning science in a social context. Throughout this course, you will become acquainted with the views of a number of influential philosophers of science, including David Hume, Pierre Duhem, Carl Hempel, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Bas van Fraassen, Philip Kitcher, and Helen Longino. You will read some selections from scientific research too, by way of news articles and case studies, in order to connect philosophical views about science to actual scientific practice. You should approach the content of this course with an attitude that is neither hostile toward nor naïve about science, but is instead critically engaged in trying to understand science as a human activity.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

- identify some questions and tasks that are appropriate to philosophy of science;

- identify the ways in which observation is theory-laden;

- explain and illustrate some key processes of scientific reasoning;

- compare different accounts of theory change and scientific progress;

- compare different interpretations of scientific knowledge;

- summarize different accounts of the social dimensions of science, including theses about the social organization of scientific research, the presence and effects of gender biases, the authority and objectivity of scientific knowledge, and the relation between science and politics;

- assess a variety of philosophical views about scientific practice and scientific knowledge, including views about theory-ladenness and the objectivity of observation, scientific reasoning, theory change and scientific progress, and interpretations of scientific knowledge; and

- interpret contemporary scientific research (as published, for example, in Scientific American, Science, or Nature) using philosophical concepts and accounts of science.



0
No votes yet

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Free Course

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.