Lynn Hankinson Nelson
Critical study of the nature of scientific knowledge. Topics include the relation of theory to observation, the use of mathematics, how theories change, the requirements for the meaningfulness of a theory, and nature of confirmation.. Prerequisite: one PHIL course; recommended: PHIL 120 or PHIL 160.
Students will be introduced to both the "content" and the "methods" of contemporary philosophy of science, and actual historical episodes will be used, when possible, to illustrate the philosophical issues considered.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
As an upper level philosophy course, extensive time will be devoted to discussion guided by assigned readings, reading questions, and discussions points brought to meetings. Meetings will include lecture as well. As an introduction to contemporary philosophy of science, the course will have a survey format. Requirements include several short papers and regular participation, including group work.
Class assignments and grading