Andrea I. Woody
In this seminar we will consider the legacy of Thomas Kuhnís seminal book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which was published 50 year ago. We will begin by reading the book and then will spend the remainder of the term reading work that engages with the core themes of the book Ė scientific paradigms, normal science, the theory-ladenness of observation, and incommensurability. We will read later writings by Kuhn himself, scholarship analyzing Kuhnís book, and contemporary research exploring its themes and the impact of Kuhnís work on the trajectory of contemporary philosophy of science. Authors will include Karl Popper, Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Thomas Nickles, Ian Hacking, Paul Horwich, Alexander Bird, Steve Fuller, Hanne Andersen, Brad K. Wray and others. TEXTS: (Required) "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Thomas Kuhn; (Recommended) "Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions: Thomas S. Kuhnís Philosophy of Science", Paul Hoyningen-Huene; "Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times", Steve Fuller; "The Road since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, with an Autobiographical Interview", Thomas S. Kuhn, author, James Conant and John Haugeland, eds.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The class will be run as a seminar, with brief lectures. The majority of time will be devoted to discussion, and student presentations will be frequent.
This seminar will presume a general background in philosophy and some familiarity with central topics within philosophy of science. Graduate students in the sciences or related disciplines such as history of science or science education are definitely welcome, space permitting, but should be prepared to do extra work to gain background in philosophy. Undergraduate philosophy majors with significant experience in philosophy of science will be considered, but priority will be given to graduate students.
Class assignments and grading
Students should be willing to participate in class discussion on a regular basis. Course requirements will include multiple class presentations and a substantial term paper.