The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of science. Texts to be studied will be drawn from a list that includes major works by philosophers such as Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Shapere, and Feyerabend. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.
An indicative list of themes to be studied: Inductivism versus falsificationism, Research Programmes, Incommensurability, Realism, Instrumentalism, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Causal Reasoning and Scientific Explanation.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Total Contact Hours: 40
Also available under code PL580 (Level 6)
Method of assessment
Seminar Participation – 15%
Article Review (1,800 words) – 30%
Essay (3,200 words) – 55%
Indicative reading list:
Godfrey-Smith, P. (2003). Theory and Reality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kuhn, T. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Popper, K. (2002). The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 2nd edition. London: Routledge.
Salmon, W. (1998). Causality and Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major theories of scientific reasoning;
Demonstrate, through their study of these theories, the ability to critically engage with some of the central philosophical issues in this area concerning the status of scientific claims, the nature of scientific theory change, confirmation of scientific hypotheses, and causal reasoning in science, and enhanced their understanding of them
Demonstrate their ability to engage in a close critical reading of some of the major texts in the philosophy of science.
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Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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