Last modified: 17 Aug 2017 16:00
This course provides students with an advanced introduction to key problems of scientific rationality. The central question that the course aims to address is whether scientific change is rational, and in what sense it is so. The first part of the course analyses in detail scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of the Copernican Revolution, during which the Geocentric theory of the universe was replaced with the Heliocentric one. The second part of the course introduces basic ideas and problems of confirmation theory and scientific methodology. Some familiarity with elementary logic is preferable, though not required. Download course guide
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
|Campus||Old Aberdeen||Sustained Study||No|
The course aims at uncovering what is constitutive of scientific rationality. Some of the most discussed conceptions of scientific methodology, including Baconian inductivism, hypothetico-deductivism, falsificationism, Feyerabend's anarchism and Bayesianism, will be analysed. Some of these views will be tested on cases from past and contemporary science, including the Copernican revolution and the continental drift hypothesis. Specific and "technical" topics, including the old and the new problem of induction, the Duhem-Quine thesis and paradoxes of confirmation, will also be surveyed.
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1st Attempt: Two 3500-word essays (90%) and a seminar presentation (10%).
Resit: There is no resit for year 4 students.
All feedback will be written on the essays.