PHILOSOPHY 236 - HONORS SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS

REVISED (4/25/05) Course Syllabus

Date:                 Topic:                            Study Assignment:          Website:

 Part I: Common Views of Scientific Knowledge

Jan 11         The Problem of Authority                                            What Do We Mean By "Science"?
                                                                                                      The Problem of Authority

Jan. 13        The "Empiricist Consensus"    R&I, pp. 1-20                Basic Concepts of Logic
                                                                                                       The Empiricist Consensus

Jan. 18        Explanation: The Deductive-Nomological  Model           The DN Model

Jan. 20        Justification: The Hypothetico-Deductivist Model          The HD Model

Jan 25        Falsification versus Confirmation                                    Falsificationism

Jan 27        Class cancelled due to family funeral

Feb.  1       Problems with Confirmationism                                      Holism
                                                                                                      Gruesome Ravens

Feb.  3     Is Observation the Foundation?  R&I, Chs. 9 & 10         Theory-Ladeness
                                                                                                      Hanson on Observation (Chap ! Patterns of Dsicovery)

Feb 8 & 10                                                         Mardi Gras Holidays
 
 

Part II: Thomas SSR's Revolutionary Model of Science

Feb. 15   The Collapse of the Empiricist Consensus                                    The Situation in PS circa 1960

**** FIRST TAKE-HOME ESSAY DISTRIBUTED TODAY ****

Feb. 17   History and Philosophy of Science   SSR, Chs 1 & 2                   SSR Outline: The Relevance of History

Feb. 22   Establishing a Paradigm                  SSR, Chs 2 &3 & Postscript   Normal Science

**** FIRST TAKE-HOME ESSAY DUE TODAY ****

Feb. 24  Research in Normal Science           SSR, Chs. 4 & 5

Mar.  1    Crisis & Revolution                       SSR, Chs. 6, 7 & 8                 Crisis

Mar.  3   The Necessity of Revolutions          SSR, Ch. 9                             Incommensurability

Mar. 8     World-View and Revolutions         SSR, Ch. 10

Mar. 10   Science after a Revolution              SSR, Chs.11 & 12

Mar.  15      Progress and Truth                     SSR, Ch. 13                           Progress

**** TAKE-HOME MIDTERM DISTRIBUTED TODAY ****

Mar.  17     The Rationality Crisis                                                                 The Situation in HPS by 1975

Mar.  22 & 24                   Spring Break - Easter Holidays

Part III: Rationality versus Relativism







Mar.  29     Research Programmes and Anarchy    R&I, Chap 5 & 8             Research Programmes
                                                                                                                     Epistemological Anarchy

**** TAKE-HOME MIDTERM EXAMINATION DUE TODAY ****

Mar.  31    Values and Consensus                        S&V, Caps 1 & 2             Laudan's Analysis
                                                                                                                    Consensus Formation

Apr.  5     Models of Consensus Formation          S&V Chap 3                     The Hierarchical Model
                                                                                                                     The Reticulational Model

Apr.  7    Epistemological Disagreement               S&V, Chap 4                     Laudan's Critique of Kuhn

**** SECOND TAKE-HOME ESSAY DISTRIBUTED TODAY ****
 

Part IV: Realism versus Constructivism


Apr.  12

               Catch - Up
Apr.  14
**** SECOND TAKE-HOME ESSAY DUE TODAY ****

Apr.  19     Realism and Representation            R&I, Chaps 1 & 2                    The Realism Debate

Apr.  21       Empiricism and anti-realism          R&I, Chaps 3 & 4                  Varieties of Realism

Apr.  26     Historicist Critique of Realism         S&V, Chap 5                         Naturalism
                                                                                                                      The Argument for Realism
                                                                                                                      Arguments Pro & Con

Apr.  28     Postmodernism: The Science Wars                                                 The Science Wars
                                                                                                                        The Sokal Incident

May 3        A Plea for Science Studies                                                                Kitcher: Handout

*** FINAL EXAMINATION DISTRIBUTED TODAY ***

*** FINAL EXAMINATION DUE BY TUESDAY, MAY 10, by 5:00 p.m in BOBET 414 ***