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PH20D — Philosophy of Science

Course Description

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An introduction to the nature, extent and significance of scientific knowledge. Problems about the nature of scientific theories and models, scientific explanation and prediction, scientific growth, and issues about the relationship between science, religion and morality will be discussed. Various versions of realism in philosophy of science will be discussed. The nature of truth is science and justification in science will be discussed. Is science a metaphysics? How the world is - what does this mean? Is science a product of interest or is science universal? "Open and Closed" predicaments and the Intellectualist Thesis will be discussed. What is scientism? Other issues to be explored include nuclear omnicide, holography, fanaticism, Fascism, procreation choices, religiosity, skepticism, space studies, identity issues, post-modernism, post-structuralism, etc.

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1 What is science? Branches and types of science.
2. What is the philosophy of science?
3. Natural science and social science: Similarities and differences.
4. Models of scientific explanation.
5. The cognitive status of scientific theories.
6. Realism in science.
7. Objectivity and rationality in science.
8. Values in science.
9. Science, religion and metaphysics.
10. The social dimensions of science.


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  • Tutorial participation and presentation 10%
  • One research essay (2500 words) 30%
  • Final Examination (two hours) 60%
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