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Elements of Scientific Method (PH123-6)

Programme content

This module introduces you to some core issues within the philosophy of science, including the problem of induction, the demarcation between science and non-science, the underdetermination of theory by data, and the status of realism in the sciences. We will read key texts by some of the most influential philosophers of science such as Popper, Kuhn and Quine, and examples from the history of science will be used to critically examine their arguments.

Topics covered

The following is a list of topics for this module in the 2014/15 academic year; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • Peter Lipton: Induction
  • Karl Popper: Science: Conjectures and Refutations
  • Thomas Kuhn: The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions
  • John Worrall: Structural realism: The Best of Both Worlds?
Timing and CATS

This module runs for the first 5 weeks of the Summer term and is worth 6 CATS.