Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

What makes science special? In answering this question, this course will look at several more specific inquiries: Is science rational? Does science have an aim and does this aim have anything to do with truth or with reality? Is there a scientific method? Can science tell us how to live our lives? How should we understand the relationship between science and other systems of thought? This course will address these questions by examining texts from a number of 20th century philosophers. We begin with the earlier part of the century and the logical positivists. With this groundwork, we will then analyze the movement in philosophy of science towards an emphasis on history and on scientific practice, especially work by Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Toulmin. The final part of the course will discuss responses to these philosophers. By taking this course, students will become familiar with central issues in the philosophy of science, how to read dense texts, and how to develop a philosophical argument through writing. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, two take-home exams, and a final term paper.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.