PHIL 371: Philosophy of the Natural Sciences

PHIL 371-001: Philosophy of Natural Sciences
(Fall 2021)

10:30 AM to 11:45 AM TR

Horizon Hall 5001

Section Information for Fall 2021

This course addresses a variety of philosophical issues arising from a close scrutiny of the natural sciences. It examines classic topics in the philosophy of science, such as induction, confirmation, falsification, and demarcation, as well as more contemporary debates pertaining to naturalism, realism, explanation, and evidence. It also reflects on how the field of philosophy of science itself has developed over the past one hundred years, exploring the ways in which our understanding of science—what it is, how it works, and how it progresses—has changed over time.

Aside from these core issues in general philosophy of science, the course considers major themes arising in the philosophical analysis of particular natural sciences, namely physics and biology. In the philosophy of physics, it looks at motion and inertia, relativity, reduction and irreversibility, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. In the philosophy of biology, it looks at natural selection, function and adaptation, species and classification, and the concept of the gene.




View 1 Other Section of this Course in this Semester »


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

In-depth examination of selected topics and debates in contemporary philosophy of science. Studies the aims and methodology of science through the work of key thinkers in the field. Questions of concern may include: the demarcation of science from pseudo-science; the rationality of scientific change; problems of induction, prediction and evidence; objectivity, values and scientific practice; the unity of science; and the relation between scientific knowledge and truth. Limited to three attempts.
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL 271 or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.