Minor Doing Philosophy of Science

Categorie
Broadening minor
Code
MINFW-19

Content

Given the pivotal role that science plays both in the academic world and in society at large, philosophers have considered and continue to consider the very foundations of science, the possibility and nature of scientific knowledge, its historical, social and political prerequisites and ramifications, and the relation between, on the one hand, scientific theories and models, and, on the other hand, the world.  This minor is a thorough introduction to all these aspects of philosophy and of science, and focuses especially on carefully developing the academic and philosophical skills for doing philosophy of science, and on putting them into practice.

Learning objectives

  •  Acquiring the academic and philosophical skills for doing philosophy of science
  • Learning about classical and contemporary ideas and debates in philosophical anthropology, the philosophy of technology, and science and technology studies

  • Being able to analyze and evaluate the different kinds of critique, both historically and systematically

  • Understanding the methodology of philosophical critique with regard to social sciences and humanties, and assessing its relevance for society

  • Being able to reflect critically on the various roles that scientific knowledge plays in society

  • Understanding and evaluating the resemblances and differences between kinds of doing science in both other domains and other eras

  • Being able to reflect critically on the assumptions, powers and limits of the different kinds of scientific reasoning

  • Being able to distinguish, recognize and compare the different kinds of scientific reasoning

Special aspects

Lectures will be scheduled in the (late) afternoon or evening.

Overview modules

Module 1: Philosophy of Science I: historical introduction

  • Code: FW-WB3928
  • ECTS:  3.75
  • Content:

    This first part of this course offers a "big picture" history of science in terms of Crombie's six "styles" of scientific thinking, that is:

    - the deductive style,

    - the experimental style,

    - the hypothetical style,

    - the taxonomical style,

    - the statistical style, and

    - the evolutionary style.

    The second part of this course discusses four episodes of the rise and fall of "classical philosophy of science", that is:

    - The roots of the Vienna Circle

    - The Vienna Circle and Quine

    - Popper versus Kuhn

    - Lakatos, Laudan and Feyerabend

  • Teaching method: Blended learning, flipping the classroom
  • Teaching materials: MOOC on Coursera (announcements and instructions on Canvas)
  • Contact hours: 6 hours per week 
  • Self study: 12 hours per week

Module 2: Philosophy of Science II: logic, method, knowledge, reality

  • Code: FW-WB-3929
  • ECTS: 3.75
  • Content: In this course we shall provide an answer to the question what science is, which involves addressing the values of science and the social context of science. We analyse the Big Five of philosophy of science: the most prominent concepts used ubiquitously in science: theory, model, confirmation, method, explanation. We also enter the realism debate in philosophy of science, which revolves around the issue whether science does and can tell us the truth about reality by means of so-called scientific knowledge.
  • Teaching method: Lectures with questions, and tutorials.
  • Teaching materials: Self-written modules per subject with exercises, to be discussed by the tutors.
    Essay: 1/3 of your final grade;
    Written examination: 2/3 of your final grade.
  • Contact hours: 6 hours per week 
  • Self study: 12 hours per week

Module 3: Critique: The Impact of Philosophy on Social Sciences and Humanities

  • Code: FW-WB3930
  • ECTS: 3.75
  • Content: What is critical thinking? What is its function in an era of ‘alternative facts’? This module explores some of the most important postwar continental social-philosophical theories and their consequences for disciplinary thinking in the humanities and social sciences. Guiding notion is that of critique, as developed by the Frankfurt School. We investigate the relation between society and the knowledge produced and methods used by social sciences and humanities (but also by medical and environmental sciences). We focus on critical theory (Habermas, Frankfurt School), poststructuralism (Foucault), feminist critique, postcolonial critique, tentacular thinking (Haraway) and critical realism (Latour).
  • Teaching method: Weekly 2x 2h lectures, 1x 2h seminars
  • Teaching materials: Texts of Haraway, Latour, Foucault and others, available via Blackboard.
  • Contact hours: 6 hours per week. 
  • Self study: 12 hours per week.

Module 4: Technology and Social Change

  • Code: FW-WB3931
  • ECTS: 3.75
  • Content: This module gives an introduction to different perspectives on how to understand the relationship between technology/technological development on the one hand and society/social change on the other hand. Students are made familiar with a set of key concepts and perspectives regarding this relationship, such as ‘technological determinism”, ‘social shaping’, ‘domestication’, ‘mediation’ and ‘ethical design’. These concepts from the philosophy of technology and STS will be illustrated by focusing on recent developments in the field of ICTs and the internet.
  • Teaching method: Lectures and interactive working groups.
  • Teaching materials: Available on Canvas
  • Contact hours: 6 hours per week.
  • Self study: 12 hours per week.

Examination

Method of examination
Written examination for each of the four modules.

Composition of final grade
Your final grade is the average of the four module grades.

Feedback
Review sessions for exams; on individual appointment.

Contact information

Mw. L. Schots
schots@espil.eur.nl
010-4088998
room: J5-67

Faculty website
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Categorie
Broadening minor
Code
MINFW-19
Organisatie
Erasmus School of Philosophy
Studiepunten (ECTS)
15
Voertaal
Engels
Locatie
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam

Registration

Please read the application procedure for more information.