Philosophy of Science

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Course Objective

Students who complete this course will learn to engage with philosophical questions concerning the foundations of science, as well as the nature of scientific practice.

Course Content

The course will address three sorts of questions. The first set involves the status of science as a privileged source of knowledge: what, if anything, justifies this status? The second set involves concepts such as 'law' , 'cause', and 'explanation' which occur within scientific practice: how are these to be understood? The third set involves understanding the relationship between different scientific enterprises: is there a hierarchy of sciences ranging from physics at one end to the human or social sciences at the other? If so, how should this hierarchy be understood?
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