History and Philosophy of Science

Unit of study descriptions 2014

HPSC4101 Philosophy of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Dean Rickles Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission. Assessment: 5000 wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
In this course we explore a range of issues from within the philosophy of physics. We focus on the interpretation of the theories physics provides, examining how these theories might describe our world. The course will assume some basic mathematical literacy, but most technical matters will be introduced in class.
Textbooks
Weekly readings
HPSC4102 History of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Stephen Gaukroger. Taught by HPS staff and guest lecturers. Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission. Assessment: 10xquestions (50%) and 1x5000 wd essay (50%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit explores major episodes in the history of science from the 18th century until the present as well as introducing students to historiographic methods. Special attention is paid to developing practical skills in the history and philosophy of science.
Textbooks
Weekly Readings
HPSC4103 Sociology of Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniela Helbig Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission. Assessment: 5000wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This seminar discusses a range of approaches to the social theory of modern science. We will read key texts on questions such as: what makes science part of Western modernity? What is the role of science in the social transformations of the industrial era? In what sense, if at all, can science be said to offer privileged access to reality? What is the relationship between scientific knowledge and social reality?
Textbooks
Weekly Readings
HPSC4104 Recent Topics in HPS

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS Staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission. Assessment: 5000wd essay (50%) Seminar presentation (50%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
An examination of one area of the contemporary literature in the history and philosophy of science. Special attention will be paid to development of research skills in the history and philosophy of science.
HPSC4105 HPS Research Methods

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Hans Pols Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week, individual consultation. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission. Assessment: 5 x 1000 wd essays (100%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Adopting a seminar style, this unit provides students with an advanced knowledge of the skills necessary to conduct their own original research in the sociology, history and philosophy of science. Participants will be given a weekly set of core readings, and specialists both from within the Unit and from outside will present their views on the topic in question. This presentation will form the basis for a discussion involving the students, the academic members of the Unit, and invited speakers. Topics will include: the use of case studies in the philosophy of science, how to conduct oral history projects, institutional history, and sociological methodology.
HPSC4108 Core topics: History & Philosophy of Sci

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour seminar per week. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours, Graduate Diploma in Science (History and Philosophy of Science) and Graduate Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science), or by special permission Assessment: 10xquestions (50%) and 1x5000 wd essay (50%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
An intensive reading course, supported by discussion seminars, into core topics in HPS.
HPSC4201 HPS Research Project 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: HPS staff Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly individual supervision, fortnightly 90-minute research seminars. Prerequisites: Available only to students admitted to HPS Honours and Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Science (History and Philosophy of Science). Prohibitions: HPSC4106, HPSC4107 Assumed knowledge: HPSC2100/2900 and HPSC2101/2901 Assessment: HPSC4201, HPSC4202, HPSC4203 and HPSC4204 are jointly assessed by a research thesis of up to 15,000 words.
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Research into a topic in history, philosophy or sociology of science under the supervision of one or more members of the HPS staff.