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Unit of study_

What Is This Thing Called Science? - HPSC2101

Year - 2018

What distinguishes creationism from evolutionary theory, or astrology from astronomy? Can we have good reason to believe that our current scientific theories represent the world "as it really is"? This course critically examines the most important attempts to describe the scientific method, to draw a line dividing science from non-science, and to justify the high status generally accorded to scientific knowledge. Views studied include Karl Popper's idea that scientific theories are falsifiable in principle, Thomas Kuhn's proposal that science consists of a series of paradigms separated by abrupt scientific revolutions, and claims by Feyerabend and others that there are no objective criteria by which science can be distinguished from pseudo-science. This unit of study also explores contemporary theories of evidence and explanation, the role of social values in science, sociological approaches to understanding science, and the nature of scientific change.

Classes
Three 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour tutorial per week.

Assessment
2x1500 wd essays (50%) and 1x3000 wd essay (50%)

Textbooks
Godfrey-Smith, P (2003). Theory and Reality. The University of Chicago Press. USA/ Curd, Cover and Pincock (2013). Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues (2nd edition). W. W. Norton and Company.

Pre-requisites

24 credit points of Junior units of study

Prohibitions

HPSC2901

Details

Faculty: Science

Summer Main

08 Jan 2018

Department/School: History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 02 Feb 2018
Unit of study level: Intermediate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
Faculty: Science

Semester 2

30 Jul 2018

Department/School: History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 31 Aug 2018
Unit of study level: Intermediate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith
HECS Band: 1
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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