Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy & Science

This course introduces students to philosophy with a special focus on issues at the intersection of philosophy and science and in the philosophy of science. Topics to be discussed may include the nature and limits of scientific knowledge and the scientific method, the metaphysical foundations of science, puzzles to do with quantum mechanics and relativity theory, science and values, and the place of science in society and culture.

Fall 2020 Courses

Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Science
10103 01 (17727)
Azhar
9:30-10:45 TR
First Year Students Only

In this course we will tackle a variety of puzzling issues that underlie our conception of science, with a view to developing an understanding of how philosophy and science influence one another. A special focus will be on philosophical aspects of the study of the cosmos, that is, of the universe considered as a whole. Some of the questions we will pursue include: What are the distinctive features of science? What role do probabilities play in science? How can we characterize the development---from ancient times to modern day---of theories of the cosmos? How can we test a theory that claims we live in a multiverse---namely, a vast set of "pocket universes" in which conditions vary drastically from one pocket universe to the next? 


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Science
10103 02 (17616)
Teh
9:30-10:45 MW
First Year Students Only

This course is a general introduction to the philosophy of science. We will begin by considering the complications involved in defining "science", as well as some toy models that philosophers have developed in order to explain paradigm cases of "scientific theories". We will then proceed to develop a more realistic view of scientific theories, with a special emphasis on the concepts of idealization, modeling and explanation. Finally, we will explore two case studies that seem to lie at opposite ends of the spectrum of what counts as science: elementary Newtonian mechanics and elementary microeconomics.


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Science
10103 03 (17839)
Howard
 11:00-12:15 TR
First Year Students Only

This course will be an introduction to philosophy with a special focus on issues at the intersection of philosophy and science. The readings will carry us from Plato to Darwin, and will include discussion of scientific issues ranging from ancient, medieval, and early modern cosmology, the Galilean and Newtonian revolutions in science in the early modern period, and the birth of the modern theory of evolution in the nineteenth century.