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.

Spring 2024 Courses

Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Science
10103 01 (31913)
9:30-10:45 TTH
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?