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Philosophy of Science and Technology

PHL 250

Philosophy of Science and Technology

PHL 250

Course Description

Investigates the nature of science as social process and as product; the nature and role of creativity in scientific and technological research; the influence of society and politics on technology and scientific thinking and research; the uses of technology; myths about science and technology; the role of inductive and deductive logic in the scientific process; the nature and conditions of a good test of an hypothesis and theory; the nature of scientific evidence; science as debate in process and as established knowledge. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Develop the ability to distinguish uniquely philosophical questions from those of the natural and social sciences.

Objectives:

  • State and clarify the differences between the methodologies of philosophy and the natural sciences.

Learn the meaning and significance of concepts and distinctions central to the philosophy of science and technology.

Objectives:

  • Define and clarify those concepts and distinctions at least to the level studied in the course readings and class meetings.
  • Apply those concepts and distinctions in writing in a critical and analytical manner in essays and written work.
  • Employ those concepts and distinctions to construct arguments for and against philosophical positions.

Learn the main arguments for and against the main positions in the philosophy of science which include but are not limited to: How pseudo-science differs from science; the role of logic in science and the role of creativity in science; the difference between science and technology; the role of value judgments in science and technology; and why science is viewed as objective knowledge.

Objectives:

  • State in writing the main pro and con arguments regarding those positions.
  • Clarify the main arguments at least to the level of clarity developed in the course through readings and the class meetings.

Develop the ability to formulate, analyze, criticize, evaluate and defend the students' own positions on philosophical questions about science and technology.

Objectives:

  • Formulate verbally and in writing their own views on some philosophical issues studied in the course and formulate arguments to defend and criticize those views.
  • Identify the philosophical implications of what are often construed as scientific claims.