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Philosophy of the Natural Sciences

by University of New Orleans

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

This course focuses on several theoretical issues concerning the nature and practice of natural science. The following questions will be explored:

  1. How should we distinguish genuine science from pseudoscience?
  2. What is the scientific method?
  3. What is the ontological status of theoretical entities? (realism vs. antirealism)
  4. What is the nature of scientific explanations, laws, and theories?
  5. How should we choose one theory over another?
  6. What is a scientific revolution? How do they contribute to the growth of scientific knowledge? Is what Kuhn says about paradigms and scientific revolutions to be believed?
We shall explore these questions through the writings of a number influential philosophers of science: Carnap, Hanson, Hempel, Kitcher, Kuhn, Popper, Putnam, Stace, Quine and others. 
Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
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