Postgraduate Module Descriptor

SOCM945: Philosophy of Science

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Aims

To provide a thorough and rigorous discussion of the main issues in contemporary philosophy of science.
To foster techniques of analytical and critical inquiry.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main realist and anti-realist arguments on the epistemological status of scientific theories;
2. alternative accounts of the nature of scientific theories;
3. the problem of continuity vs. revolutionary change in the history of science,
4. and its philosophical consequences; the main philosophical theories of confirmation and induction;
5. the role of laboratory experimentation in the production of scientific knowledge.
6. Locate all these issues in the wider debate on philosophical theories of knowledge.
Discipline-Specific Skills7. Demonstrate detailed awareness of the methods used by natural and social scientists, and their philosophical 'explication'/justification by philosophers of science.
8. Criticise and evaluate philosophical theories of knowledge-production from a purely logical viewpoint
9. Use empirical and historical case-studies to enrich and criticise philosophical theories.
Personal and Key Skills10. Construct and evaluate ideas.
11. Formulate and express ideas at different levels of abstraction.
12. Assess and criticise the views of others.