701-0701-00L Philosophy of Science
|Semester||Autumn Semester 2016|
|Lecturers||G. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger|
|Periodicity||yearly recurring course|
|Language of instruction||German|
|Abstract||The lecture explores various strands in philosophy of science in a critical way, focusing on the notion of rationality in science, especially with regards to environmental research. It addresses the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.|
|Objective||Students learn to engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences, thus developing their skills in critical thinking about science and its use. They know the most important positions in philosophy of science and the objections they face. They can identify, structure and discuss issues raised by the use of science in society.|
|Content||1. Core differences between classical Greek and modern conceptions of science. |
2. Classic positions in the philosophy of science in the 20th century: logical empiricism and critical rationalism (Popper); the analysis of scientific concepts and explanations.
3. Objections to logical empiricism and critical rationalism, and further developments: What is the difference between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities? What is progress in science (Kuhn, Fleck, Feyerabend)? Is scientific knowledge relativistic? What is the role of experiments and computer simulations?
4. Issues raised by the use of science in society: The relation between basic and applied research; inter- and transdisciplinarity; ethics and accountability of science.
|Lecture notes||A reader will be available for students.|
|Literature||A list of introductory literature and handbooks will be distributed to the students.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Oral examination during the session examination.|
Further optional exercises accompany the lecture and offer the opportunity for an in-depth discussion of selected texts from the reader. Students receive an additional credit point. They have to sign up separately for the exercises for the course 701-0701-01 U.