Preamble / Objectives (Optional): This course aims to equip the students with the philosophical tools and the vocabulary needed to identify and reflect upon the presuppositions in science. Specifically, the course enables the students to (a) critically examine the nature of scientific knowledge; (b) cultivate an understanding of the methodology of science; and (c) appreciate the social character of scientific practice.
Course Content/ Syllabus: Building blocks of science: theories, models, laws; Theory and evidence: prediction, explanation, confirmation; Methodology of science: inductivism, falsificationism, demarcation problem; Theory change and progress in science; Relation between scientific knowledge and reality: scientific realism, underdetermination, instrumentalism, constructive empiricism; The social enterprise of science: disagreements, division of cognitive labour, values and biases; Case study: the anomalous precession of Mercury’s perihelion.
Books (In case UG compulsory courses, please give it as “Text books” and “Reference books”. Otherwise give it as “References”.
Texts: (Format: Authors, Book Title in Italics font, Volume/Series, Edition Number, Publisher, Year.)
1. A. I. Rosenberg, Philosophy of Science, Routledge, 2000
2. P. Godfrey-Smith, Theory and Reality, The University of Chicago Press, 2003
3. T. Levenson, The Hunt for Vulcan, Random House, 2015
References: (Format: Authors, Book Title in Italics font, Volume/Series, Edition Number, Publisher, Year.)
1. P. K. Stanford, Exceeding Our Grasp, Oxford University Press, 2006
2. P. Kitcher, The Advancement of Science, Oxford University Press, 1993
3. S. Psillos, Scientific Realism, Routledge, 1999
4. S. Psillos and M. Curd (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science, Routledge, 2008
Academic Complex Block F Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
Guwahati, Assam, 781039