Alma College
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PHL305: Philosophy of Science
email: hauser@alma.edu
Office:  SAC 347 Phone: 7219
INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser
Office Hrs: MW: 4:00-4:50 | F: 2:30-3:20
MWF 11-12:20 by appointment
Philosophyof Science
TEXTS (required)
CLASS DESCRIPTION
This class considers of the nature of science in the light of contemporary challenges to its objectivity and contemporary (and other) pretenders to the name "science".  What, if anything, justifies the view that science is the most objective source -- even an objective source -- of human knowledge?  What , if anything, makes scientific claims true and underwrites sciences' claims to knowledge of the phenomena they catalog and explain?  What differentiates science from nonscience (e.g., myth and poetry) and pseudoscience (e.g., astrology)?  What of various self-styled scientific contenders as Psychoanalysis, Marxism-Leninism, and Creation Science: Science or psuedo?   How are different  sciences (physics, biology, etc.) and types of sciences (physical, biological, social) alike; in what do they differ; and how are they related?   Rival (positivist, Popperian, Kuhnian, and other) accounts of science and their relation to actual practice of scientists are considered along the way.

GRADES WILL BE BASED ON

ASSIGNMENT
DUE DATES & EXPLANATIONS
 VALUE
Homework or Quizzes
periodically
1/6 of course
Midterm Examinations
Monday, Oct.15 | Monday, Nov. 15
 1/4 of course
Final Examination
as scheduled
1/6 of course
Term Paper
Friday, December 10
1/4 of course
Class Participation
attendance; contribution to in-class or online projects or discussion
1/6 of course
COURSE RELATED WEB SITES
LH's Virtual Office:
http://members.aol.com/lshauser/virtoff.html
Alma Online Forums:
http://cicero.com.alma.edu/web
Karl Popper Web: 
http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~tkpw/
Alan Sokal's Page:
http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/
 
APPROXIMATE COURSE CALENDAR
Class regularly meets 2:30-3:50 MW in SAC ___ (note exceptions below) 
MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
Sept. 6
no class
Sept. 7
Science as an Inellectual Activity
 1-11
11am Opening Convocation
Sept. 10
Induction: Baconian Induction & Naïve Observation: 12-21
Sept. 14
Hypotheses Formation and Confirmation: pp. 22-34
Sept. 16
Sept. 17
Falsification: Popper:  Frets about falsification: 35-44
Sept. 21
Bayesian Approach: 44-53
Sept. 23
Sept.24
Science & Nonscience: Demarcation Issues: 54-64
Sept. 28
Kuhnian Relativism: 64-81
Sept. 30
Oct. 1
Observation and Theory: Theory Neutrality: 82-94 
Oct. 5
Empiricism, Unobservables, & Underdetermination: 94-105
Oct. 7
Oct. 8
Scientific Realism: Positivism, Laws, & Explanation: 106-129
Oct. 12
Representation, Absolutism, and Shrödinger's Cat: 130-143
Oct. 14
Oct. 15
Midterm 1
Oct. 19
Warp Week ergo
No Class
Oct. 21
Oct. 22
Probability & Explanation: 
144-176
Oct. 26
Interpretations of Probability: 155-176
Oct. 28
Oct. 29
Scientific Reductions: in the Physical Sciences: 177-185
Nov. 2
Criteria for Reductions: 186-201
Nov. 4
Last day to drop.
Science & Culture: Science & Myth: 202-216
Nov. 9
Science, Technology, & Value: 216-232
Nov. 11
Nov. 12
Midterm 2
Nov. 16
Fashionable
Nonsense
Nov. 18
Nov. 19
Fashionable
Nonsense
 Nov. 23
No class:
Thanksgiving Recess
Nov. 25
Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 26
Thanksgiving Recess
Fashionable
Nonsense
 Nov. 30
Fashionable
Nonsense
Dec. 2
Dec. 3
Fashionable
Nonsense
Dec. 7
Final 
Review
Dec. 9
Dec. 10
Finals
Week
 Finals
Week
Finals
Week
Finals
Week
Finals
Week
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY