This course will explore several topics central to issues about the methods of contemporary science. Science purports to explain phenomena, to answer “Why?” questions. But what is the nature of scientific explanations. Science develops theories to explain phenomena, theories which posit new, often unobservable, entities and properties. What is the structure of these theories and how are they related to the empirical evidence that supports them. Science claims to have strong evidential support in favor of its theories? But how are theories supported by evidence? And are there grounds for skepticism about scientific claims?