In our daily lives we take many things for granted that would hardly be possible without modern science and technology. Yet, we rarely stop and think about the question what makes science so special.
What distinguishes science from other kinds of human activities?
- What is a scientific explanation?
- How do scientists use empirical evidence to arrive at general facts about the world?
These and other questions will be discussed in this class, drawing on the philosophical literature and using case studies from different scientific disciplines and time periods. We will also visit a scientific laboratory and will have a local scientist come and discuss their methods.
- Short written or oral assignments throughout the semester: 20%
- Box project (will be explained on first day of class): 15%
- Attendance and participation: 25%
- Term paper: (Due April 29) 40%
Assignments: You will be asked to do one short assignment (class presentation or one-page discussion of material covered in a given week) per week. Assignments will be announced in class and posted onCTools.