20304 Selected Issues in Philosophy of Science 1

Credits: 6 advanced seminar credits in Philosophy or in Sciences - General

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including Philosophy of Science and one course in Natural or Life Sciences. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: Problems in Moral Philosophy

The course is based on a reader edited by Yemima Ben-Menahem.

The course is designed for students who took Philosophy of Science (20202) and wish to expand their knowledge on the subject, and enables them to write a seminar paper in the area of philosophy of science. Special emphasis is placed on developing the skills of critical reading, reflection and philosophical reasoning.

Topics: Science and Reality – this part of the course deals with the central question in philosophy of science: Do scientific theories provide truths about the world? The positions of Hilary Putnam, Paul Feyerabend and Willard van Orman Quine on this question are examined. Theory and Observation – Problems concerning inductive logic, with special reference to the theoretician’s dilemma and Goodman’s paradox. Explanation and Causation – Criticism of Hempel’s model of scientific explanation; analysis of the concept of causation.