PHEB306 Философия на науката


The course is an introduction to the core concepts and issues of contemporary philosophy of science. It aims at a better understanding of various aspects of science: scientific knowledge and methods of inquiry and confirmation, scientific explanation, the growth of scientific knowledge. A special focus is put on controversial topics such as the realism/anti-realism debate, the problem of demarcation between science and pseudoscience, the role of non-epistemic values in science.

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Философия (на английски език)


проф. Лилия Гурова  д-р

Описание на курса:


After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

• The main views on the nature of scientific knowledge;

• What distinguishes the different methods of scientific inquiry;

• The views about scientific change of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos;

• What is at stake in the contemporary debates on scientific realism, the problem of demarcation, and on the role of non-cognitive values in science.

2) be capable of:

• Using appropriately, depending on the context, such basic scientific concepts as “scientific theory”, “scientific fact”, “scientific hypothesis”, “scientific model”, “scientific law”, “scientific principle”, “scientific explanation”, “scientific research program”, “scientific paradigm”;

• Discussing the pros and cons of the rival views on the nature of scientific knowledge, the demarcation between science and pseudoscience, the role of social factors and non-epistemic values in science.

Предварителни изисквания:

Форми на провеждане:

Учебни форми:

Език, на който се води курса:

Теми, които се разглеждат в курса:

  1. Introduction: What is philosophy of science about? A short history of the discipline and links to other philosophical sub-disciplines.
  2. Scientific knowledge: scientific facts, laws and principles; theories and models.
  3. Scientific inquiry: context of discovery and context of justification; empirical and non-empirical methods; problems (theory-laden observation, underdetermination of scientific theories).
  4. Scientific explanation: the basic structure (explanans and explanandum); the main views on explanation (the covering-law model, causal explanations, unificationism, pragmatic theories).
  5. Explanation and understanding; explanation and prediction; explanation across the sciences (the main types of explanation).
  6. The growth of scientific knowledge: Karl Popper
  7. The growth of scientific knowledge: Tomas Kuhn
  8. The growth of scientific knowledge: Imre Lakatos
  9. Do we need a theory of scientific progress? “Anything goes”: Paul Feyerabend
  10. Science in a social context
  11. Contemporary controversies: the realism/anti-realism debate, science and pseudo-science, science and values.
  12. TEST
  13. SEMINAR 1: Realism vs. anti-realism
  14. SEMINAR 2: Science vs. pseudoscience
  15. SEMINAR 3: Is there a place for non-cognitive values in science?

Литература по темите:

Curd, M., Cover, J. A. (Eds.) (2012). Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: Norton.

Feyerabend, P. (2010). Against Method. 4th edition. New York: Verso.

French, S. (2016). Philosophy of Science: Key Concepts. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Kuhn, T. S. (2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 50th Anniversary edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lakatos, I. (1978). The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Machamer, P., Silberstein, M. (Eds.) (2002). The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Blackwell.

Okasha, S. (2016). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Popper, K. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. New York: Basic Books.