PHIL304 Philosophy of Science

Updated: 03 October 2017
Credit Points 6
Offering Not offered in 2018
Intensive School(s) None
Supervised Exam There is no supervised examination.

Pre-requisites 12cp in PHIL or any 24cp or candidature in a postgraduate award
Co-requisites None
Restrictions PHIL504
Notes None
Combined Units PHIL504 - Philosophy of Science
Coordinator(s) Sandy Boucher (
Unit Description

The unit considers the nature of science and related issues. There are serious reasons to think that science is humanity's greatest achievement but not less serious are the questions that philosophers raise about the nature of science. What is science? What can science know? How does it come to know it? Can science explain everything? Is imagination important for a scientist? Why do some scientists think that intellectual beauty is a guide to discovery? Are there such things as 'laws of nature'? Why do some philosophers believe that scientists' 'laws of nature' lie to us? Is there a universal scientific method applicable for all the sciences? Why is the concept of models so important for scientists and what does it mean anyway?

Materials Textbook information will be displayed approximately 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the teaching period. Please note that textbook requirements may vary from one teaching period to the next.
Disclaimer Unit information may be subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Assessment Assessment information will be published prior to commencement of the teaching period.
Learning Outcomes (LO) Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an advanced body of knowledge of, and evaluate, some of the philosophers' arguments about science;
  2. apply an advanced understanding of the philosophers' arguments about scientific method when developing and carrying out their own independent research projects in various areas of science, and present coherent and sustained arguments at an advanced level; and
  3. apply skills of critical analysis to the exploration of some of the more advanced issues in philosophy of science and related areas of philosophy.