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Unit of study_

What Is This Thing Called Science? - HPSC2101

Year - 2020

(This unit will not be available from 2021) What distinguishes creationism from evolutionary theory, or astrology from astronomy? Can we have good reason to believe that our current scientific theories represent the world "as it really is"? This course critically examines the most important attempts to describe the scientific method, to draw a line dividing science from non-science, and to justify the high status generally accorded to scientific knowledge. Views studied include Karl Popper's idea that scientific theories are falsifiable in principle, Thomas Kuhn's proposal that science consists of a series of paradigms separated by abrupt scientific revolutions, and various claims that science cannot really be distinguished from other approaches to knoweldge. This unit of study also explores contemporary theories of evidence and explanation, the role of values in science, sociological approaches to understanding science, feminist perspectives on science, and the nature of scientific consensus.

Classes
2x1-hr lectures; 1x1-hr online study; and 1x1-hr advanced tutorial per week

Assessment
1000-word essay (20%), 2x 2000-word essays (each worth 30%), 10x online exercises (10%), tutorial participation (10%)

Textbooks
Godfrey-Smith, P (2003). Theory and Reality. The University of Chicago Press. USA/ Curd, Cover and Pincock (2013). Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues (2nd edition). W. W. Norton and Company.

Pre-requisites

24 credit points of Junior units of study

Prohibitions

HPSC2901 or HPSC1001 or HPSC1901

Details

Faculty: Science

Intensive January

06 Jan 2020

Department/School: History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Study Mode: Block mode
Census Date: 24 Jan 2020
Unit of study level: Intermediate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: No
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
Faculty: Science

Semester 2

03 Aug 2020

Department/School: History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 31 Aug 2020
Unit of study level: Intermediate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Location
Camperdown
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith
HECS Band: 1
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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