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Unit of study_

HPSC1001: What is this Thing Called Science?

2024 unit information

This Unit of Study explores the very nature of science and how it is practised. Using contemporary and historical scientific examples, the unit looks into whether a sharp line can be drawn between science and non-science, and what criteria can be used to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Various tools of science will be examined philosophically and historically, including theories, models, explanations, data analysis and concepts. The unit also looks into the ways in which science is a social process, with an emphasis on values, biases, and the institutionalized organization of science. To complete this broad overview, topics such as science denialism (not accepting various bodies of scientific knowledge) and scientism (valuing science above all other knowledge systems) will also be addressed.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations

Code HPSC1001
Academic unit History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
? 
None
Corequisites:
? 
None
Prohibitions:
? 
HPSC2101 or HPSC2901 or HPSC1901
Assumed knowledge:
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None

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand philosophical and historical discussions of science and critically assess arguments in these areas
  • LO2. write clear and well-organized responses to philosophical and historical discussions of science, and develop your own views on these issues
  • LO3. relate general philosophical and historical ideas about science to particular examples of scientific work.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Intensive February 2024
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Intensive February 2021
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2021
Block mode Remote
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Intensive February 2022
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2022
Block mode Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote
Intensive February 2023
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive February 2023
Block mode Remote
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.