Introduction to Philosophy of Science and Technology


Outline of the course:


Day / Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 am to 12:30 pm


The course will begin with an introduction to epistemology followed by a discussion on the possible criteria of demarcation between science and folklore (common knowledge), non-science, and metaphysics. This will be followed by an introduction to logical positivism, and what is normally called the 'standard view'. A criticism of the standard view will be covered in detail.

The issues that will be covered are: nature and structure of science, characterizing the body of scientific knowledge into concepts, laws, theories, models, development and growth of scientific knowledge, characterising
scientific revolution, inter-theoretic relations, and reductionism, realism and anti-realism.

The part on philosophy of technology will address the question of what is technology through a list of historical events leading to modern technology. An introduction to the engineering and humanities "philosophies" of technology will be followed by characterising the manifestations of technology as object, knowledge, activity and volition.

Two lectures will be delivered every week with an additional tutorial session.
Assessment will be continuous, and will be on the basis of active participation in the class room discussions, tutorials. Assignments will be given during the tutorial sessions (once every week.)

The course will be mainly based on:

1. Jennifer McErlean 2000, Philosophies of Science: From Foundations to Contemporary Issues, Wadsworth, Thomson Learning. [for Philosophy of Science]
2. Carl Mitcham, Thinking through technology: The path between engineering and philosophy, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994 [for Philosophy of Technology]
Apart from the main texts, the following other texts are recommended for
comprehension and general reading.
a. F. Chalmers, What is this Thing Called Science?
b. Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction
c. R. Klee, Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Cutting Nature at its Seems
d. Nagel, The Structure of Science
e. Pap, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

Course Coordinator: