PHIL 2050 - Philosophy of Science

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

Science has a significant impact on our lives. Some have criticized it for being "reductionist" and part of a general dehumanization of society. Others argue that the sciences are our only means of avoiding the many dangers we currently face. Philosophy of Science will examine these and other central issues in the contemporary philosophy of science, including: the objectivity of science, the nature of scientific method, the status of scientific knowledge, and the character of scientific explanation. The course will also explore the general picture of reality that emerges from modern science.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 2050
    Course Philosophy of Science
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites 12 units of Level I Arts courses, including 3 units of Philosophy or 12 units in Sciences, Engineering Computer & Mathematical Sciences, or Health Sciences
    Incompatible PHIL 2013 or PHIL 3013
    Course Description Science has a significant impact on our lives. Some have criticized it for being "reductionist" and part of a general dehumanization of society. Others argue that the sciences are our only means of avoiding the many dangers we currently face. Philosophy of Science will examine these and other central issues in the contemporary philosophy of science, including: the objectivity of science, the nature of scientific method, the status of scientific knowledge, and the character of scientific explanation. The course will also explore the general picture of reality that emerges from modern science.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jonathan Opie

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successfully completing this course students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the central problems in philosophy of science.
    2. Analyze and critically engage with contemporary work in philosophy of science.
    3. Express, develop and defend their own views, through written work and through constructive discussion with others.
    4. Understand some of the ways in which philosophy is relevant to our understanding of human nature and human knowledge.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2, 3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2-4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course textbook is:

    Chalmers, A. F. (2013) What is this thing called Science? 4th ed., UQP

    Tutorial readings will be made available on MyUni. These are also suitable reference material for preparation of your written assignments.
    Online Learning
    The following online resources will be made avaiable:

    • Tutorial Papers. These are posted one week in advance of your tutorial.
    • Readings. These include articles and book chapters for tutorial and essay preparation.
    • Lecture Notes. These are summaries only, and are not a substitute for attending lectures.
    • Lecture Recordings. Sometimes these take a day or two to be posted, so please be patient.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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