Scientific Knowledge and Scientific Method

Description

Introduces the nature of scientific method and the grounds of scientific knowledge as expressions of scientific rationality for both science and humanities students.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 2 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. To give students a knowledge of the nature and basic principles of rational scientific method and knowledge claims.

2. To impart to students the skills required for them to be able to engage in critical assessment of scientific practice and in evaluation of scientific knowledge.

3. To enable students to effectively communicate their understanding and to interact effectively so as to problem solve with diverse communal groups.

4. To provide students a critical appreciation of the larger framework of Western science as it has developed in relation to society and within which current science practice operates.

Content

The course covers the nature of rationally valid argument and its application to scientific method as prediction/ explanation, its inadequacy for theory construction and the consequent problems of rational methodology, including induction and statistical inference.

It then places these issues in the larger debate about the nature of observation, the multiple aims of science, and economic and socio-cultural influence on theoretical ideas and procedures, and the various proposals made in the light of these concerning the nature of scientific knowledge and objectivity claims.

Assumed Knowledge

At least 10 credit points of PHIL course at 1000 level or 40 units of any other courses at any level.

Assessment Items

Essay: Essay 1

Essay: Essay 2

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term