Global Opportunities

PHI2800 : Philosophy and Science

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of the module is to foster analytical thinking and critical engagement. The module will introduce students to seminal thinkers in philosophy of science and social sciences, and present counter-currents to scientism. The module is compatible with interdisciplinary study. Lectures will introduce key theorists and seminars will underpin these.

Outline Of Syllabus

Content subject to change depending on staff teaching interests.

Key Topics:

1. Introduction to Philosophy of Science (Induction/Deduction/Theory Dependence of Observation)
2. Falsification/Hypothetico-Deductive Method (Popper)
3. Paradigms and Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn)
4. ‘Against Method’ and Theoretical Anarchism (Feyerabend)
5. Knowledge and Human Interests (Habermas)
6. The Social Science Context: Positivism versus Verstehn – Durkheim and Weber
7. Romantic Counter-Cultural reactions to Science and Enlightenment Rationalism: Primacy of feeling over scientific rationalism (W.H. Wackenroder)
8. Knowledge, feeling and suffering (John Keats)
9. Wisdom versus Science in The Birth of Tragedy (Nietzsche)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion152:0052:00Review lecture material, prepare for small group teaching and assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Essay preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Tutorials
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Specific research or reading activities developed and directed a academic staff
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the module is to engender independent, critical skills and an ability to navigate seminal ideas at epistemic, axiological and methodological levels. The rationale of teaching methods based on lecture followed by seminar schedule, is to enable (1) delivery of concepts and their embedding in the pedagogic landscape and (2) through the seminar facilitate student skill in interrogating and critically engaging with material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1002000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay assessment on this module appropriately and realistically tests for student competences given the material studied.

Reading Lists