Module Catalogue 2023/24

PHI2800 : Philosophy and Science

PHI2800 : Philosophy and Science

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Miriam Baldwin
  • Owning School: School X
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Code Title
PHI1010Rationalism and Empiricism
Pre Requisite Comment

Useful for Students to have some foundation in epistemological philosophies - theories of knowledge and truth.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



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)

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Knowledge of key themes in epistemology and value underpinning seminal debates in philosophy of science and social science.
Knowledge of substantive counter-cultural critiques of the primacy of scientific-rationalistic knowledge and methods.
Knowledge of synergies between epistemic and methodological frameworks.
Knowledge of axiology informing Romantic counter currents.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The ability to critically interpret, assess and use information. The ability to critically interrogate systems of knowledge. Ability to evaluate and situate thinkers in wider intellectual currents, as a basis for rational action. The ability to work individually and as part of a team to address live issues. Ability to apply theories to current intellectual debates.

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
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Specific research or reading activities developed and directed a academic staff
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Tutorials
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.

Reading Lists

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.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.