2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PHIL1109 How Science Works
10 creditsClass Size: 78
Module manager: Ellen Clarke
Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable
Year running 2020/21
This module is approved as a discovery module
Module summary- How does science work?We shall try to answer this question by looking at the following four stages of scientific enquiry:- Discovery. Are scientific theories discovered through a 'flash of genius' or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation?- Justification. Are observations in science always secure? What is the relationship between theories and data? What roles do models play in science?- Realism. Do theories tell us how the world really is? What lessons should be drawn from the history of science? Are there alternative ways of understanding scientific theories?- Independence. Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is it biased by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era?Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of different scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to come up with a clear picture of how science works.
ObjectivesOn completion of this module students should be able to describe and critically assess a range of central issues in philosophy of science.
The module covers a selection of central issues in philosophy of science. The issues covered are typically drawn from topics such as: the nature of scientific discovery; the nature of scientific evidence and justification; the nature of observation and experiments; scientific realism vs. anti-realism; the objectivity of science.
On completion of this module, students should be able to understand some of the main concepts, arguments and positions in philosophy of science; understand introductory writings in philosophy of science; express this understanding in an essay.
Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||84.00|
|Total Contact hours||16.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||100.00|
Opportunities for Formative Feedback1 x 1,500 word (assessed) essay with feedback mid-semester
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1500 words mid-module||50.00|
|Essay||1500 words end of module||50.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated.
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:44:10
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