Thanks for adding:

Proceed to Checkout

Continue browsing

X

Philosophy for Science 3: Making Sense of the World

$228 Limited inc GST / $205
Philosophy for Science 3: Making Sense of the World

<p>Science is a ‘methodology’ - a particular way of observing, describing and explaining – a way of addressing the one BIG question: “What must the world be like, that it produce the phenomena we

...

Science is a ‘methodology’ - a particular way of observing, describing and explaining – a way of addressing the one BIG question: “What must the world be like, that it produce the phenomena we observe?” At first blush, this question seems simple enough; but it turns out to be fiendishly difficult to answer. This 3 part course is an attempt to construct a clearer, more coherent conceptual framework for making sense of the physical world.

  • Part 1 - What the World Must Be Like: We identify/specify what the world must be ‘like’ to be at all describable.
  • Part 2 – The Language and Logic of Science: We specify the ‘structure’ of the physical world, investigate the business of observation; identify its scope and limitations; and develop a vocabulary in terms of which to describe what we might find.
  • Part 3 – Making Sense of it All: We distil from our observations of worldly affairs the fundamental elements of ‘reality’; develop a theory of ‘ways of knowing’; and construct a ‘reasonable’ model for making sense of the physical world.


COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Though rigorous and intellectually demanding, this series is designed for a lay audience and no prior knowledge of philosophy, mathematics or physics is assumed. However, it is a series, and later meetings draw extensively on concepts and terminology presented in earlier ones. Students are strongly encouraged to start at the beginning, rather than joining the series part-way through. This course is the final part of a 3-part series, and much of its content relies on material covered in earlier parts. Students are encouraged to enrol in Part 1.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Boghossian, P.: Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Broad, C. D.: Scientific Thought (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1923)
  • Briggs, J. P. and Peat, F. D.: Looking Glass Universe – The Emerging Science of Wholeness (London: Fontana, 1985)
  • Calder, Nigel: Einstein’s Universe – The Layperson’s Guide (London: Penguin, 1990)
  • Einstein, Albert: Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1961)
  • Maddox, John: What Remains to be Discovered (London: Macmillan, 1998)
  • Moser, P. K.: Philosophy after Objectivity: Making Sense in Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)
  • Nunez, Paul L.: Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Prigogine, Ilya; and Stengers, Isabelle: Order out of Chaos (London: Flamingo, 1988)
  • Quinton, Anthony: The Nature of Things (Routledge, 1980)
  • Rovelli, Carlo: Reality Is Not What It Seems (Allen Lane, 2016)


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The Universe (and what’s ‘in’ it)
  • The processes of ‘description’ and 'explanation'
  • Epistemology – the theory of knowledge
  • Validity and Truth; belief, expectation, and knowledge
  • The Enterprise of Scientific Enquiry


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, participants will be conversant with:

  1. the structure and role of Formal Logic – and the difference between validity and truth
  2. predicate logic – the language of description
  3. propositional logic – the language of explanation
  4. epistemology – the theory of knowledge
  5. the power and limitations of the Scientific Method
  6. the descriptive, explanatory and predictive power of Science
  7. the theoretical and practical limits of scientific understanding