The course of Philosophy of Science is part of the program in Philosophy and it is included among the characterizing training activities. The course is an introduction to the key problems of the philosophy of science. Among these, students will have to familiarize with issues concerning the nature of scientific explanation, of laws of nature, of the relationship between hypothesis and evidence, and of the cognitive content of scientific theories in light of radical scientific changes. These general topics will be introduced by a direct reading of some classics of 20th century philosophy of science, with the aim to develop the competences that are necessary to formulate and evaluate philosophical arguments.
Students will be able to apply the knowledge acquired in the discussion and argument both from a theoretical and a historical-philosophical perspective. At the end of the course the student will acquire:
-) Ability to analyze and interpret philosophical texts;
-) Properties of language and argumentation;
-) Ability to contextualize the acquired knowledge in the Philosophical debate.
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The course aims at introducing the key questions of the philosophy and methodology of science, among these the competing theories of scientific explanation, the nature of scientific method, the relation between hypotheses and evidence and the cognitive content of scientific theories in light of their historical change. While the first part of the course will consist in an introduction to these general topics (by using Godfrey-Smith's text), in the second, longer part we will read excerpts of three classics authors of 20th-century philosophy of science, namely Karl Popper, Rudolf Carnap and Carl Hempel. The main problem of the course is the objectivity of scientific knowledge.

Core Documentation

Godfrey-Smith P., Theory and Reality Chicago University Press 2021, second Edition
Popper K. Conjectures and Refutations.
Hempel C Philosophy of the Natural Sciences, Prentice Hall, 1966
Carnap R. Philosophical Foundations of Physics 1966

Type of delivery of the course

Frontal lectures

Type of evaluation

Short answers to four question in 90 minutes