NOTE: Moodle will not be regularly updated for this class. The main course website is Prof. Pence's website for the class.

Main Themes^

Philosophical analysis of contemporary scientific practices in accordance with a two-fold approach. Methodologically, to ask questions about the applicability and the limits of validity of scientific explanations, relative to other approaches to reality. In terms of content, to learn to see the contributions of natural science as a more general means of comprehending particular phenomena.



This course will take the form of an advanced survey of philosophy of science, designed to allow the student to pursue further high-level study on specific topics. We will start with a brief historical overview of the philosophy of science, then consider a number of classic problems in philosophy of science, such as the debate over scientific explanation, the dispute between scientific realists and anti-realists, and questions about the relationship between philosophy and scientific practice.

Required Readings^

All of the readings will be posted electronically on the course readings website. The password for this website will be distributed via e-mail before the start of the course and in the first class session.

We will read the entirety of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. I will post a digital copy for you to use if you want, but I do think it’s worth owning your own. It is, of course, available in French translation as well, and you are welcome to read it in French.