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Course Detail

Course Name Philosophy of Science
Course Code 21PHL537
Program M.A. in Philosophy
Credits 3


Unit I

Introduction: The Nature and Scope of Philosophy of Science
What is Science? Science and Pseudo-Science.
Induction and Its Problems: Inductive Probability, Popper’s Alternative to Induction, Goodman’s New Paradox to Induction.

Unit II

Theories: Realism, Anti-realism, Instrumentalism, Unification, Explanation and Prediction.

Unit III

A J Ayer, Karl Popper: Falsificationism, Problems with Falsificationism.

Unit IV

Thomas Kuhn and Normal science, Scientific Revolution and Incommensurability, Science and the Question of Method, Against Method- Feyraband, The Authority of Science, How to Defend Society against Science.

Unit V

Science and Society, Science and Values.


Philosophy of Science is a course offered in the fourth semester of the M. A. Philosophy Programme. The core concern of the course is to enable the learners to study the debate over the methods and goals of science as elaborated through the works of great philosophers of science. The course highlights the difference between philosophy and science together with the hot debates over scientific truth and progress. In addition to these methodological and epistemological issues, the analysis of the ethics of science forms a core theme of this course. This course is designed so as to let the students analyze and understand what is science and what are the implications of the term ‘scientific’.

Course Objectives

1. To analyze the differences between science, non-science and pseudoscience.
2. To familiarize with the basic concerns of a philosophy of science.
3. To study the radical views about scientific method and explanation.
4. To analyze the role of science in society and the ethical dimensions of scientific enterprises.

Course Outcomes

CO 1: Understanding the precise meaning and magnitudes of science.
CO 2: Descriptive study of the characteristic concerns and themes of philosophy of science.
CO 3: Acquaintance with the different viewpoints about scientific method and explanation.
CO 4: The capacity to make a critical evaluation of the role of science in social life.
CO 5: Analysis of the role and significance of value concern in science.




1, Karl Popper. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Routledge, 1959. English.
2, Anthony O’ Hear. An Introduction to Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. English.
3, David Armstrong. What is a Law of Nature? UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983. English.
4, Bas Van Fraassen. The Scientific Image. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. English.
5, Jakko Hintikka & Patrick Suppes (Eds). Aspects of Inductive Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company Limited, 1966. English.
6, Paul Churchland & C. Hooker (Eds). Images of Science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985. English.
7, Horwich. Probability and Evidence. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1982. English.
8, P. Frank. Philosophy of Science. London: Prentice-Hall, 1957. English.
9, P. Kitcher. The Advancement of Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. English.
10, John Earman. Bays or Bust? A Critical Examination of Bayesian Confirmation Theory. US: MIT Press, 1992. English.

CO – PO Affinity Map

PO PO 1 PO 2 PO 3 PO 4 PO 5
CO 1 3 2 3 1 1
CO 2 3 3 2 2 2
CO 3 3 3 3 2 2
CO 4 3 2 1 3 3
CO 5 3 2 2 3 3

3 – strong, 2 – moderate, 1 – weak

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