Category Archives: Courses and Curriculum

New B.S. Major program in Philosophy

We’re excited to announce that brand new this Fall, a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy has launched and is available for students. This degree is designed to make it much easier (1) for science and professional majors to complete a second major in Philosophy (because they don’t have to complete the BA distribution requirements), and (2) for students to switch from a different BS major to a Philosophy major. Please email Prof. Eliot to discuss the new Major, or ask your favorite Philosophy professor.

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Courses to be offered Fall 2012

Several courses for the minor will be offered during Fall 2012 including the core course “Philosophy of Science.” It and several other courses earn HP distribution credit in HCLAS.

The central question of PHI 161 “Philosophy of Science” is What is science? What distinguishes good science from bad science? What distinguishes scientific theories from unscientific ideas? For example, what makes Astronomy and Astrology so different, since they draw on the same data? Then, is what makes them different the same as what makes Evolutionary Biology and Intelligent-Design theory different? Is Sociology scientific for the same reasons Physics is? Is there a single scientific method? Does culture influence science? Is good science value-free, and if so, are Medicine and Conservation Biology not scientific? Does science progress, and if so, how do we know it does? How can we be confident that science sometimes reveals the world? Working with philosophical arguments and case studies from the history of science, this course will examine some very different answers to these questions advanced by philosophers like Rudolf Carnap, Karl Popper, W.V.O. Quine, Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn, Ernan McMullin, Helen Longino, and Deborah Mayo. We will examine how thought about what it means to be scientific has itself developed, especially from 1920 to the present. The course is taught by Christopher Eliot (Philosophy), and the CRN is 94153.

Electives offered for the minor during Fall 12 include ENGG 19 “Technology and Society” (Richard Jensen), PHI 10 “Introduction to Philosophy” (various instructors including Amy Karofsky and Mark McEvoy), PHI 91 “Technology and Human Values” (Ralph Acampora), and PHI 154 “Introduction to Symbolic Logic” (Christopher Eliot).

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