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CODE 65120
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-FIL/02
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course is an introduction to the major problems of contemporary philosophy of science. The course will address topics and concepts such as: deduction vs. induction, the problem of confirmation, theory and observation, scientific progress, realism vs. anti-realism, scientific explanation, values and science.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Offering an exhaustive picture of the relationship between philosophy and science in modern and contemporary times, with particular focus on classical themes such as "scientific theory", "science and metaphysics", and "scientific progress". Discussing the most significant epistemological currents, through the reading of texts.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aims of this course are: 
- introducing the conceptual and terminological apparatus needed to analyze philosophical issues about science;
- setting the metaphysical and epistemological basis to reflect on relevant issues about science;
- critically analyzing the central issues and problems of the philosophy of science;
- discussing the main philosophical positions about the nature of science, its structure, and its role within conteporary society.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- know the basic vocabulary and the main concepts of the discipline;
- understand, explain, and resume classical and contemporary texts in the philosophy of science;
- apply the analytical and conceptual tools of the discipline to the discussion of relevant problems regarding the various sciences.​
- Acquire a greater ability to manage one's social interactions with a collaborative attitude, constructive communication and dialogical skills.
- [For those who choose to do the paper in class, individually or in groups] Demonstrate working autonomy, ability to handle primary literature, argumentative skills and collaborative attitude, coordination and negotiation.

PREREQUISITES

None

TEACHING METHODS

Lectures and students' presentations. External scholars could be invited to discuss specific issues.

Students must register to Aulaweb to obtain relevant teaching material.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Program for 6 CFU

The course is an introduction to some general topics of the philosophy of science.

The first part of the course discusses some classical topics, such as: the distinctive character of scientific activity, the demarcation problem, scientific reasoning, the problem of confirmation, the relationship between theory and observation, alternative conceptions of scientific progress, the debate between reductionism and anti-reductionism, the dispute between realism and anti-realism, the problem of scientific explanation. 

Program for 9 CFU

The course is an introduction to some general topics of the philosophy of science.

The first part of the course discusses some classical topics, such as: the distinctive character of scientific activity, the demarcation problem, scientific reasoning, the problem of confirmation, the relationship between theory and observation, alternative conceptions of scientific progress, the debate between reductionism and anti-reductionism, the dispute between realism and anti-realism, the problem of scientific explanation. 

The second part of the course examines some contemporary topics, such as: the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive values, the value-ladeness of the scientific enterprise, feminist and naturalist epistemologies, the relationship between science and democracy. 

 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

6 cfu

1) The following volume:
- P. Godfrey-Smith, Teoria e realtà. Introduzione alla filosofia della scienza, Milano, Cortina, 2022. (or. ed. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Un. of Chicago Press, 2003)

2) One volume among the following:
- P.K. Feyerabend, Contro il metodo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1995 (or. ed. Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge, New Left Books, London, 1975).
- T.S. Kuhn, La struttura delle rivoluzioni scientifiche, Torino, Einaudi, 2009 (or. ed. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1962).
- I. Lakatos, La metodologia dei programmi di ricerca scientifici, Milano, Saggiatore, 2001 (or. ed. The methodology of scientific research programmes, Cambridge, University Press, Cambridge 1978).
- K.R. Popper, Logica della scoperta scientifica, Torino, Einaudi, 1998 (or. ed. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Routledge, London 1959).
- W.V.O. Quine, Da un punto di vista logico, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 2004 (or. ed. From a logical point of view, Harward University Press, Cambridge 1980).
- B.C. van Fraassen, L’immagine scientifica, Bologna, CLUEB, 1985 (or. ed. The Scientific Image, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1980).
- H. E. Douglas, Science, policy, and the value-free ideal, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.
- P. Kitcher, La scienza in una società democratica, Milano, Ariele, 2014 (or. ed. Science in a democratic society, Prometheus Books, New York 2011).
- H. Longino, Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1990.

9 cfu

1) The following volume:
- P. Godfrey-Smith, Teoria e realtà. Introduzione alla filosofia della scienza, Milano, Cortina, 2022. (or. ed. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Un. of Chicago Press, 2003)

2) One volume among the following:
- P.K. Feyerabend, Contro il metodo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1995 (or. ed. Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge, New Left Books, London, 1975).
- T.S. Kuhn, La struttura delle rivoluzioni scientifiche, Torino, Einaudi, 2009 (or. ed. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1962).
- I. Lakatos, La metodologia dei programmi di ricerca scientifici, Milano, Saggiatore, 2001 (or. ed. The methodology of scientific research programmes, Cambridge, University Press, Cambridge 1978).
- K.R. Popper, Logica della scoperta scientifica, Torino, Einaudi, 1998 (or. ed. The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Routledge, London 1959).
- W.V.O. Quine, Da un punto di vista logico, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 2004 (or. ed. From a logical point of view, Harward University Press, Cambridge 1980).
- B.C. van Fraassen, L’immagine scientifica, Bologna, CLUEB, 1985 (or. ed. The Scientific Image, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1980).
- H. E. Douglas, Science, policy, and the value-free ideal, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.
- P. Kitcher, La scienza in una società democratica, Milano, Ariele, 2014 (or. ed. Science in a democratic society, Prometheus Books, New York 2011).
- H. Longino, Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1990.

3) The following volume:
- S. Psillos, Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth, London, Routledge, 1999.

Other relevant readings in English will be proposed to incoming students.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

February 2024

 

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Oral exam (in English upon request)

 

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The oral exam evaluates students' ability to
- know the basic vocabulary and the main concepts of the discipline;
- understand, explain, and resume classical and contemporary texts in the philosophy of science;
- apply the analytical and conceptual tools of the discipline to the discussion of relevant problems regarding sciences.

The oral exam evaluates students' ability to
- know the basic vocabulary and the main concepts of the discipline;
- understand, explain, and resume classical and contemporary texts in the philosophy of science;
- apply the analytical and conceptual tools of the discipline to the discussion of relevant problems regarding sciences.​

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Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
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