Philosophy of Science

5 ECTS / Semestral / Português

Objectives and method

This curricular unit aims to provide an overall understanding of the nature and purpose of science. It also seeks to highlight the role and importance of the philosophy of science. Finally, it seeks to develop students’ intellectual virtues (e.g. inquisitiveness, intellectual courage and tenacity, attentiveness, rigor and open-mindedness). At the end of this curricular unit, students should be able to

(a) Understand the main problems in the philosophy of science.
(b) Analyze and evaluate the different images of science
(c) Analyze and evaluate the controversies about the scientific method and the context of discovery and the context of justification
(d) Analyze the concepts of progress, rationality, and scientific truth
(e) Know other paths in the philosophy of science: cognitive approach, sociological challenge, feminist critique and data science

Philosophy of Science is a theoretical-practical subject which fosters active learning. Various methodologies are adopted in class: dialogue-oriented (vertical and horizontal), analysis and discussion of texts, group work, debates and conferences (with the presence of guest speakers).



1. Science and Philosophy
1.1 Cautionary Tale
1.2 Philosophy of Science, Epistemology and Metaphysics
1.3 Scientific Theory and Explanation
1.4 Images of Science

2. Science and Demarcation
2.1 Science and Common Sense
2.2 Verifiability and Metaphysics
2.3 The Ethos of Science
2.4. Falsifiability
2.5. Paradigms and Puzzles
2.6 Research Programmes
2.7 The Death of Demarcation
2.8. Demarcation Reconsidered

3. Science, Discovery and Justification
3.1. Context of Discovery and Context of Justification
3.2. The Scientific Method and Empirical Basis
3.3. Induction and Deduction
3.4. Explanatory Coherence
3.5. Against Method and Methods of Science

4. Science, Progress and Truth
4.1. Progress and Rationality
4.2. Darwinian Changes
4.3 Realism and Antirealism

5. Other Paths
5.1. Cognitive Approach
5.2 Sociological Challenge
5.3. Feminist Critique
5.4 Data science


Brevemente disponível