Philosophy of Science course

In order to do good science, acquaintance is needed not only with the data and specific methods of a certain scientific discipline. Equally essential is familiarity with the general rules of scientific reasoning. Which are the criteria by which one theory is preferred over another? How does one formulate and test a hypothesis? Can lessons be derived from earlier successes and failures in the history of science? These questions will be discussed and illustrated with current controversies and open issues from a variety of natural, life and behavioral sciences: the paradoxes of quantum mechanics; implications of evolutionary theory; scientific and ethical aspects of the study of human behavior; etc. The course will conclude with the study of scientific creativity and the question whether it can be enhanced by following some pre-set rules.

The grade (2 credit points) will be to a home examination based on extensive reading.