HPS 2501/Phil 2600      Philosophy of Science      Fall 2017

Schedule of Readings

Back to course documents.

Week Date Topic/Reading Event Presented by
1 Aug. 29 Introduction to the seminar Norton
    Prediction in Science  
1 Aug. 29    Video: Richard Feynman on the Scientific Method
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KmimDq4cSU (see first 1 min 5 sec)

    Prediction in inflationary cosmology
Anna Ijjas et al, “Pop Goes the Universe,” Scientific American, February 2017, pp. 32-39;
especially concluding section p. 39 “Nonempirical Science?”.
Alan Guth et al, et al, et al, ….. “A Cosmic Controversy,” Letters to the Editor. Scientific American July 2017, pp. 5-7.

    Prediction in evolutionary biology
Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, Ch. 12. http://talebooks.com/ebooks/291.pdf
S. J. Gould “Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge,” Scientific American, 267, July 1992, pp. 118-121.
2 Sep. 5 Warm up exercise due before class.  
2 Sep. 5 Optional reading:

Eric C. Barnes, "The Paradox of Predictivism," Ch. 1
in The Paradox of Predictivism, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

John Worrall, "Prediction and Accommodation Revisited,"
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 45 (2014), pp. 54-61.
2 Sep. 5 Discussion: What is the role of prediction in science? All
Guest professor this week: Nora Boyd
3 Sep. 12 Carl G. Hempel, "Empirical Criteria of Cognitive Significance: Problems and Changes,"
Ch. 4 in Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. New York: Macmillan, 1965
J P Gamboa
3 Sep. 12 Bas C. Van Fraassen, "To Save the Phenomena,"
Ch. 3 in The Scientific Image. Oxford: Clarendon, 1980.
Yao Fan
    Models and Idealizations  
4 Sep. 19 Mary Hesse, "The Function of Models: A Dialogue"
Ch. 1 in Models and Analogies in Science. University of Notre Dame Press, 1970.
Aaron Abma
4 Sep. 19 Ernan McMullin, "Galilean Idealization,"
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science,16 (1985),pp. 247-273.
Gal Ben Porath
4 Sep. 19 Michael Weisberg, “Three Kinds of Idealization,”
The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 104, No. 12 (Dec.), 639-659.
Aaron Segal
5 Sep. 26    Partial isomorphism.
Steven French (2003), "A Model-Theoretic Account of Representation (Or, I Don't Know Much About Art ... But I Know It Involves Isomorphism)," Philosophy of Science, 70 (5), pp. 1472 - 1483.
Sabrina Hao
5 Sep. 26    Inferential account.
Suárez, Mauricio (2004). "An Inferential Conception of Scientific Representation,"
Philosophy of Science, 71, pp. 767–779.
Alnica Visser
    Inductive Inference  
5 Sep. 26 John D. Norton, "A Little Survey of Induction,"
in P. Achinstein, ed., Scientific Evidence: Philosophical Theories and Applications. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. pp. 9-34.
6 Oct. 3 John D. Norton, "Hempel's Satisfaction Criterion of Confirmation"
pp.66-82 in A Survey of Inductive Generalization Manuscript.
6 Oct. 3 Paul Thagard, "The Best Explanation: Criteria for Theory Choice,"
Journal of Philosophy, 75 (1978): 76-92.
Aaron Salomon
Bayesian Confirmation Theory  
6 Oct. 3 Joyce, James, "Bayes' Theorem", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Josh Wells

Oct. 10 No class. The university is on a Monday schedule.
7 Oct. 17 Colin Howson and Peter Urbach, "Bayesian vs Non-Bayesian Approaches to Confirmation,"
Reprinted from Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach.
Josh Wells

7 Oct. 17 Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin, "Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination,"
Journal of Philosophy, 87 (1991), pp. 449-472.
Alnica Visser
7 Oct. 17 Kyle Stanford, "The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives,"
Ch.2 in Exceeding Our Grasp Science, History and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Oxford University Press. 2006.
Dan Webber

Falsificationism and the Demarcation of Science.
8 Oct. 24 Karl Popper, "Science: Conjectures and Refutations"
Sections I-III only, pp. 33-41 in Conjectures and Refutations. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963.

For interesting background see:
"Einstein-Besso Manuscript on the Motion of the Perihelion of Mercury," Headnote in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Vol. 4. pp. 345+. Or here.
Albert Einstein, "Induction and Deduction in Physics," Berliner Tageblatt, 25 December, 1919. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Vol. 7. Doc. 28.  German. English. Or here:  German English.

Sabrina Hao
8  Oct. 24 Wesley Salmon, "Rational Prediction,"
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 32 (1981), pp. 115-25.
Seth Goldwasser
8 Oct. 24 Larry Laudan, "The Demise of the Demarcation Problem,"
in Physics, philosophy, and psychoanalysis: essays in honor of Adolf Grünbaum. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 76, Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1983, pp. 111–127.
Vivian Feldblyum
9 Oct. 31     DN, DS, IS and SR models of explanation.
Wesley C. Salmon,"Scientific Explanation,"
pp. 7-41 of Ch. 1 in in Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. M. Salmon (Ed.), Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ashley Purdy
9 Oct. 31 Paul W. Humphreys, "Scientific Explanation: The Causes, Some of the Causes, and Nothing But the Causes" in P. Kitcher and W. C. Salmlon, eds., Scientific Explanation: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. XIII. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989., Anwar Ul Haq
9 Oct. 31 Philip Kitcher, "Explanation as Unificiation," Section 4 (pp. 430-48) of "Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World," in P. Kitcher and W. C. Salmlon, eds., Scientific Explanation: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. XIII. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989. Marina Dimarco
    Realism and Antirealism  
10 Nov. 7 Bas C. Van Frassen, "Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism,"
Ch. 2, pp. 7-40 in The Scientific Image. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.
Seth Goldwasser
10 Nov. 7 Larry Laudan, "A Confutation of Convergent Realism,"
Philosophy of Science, 48, (1981), pp. 19-49.
Yao Fan
10 Nov. 7 Steven French, “Structure as a Weapon of the Realist.”
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 106 (2006), pp.1–19.
Aaron Abma

11 Nov. 14 Richard Scheines, "An Introduction to Causal Inference,"
pp. 185-199 in V. R. Kim and S. P. Turner, eds., Causality in Crisis? University of Notre Dame Press, 1997.
Dan Webber
11 Nov. 14 James Woodward, “Causation with a Human Face”
in Price, H. and Corry, R. (eds.) Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford: Oxford University Press,2007, pp. 66–105.
Nedah Nemati
    Reduction and Emergence  
11 Nov. 14 Ernest Nagel, "Reduction of Theories," (Reduction: pp.336-366 only)
Ch. 11 in The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. New York: Harcour, Brace and World, 1962.
Marina Dimarco
12 Nov. 21 J. A. Fodor, "Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis),"
Synthese, 28 (1974), pp. 97-115.
Ashley Purdy
12 Nov. 21 Robert Batterman, 2000, "Multiple Realization and Universality"
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 51, pp. 115-145.
J P Gamboa
    Experiment and Simulation  
12 Nov. 21 Allan Franklin, "Experiment in Physics",
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This is a long article. Concentrate on Section 1. Experimental Results, which includes a positive epistemology of experiment.
Gal Ben Porath

Thanksgiving Recess
13 Nov. 28 Wendy Parker, "Does Matter Really Matter? Computer Simulations, Experiments, and Materiality"
Synthese, 169 (2009) pp. 483-496.
Dasha Pruss
13 Nov. 28 Margaret Morrison, “Models, measurement and computer simulation: The changing face of experimentation,”
Philosophical Studies, 143(2012), pp. 33–57.
Dasha Pruss

Revolutions and Meaning Change
13 Nov. 28 Paul K. Feyerabend, "Problems of Empiricism,"
pp. 145-261 in R. G. Colodny, ed., Beyond the Edge of Certainty: Essays in Contemporary Science and Philosophy. Lanham, NY: University Press of American, 1965, 1983.
This is a long article. Focus on how Feyerabend arrives at the failure of "meaning invariance."
Nedah Nemati
14 Dec. 5 Imre Lakatos, “History of Science and Its Rational Reconstructions,”
in PSA 1970. Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 1970 (1970), pp. 91-136. (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science VIII.)
Josh Wells
14 Dec. 5 Thomas S. Kuhn "Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice,"
Ch. 13, pp. 320-339 in The Essential Tension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
Aaron Salomon
14 Dec. 5 Closing Discussion

Dec. 12 Comprehensive Exam (HPS PhD Program only)