20th Century Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of science is a philosophical discipline that began developing during the 20th century, mostly as a result of questions raised during the second half of the 19th century. To some, philosophy of science constitutes the replacement of traditional epistemology, whereas to others it is a new discipline in its own right. The development of philosophy of science has been marked by radically different views on the possibility of gaining knowledge about the world. Reality, knowledge and perception are certainly keywords that permeate discussions throughout different branches of philosophy of science. Philosophy of science and ontology are closely related fields of philosophical research today. This has become quite clear in the philosophy of biology for example; as a relatively new field of research within philosophy of science, the challenges it poses to ontology are no less than stunning.
The course will survey the development of the philosophy of science during 20th century, focusing on empiricism and the challenges thereto. One of the main issues discussed will be the development of philosophy of science as reflected by ongoing debates regarding realism. We will also analyze the ontological role of observation and the importance of prediction to scientific enterprise.
Various aspects of the relation between philosophy of science and biology will also be debated. The course will end with a workshop on the philosophy of biology.
The list of authors examined includes Carnap, Quine, Laudan, Musgrave, Fine, van Fraassen, Sterelny, Griffiths and Godfrey-Smith.
P. Godfrey-Smith (2003) Theory and Reality. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Chicago University Press.
August 27 2007
A one-day informal workshop on the philosophy of biology will be organized on September 29.
The material (except the textbook) can be found either on the internet or will be provided as a master copy after the August 27. The course will focus on three aspects of the Philosophy of Science:
1) Growing a new branch – the legacy of the Vienna Circle in Philosophy of Science
2) Empiricism and Realism
3) From Philosophy of Science to Philosophy of Biology
Introduction; T&R Chapter 1 & 2; The Vienna Circle Manifesto 
The Vienna Circle Manifesto; Quine WV: Two dogmas of empiricism 
T&R Chapter 10; Quine WV: On empirically equivalent systems of the world; Laudan L: Demystifying underdetermination
Laudan L: Demystifying underdetermination, Van Fraassen: Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism
Van Fraassen B.: Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism; Musgrave A.: Realism versus Constructive Empiricism, T&R Chapter 12
T&R Chapter 12, Fine A.: The Natural Ontological Attitude; Musgrave A.: NOA’s Ark – Fine for Realism
T&R Chapter 15, Sterelny K., Griffiths P.E.: Sex and Death Part I Introduction
Sterelny K., Griffiths P.E.: Sex and Death Part III Organisms, Groups, and Species
Sterelny K., Griffiths P.E.: Sex and Death Part IV Evolutionary Explanations
"Analyticity Reconsidered" by Paul A. Boghossian
2 papers (one long, one short) and a class presentation.
Course description on the pages of the Department of Philosophy, University at Buffalo 
mathias.brochhausen at ifomis.uni-saarland.de
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