Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 273: Philosophy of Science

PHIL 273: Philosophy of Science

The Generic Catalog Description

This course examines the nature of scientific knowledge and the principles used to acquire it. Episodes in the history of the natural and social sciences will illustrate scientific principles and practices. As part of this analysis, we will examine the philosophical foundations of inductive reasoning, explanation, observation, causation, and evidence. We will give special attention to scientific issues that have distinctive social and ethical impact, and will discuss general metaphilosophical issues, such as the role of philosophy in clarifying and commenting on science.

PHIL 273: Philosophy of Science

James Murphy

The course will address standard topics in philosophy of science through the prism of how biology functions as a science. They include: experience, questioning, observation, experiment; hypothesis, theory construction, laws of nature and models, paradigms and research programs, explanation; argument via induction, testing, justification; and epistemic (theoretical) value. Central themes in biology that will be considered relative to those topics include: evolution, natural selection, levels of selection, adaptation, function, genes, species, and classification.

This course has a Mind and Science (M&S) designation for the purposes of major specialization.