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Philosophy of Science II

The course builds on the introductory course Philosophy of Science I. It offers a closer look at some selected topics that play an important role in contemporary philosophy of science.

One focus of the course is Bayesian confirmation theory. The probabilistic framework is introduced, some problems and limitations of the approach are addressed and a number of applications of Bayesian confirmation are presented. A second topic is abductive reasoning. Various perspectives on abductive inference are discussed and the relation between abductive reasoning and Bayesian confirmion is analyzed.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Lectures and group discussion. Mandatory attendance of 50% of all teaching session.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    The course provided Spring Term only.

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    C. Howson and P. Urbach: Scientific Reasoning – the Bayesian Approach, selected chapters, Open Court 2011.
    Michael Strevens: Notes on Bayesian Confirmation Theory (online resource 2012)
    Peter Lipton: Inference to the Best Explanation (Routledge 2004)
    John Worrall: “Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?”, Dialectica 43:99, 1989.
    James Ladyman: “What is Structural Realism?”, SHPSP A29(3):409-424, 1998
    Kyle Stanford: “Refusing the Devil’s Bargain”, Phil.Sci. 68P: 1-12, 2001
    Stathis Psillos: “Scientific Realism and the ’Pessimistic Induction'”, Phil.Sci. 63P:306-14, 1996.
    Nancy Cartwright: How the Laws of Physics Lie, Essay 3 (Oxford 1983)
    Larry Laudan: Progress and its Problems, Chapter 2, (California 1977)
    Philip Kitcher: The Advancement of Science, Chapter 6, (1992)
    Richard Dawid: String Theory and the Scientific Method, Chapters 1.3-3-2 (Cambridge 2013)

  • Contact

    Student counselor Sama Agahi