Philosophy of science

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/02
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the basics of epistemology and general philosophy of science as well as with the essential traits of the most significant debates that have shaped it. An interdisciplinary approach will be applied and examples from various scientific disciplines and their history will be examined during classes.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student
1. masters the basic concepts and fundamental themes characterising philosophy of science
2. knows the fundamental elements of science methodology.
3. can discern the various kinds of scientific reasoning and understand the validity of arguments brought by her/his own and others.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student
1. can critically analyze a text in epistemology and philosophy of science
2. can analyze debates within the philosophy of science
3. can outline the state of the art in relation to a problem in this discipline
4. can apply the methodological tools acquired to solve theoretical and practical problems.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course provides students with the basics of epistemology and the general philosophy of science as well as with the essential traits of their most significant debates. These issues are explored with reference to a handbook plus complementary materials and discussed in light of a classic in the philosophy of science: Thomas S. Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (6 CFU Syllabus, corresponding to the first 40 hours). The last part of the course (for the 9 CFU Syllabus, corresponding to the remaining 20 hours) deals with the notions of "representation" and "reality" in the light of the recent debates on scientific realism and offers the discussion of the articles collected in "Meccanica Quantistica. Rappresentazione Realtà. Un dialogo tra fisica e filosofia" (Bibliopolis, 2012).
Prerequisites for admission
Preliminary notions are not required.
Teaching methods
Oral lectures, in-presence and on-line group activities, discussions. When appropriate, a multimedia, approach is employed (e.g. PowerPoint). If possible, compulsory as well as optional didactic materials (e.g. slides discussed during classes) are uploaded on the Ariel page of the course.
Teaching Resources
Students who are taking both written and oral exams in English must consider the following texts:
1) Godfrey-Smith, P. (2009). Theory and reality: An introduction to the philosophy of science.
University of Chicago Press.
2) Additional material to be selected with the teaching Staff (depending on whether students are interested in 6 CFU or 9 CFU).
3) Thomas Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions (any edition)
4) Richard Healey, The Quantum Revolution in Philosophy, OUP 2017
3) .
Assessment methods and Criteria
ESSAY + ORAL EXAM
The exam consists of an essay and an oral examination. The latter can be only taken by students who have submitted the essay beforehand. No distinction is made between attending and non-attending students. Programs expire after 13 months since the end of classes.
The essay consists in a text (ca. 5000 words) deepening issues addressed during the course or that emerge from the reference texts included in the program. Students have the possibility to choose the topic they prefer, but they must communicate it to the teaching staff in advance to eventually agree on the bibliography. The essay aims to ascertain the level of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and conceptual bases of the philosophy of science and to test the ability to apply, understand, formulate, and know how to communicate autonomous judgments in written form on the acquired knowledge. The written essay is mandatory for all students. The oral exam intends to ascertain understanding and reflection abilities as well as communication skills and appropriateness of language. The oral exam is compulsory for all students. For those with the 9 CFU Syllabus it concerns Points 1, 4 and 5 of the Bibliography.
The written and the oral test are taken into account in grading as follows: 50 % for the essay; 50 % for the oral exam.

The exam procedure is explained during the first lecture and published on the Staff Website: https://www.unimi.it/it/ugov/person/silvia-debianchi
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/02 - LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/02 - LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/02 - LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)