Theories of Scientific Method
The scientific method is one of humankind's best attempts at rationally uncovering the objective structure of the world. But what exactly is this method and in what sense is it rational? Studying both contemporary science and prominent episodes from the history of science, we will explore questions about (a) the defining characteristics of the scientific method; (b) the soundness of various forms of scientific reasoning (Mill's Methods, Bayesianism, hypothetico-deductive reasoning, and inference to the best explanation); and (c) the objectivity of science. We will also formulate, test, and revise hypotheses in light of the methods that we study. (Students who took PHIL 0212 may not take this course.) 4 hrs. lect.