Philosophy of Science (PHIL*2180) | College of Arts

Philosophy of Science (PHIL*2180)

Code and section: PHIL*2180*01

Term: Fall 2018

Instructor: Maya Goldenberg


This introduction to the philosophy of science examines competing philosophical perspectives on the nature of science. What is science? What does/can it tell us about the universe? How is it different from other knowledge-seeking activities? Beginning with the classic rationalism versus empiricism debate over the nature of knowledge in the wake of the Scientific Revolution, we then move into more contemporary thought: logical empiricism, Popper, Kuhn, sociology of science, feminist science studies, naturalism, and others.

These perspectives on science address questions regarding evidence, testing, theory choice, scientific change, and the social organization of science.


1. Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2003. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2. Reading selections available through Courselink.

Course Outline

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.