Philosophy of Science (PHIL 300)

2021 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Gürol Irzık,
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SPS102 SPS101
Interactive lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Discussion based learning
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This course is an introduction to the main issues and approaches in the philosophy of science. Topics to be covered are the origins, the nature and the aims of science; the problem of demarcation; the problem of induction; the nature of scientific explanation; the rationality of science and scientific objectivity; scientific method, theories and their testing; scientific revolutions; realism/anti-realism debate; and science and values.


Introduce the students to the main issues in the philosophy of science. Topics to be covered are scientific theories and their testing; aims of science; the problem of demarcation; the problem of induction; the nature of scientific explanation; scientific revolutions, objectivity and rationality of science; and the relationship between science and values.


Learning the nature of science and how it differs from non-scientific endeavors.
Acquiring the key concepts for scientific inquiry such as hypothesis, theory, model, method, prediction, explanation, observation, experiment, and evidence.
Developing an ability to analyze scientific texts (identifying the hypothesis or theory under test, identifying initial conditions and auxiliary assumptions required for testing, specifying the prediction, assessing the outcome of the testing.)
Understanding science not only as an cognitive-epistemic system of thought and practice, but also as a social institution in its relation to the broader social context and values.


  Percentage (%)
Final 25
Midterm 50
Participation 25



I. Elements of Scientific Method: Hypotheses, Evidence and the Hypothetico-Deductive Method

C. Hempel, ?Scope and Aim of this Book? and ?Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test? (chapters 1 and 2), in Philosophy of Natural Science (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1966), pp. 1-32.

P. Kitcher and E. F. Keller, The Seasons Alter. New York: Liveright, pp. 1-19.

II. Statistical-Causal Hypotheses and their Testing

R. Giere, ?Chapter 7-Causal Models? and ?Chapter 8-Evaluating Causal Hypotheses?, in Understanding Scientific Reasoning, 4th ed. Harcourt Brace College Pub., 1997, pp. 198-243.

III. Inductivism and the Problem of Induction

A. F. Chalmers, ?Inductivism: Science as Knowledge Derived from the Facts of Experience? and ?The Problem of Induction? in What is this thing called Science?? 2nd ed. University of Queensland Press, Open University Press, 1982, pp. 1-21.

IV. The Problem of Demarcation and Falsificationism

K. Popper, ?Science: Conjectures and Refutations?, in Conjectures and Refutations, Harper and Torch books, 1963, pp. 33-59.

V. Experiment and Scientific Theories

T. Arabatzis, ?Experiment?, in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. (Eds.) S. Psillos and M. Curd. New York: Routledge, 2010, pp. 191-202.

VI. Scientific Explanation

P. Godfrey-Smith, ?Explanation?, in Theory and Reality, The University of Chicago Press, 1977, pp. 190-201.

VII. Scientific Revolutions

T. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, in Philosophy of Science (eds) T. McGrew, M. Alspector-Kelly and F. Allhoff, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

VIII. Science and Values

G. Irzık, ?Values and Western Science Knowledge?, Encyclopedia of Science Education (ed.) R. Gunstone, 2015, pp 1093-1096.

H. Douglas, Ch. 5- ?The Structure of Values in Science?, Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2009.

J. Kourany, ?A Feminist Primer for Philosophers of Science?, in Philosophy of Science After feminism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 3-14.

IX. So, what is this thing called science?

G. Irzık and R. Nola, ?New Directions for Nature of Science Research?, in International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching, (ed.) M. Matthews. Springer, 2014, pp. 999-1022.

Optional Readings

A. Chalmers, What is this Thing Called Science? 3rd ed. Indianapolis; Cambridge: Hackett, 1999.

The Routledge companion to philosophy of science. (Eds.) S. Psillos and M. Curd. New York: Routledge, 2010.