Philosophy of Science (PHIL 300)

2023 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Gürol Irzık,
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SPS101 SPS102
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.
  • 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.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 2

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 3

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 3

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 3

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 1

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 4

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies and interpret different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. 5

2. Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and geography. 4

3. Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice. 1

4. With the use of appropriate technologies, be able to present advanced oral and written evaluations of developments in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation. 2

1. Develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the workings of human mind and behavior, and use this understanding to advance psychological theory, research and applications. 4

2. Analyze psychological phenomena critically and provide constructive analysis at the individual and the societal levels, and integrate with the professional life. 3

3. Consume and provide input for psychological literature by demonstrating proficiency in research design, methods, and statistical analyses, computing skills, and ethical standards; and develop a habit of expressing these with advanced oral and written skills; share in national and international platforms. 3


  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.