Ideals of Scientific Explanation and the Nature of Its Objects

Philosophy=Biology 310
Bryn Mawr College
Spring, 2006
Tuesdays, 1-3:30

The overriding theme of this course is an exploration of the nature of scientific knowledge in the context of the realist/constructivist controversy in the philosophy of science. It will seek an accommodation between realism and constructivism. Further topics include evolution theory, complexity theory, the brain, and science as story telling as they bear on the overriding theme.

Course instructors:

Texts include:

  • Peter Kosso, Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics
  • T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • David Miller, ed.Popper Selections

For additional assigned and recommended readings see Course Schedule

One course in philosophy or natural science.

Course requirements:
Attendence at and active participation in class sessions. Three papers (5-8 pages each). Opportunities for in-class presentations and for continuing conversation through a public on-line course forum will also be available.

Course Schedule - with links to selected notes

Course website:

Course on-line forum:

Some web resources:

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