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Philosophy of Science

PHIL 338

Philosophy of Science

Description and Objectives

This course will offer an age-appropriate philosophical study of the claims made by modern science.  In particular, the course will attempt to give students a sense of the difference between “science” and its philosophical counterpart – scientific materialism – with which it is often confused.

Topics covered:

·      Classic notion of a “science”

·      Kinds of “change”

·      Critical analysis of models of cosmic origin

·      Quantity

·      The (inverse) relationship between “certainty” and “accuracy”


  • Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. Barr, Stephen.  South Bend:  University of Notre Dame Press, 2003.

Course Requirements


  1. Quizzes(60% of the total): one each week (Thursday) comprised of a single, short-answer question.  Ideally there will be a total of between 5-6 quizzes each quarter.
  2. Tests(40% of the total): two each quarter, with their format exclusively comprised of multiple choice questions.

One extra-credit assignment may be offered toward the conclusion of each quarter.

Successful Students

The hallmark of any academically successful student is diligence.  In our circumstances, it is a “forward leaning” disposition towards academic work – its care and completion.

The acquisition of this virtue should be highly sought-after for its applicability not only to academic studies, but a host of non-academic contexts throughout one’s life.

Students can even have little interest in a given subject, but still exhibit a diligence toward assignments or in tackling course difficulties, and yet remain academically successful within the course.