History and Philosophy Of Science | MODERN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
X552 | 3064 | Jordi Cat


This course will trace the historical development of the philosophy of
science from approximately 1800 to the early twentieth century,
beginning with the philosophy of Newtonian science developed by
Immanuel Kant and ending with works
by members of the Vienna Circle.  It is in these years that the
philosophy of science begins to take shape as a specialized discipline
within philosophy more generally; and the problems, in the first
place, are stimulated and framed by revolutionary developments in
nineteenth century science: the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries,
the wave theory of light and electrodynamics, thermodynamics and the
conservation of energy, and molecular-atomic theory.  Accordingly, the
initial work in what we now call philosophy of science is undertaken
by professional scientists attempting to come to terms with these new
developments-in particular, by Herman Von Helmholtz, Ernst Mach,
Pierre Duhem and Henri Poincaré. Attention will be paid also to
discussions of scientifc methodology in the 19th century in Britain
--by Herschel, Whewell and Mill. Then, around the turn of the century,
philosophy of science is stimulated once again by revolutionary
developments: Einstein relativity theory, on the one hand, and new
work in logic and the foundations of mathematics by Gottlob Frege,
Bertrand Russell, and David Hilbert, on the other.  Now philosophy of
science is pursued more by professional philosophers-and, in
particular by Karl Popper and the so-called Vienna Circle of logical
positivists represented especially by Moritz Schlick, Otto Neurath and
Rudolph Carnap.  The work of these philosophers then sets the stage
for most of twentieth century philosophy of science.