History and Philosophy Of Science | Is Science True?
X100 | 13968 | Trinity Turner


A celebrated and fundamental feature of science is its ideal of
objectivity.  Because, it is argued, science is an objective
practice, then it is possible to subject claims, scientific and
otherwise, to the test of independent, impartial, and value-free
criteria for critical evaluation. However, critical analysis of
claims to objectivity of this sort expose many significant issues
that philosophers of science, as well as practicing scientists, have
tried to deal with not only in the 20th Century, but throughout the
history of the development of science and rational thought. Thus, it
will be the aim of this course to explore: (1) the concept of
objectivity from a contemporary philosophical perspective; (2) to
engage with the historical literature in order to become more
acquainted with how our philosophical and scientific predecessors
thought about and appealed to the notion of objectivity; (3) to see
how the development of the concept of objectivity changed over time
due to the multitude of diverse minds, all of whom were operating
within distinct historical and social contexts, treated the concept;
and, finally, (4) to re-visit as a class the contemporary
philosophical stage and assess how and in what ways our newfound
historical perspective has enlightened and/or altered our analysis
of contemporary treatments of objectivity.