History and Philosophy Of Science | Modern Philosophy of Science
X452 | 22911 | Jordi Cat


This course will trace the historical development of the philosophy
of science from approximately  EARLY 17TH CENTURY to the early
twentieth century, beginning with A SURVEY OF THE PHILOSOPHIES 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.