History and Philosophy Of Science | Modern Philosophy
X452 | 13203 | Jordi Cat

Modern Philosophy

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.