Introductory Topics in Philosophy

Tanja Traxler
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2022W, Lecture and Discussion (VD), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04489

Description

Matter and Meaning - Why we know what we know in physics

How have natural scientists and especially physicists gathered knowledge throughout the centuries? Why is reality in quantum physics not the way it seems in everyday life? How can science be distinguished from pseudo-science and fraud? And what role do the arts and asthetics play in deriving the laws of nature? In this course we will investigate past and present methods of gaining knowledge in the physical sciences. The historical analysis of epistemology in science will be accompanied by philosophical and sociological considerations as well as gender reflections.
Evidently, quantity and quality of scientific knowledge has changed dramatically e. g. between Newton’s classical mechanics in the 17th century and the development of quantum mechanics or Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the 20th century. What was once established as a scientific fact has been revealed as a limited perspective. In this course, we will discuss the methods scientists use to gain knowledge that is as solid as possible.
This class is explicitly open for science & physics greenhorns as well as for quantum nerds!

 

Examination Modalities

Each participant is asked to give a presentation on one of topics discussed in the class. (30 %)
Regular attendance and active participation in the group discussions (30 %)
Oral group exam at the end of the semester. (40 %)

Comments

Reading list:

Barad, Karen (2007): Meeting the Universe halfway, Durham: Duke University Press
Bohr, Niels (1958): Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, New York: John Wiley & Sons
Einstein, Albert (1937): Physics and Reality, Journal of the Franklin Institute 221 (3), 313–347
Hossenfelder, Sabine (2018): Lost in Math, New York: Basic Books
Kuhn, Thomas (1962): The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Latour, Bruno (1979): Laboratory Life, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm; Clarke, Samuel (2000 [1717]): Correspondence, edited by Roger Ariew, Cambridge: Hackett Publishing
McIntyre, Lee (2019): The Scientific Attitude, Cambridge: MIT Press
Newton, Isaac (2016 [1687]): The Principia, Berkeley: University of California Press
Oreskes, Naomi (2021): Science on a Mission, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Popper, Karl (2002 [1959]): The Logic of Scientific Discovery, London: Routledge
Saini, Angela: Inferior (2017), New York: Harper Collins

Dates

06 October 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room (preliminary discussion)
13 October 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
20 October 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
27 October 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
03 November 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
10 November 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
17 November 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
24 November 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
01 December 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
15 December 2022, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
12 January 2023, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
19 January 2023, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room
26 January 2023, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room (examination)
02 February 2023, 09:15–11:00 CDS Lecture Room (examination)

Course Enrolment

From 01 September 2022, 00:00 to 30 November 2022, 23:59
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas: Study Area 4: Philosophy

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Elective Field: only students without a bachelor's degree in CDS: from Study Areas 1-6

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Philosophy: Foundation

Individual courses: possible