The aim of this course is to give an understanding of science and fundamental scientific challenges related to the study of technology. After finishing the course, students should be able to:
distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge and beliefs
identify different philosophical positions underlying research traditions
understand problems in scientific research caused by e.g. insufficient evidence or interpretation problems
analyse ethical challenges in one’s own research and in science in general
apply philosophical and ethical arguments to one’s own research
The course will discuss how science developed in its historical context. Major discussion within science is emphasised. As a meta-perspective, the analytical and the continental traditions in the philosophy of science sciences are identified.
Social and Human sciences compared to natural science
Furthermore, social and human sciences as compared to natural science and constructivism versus positivism and realism and idealism is discussed. This will also include discussions about induction, hypothetico-deductive method, Duhem-Quine holism, theory-dependence of observations, the role of language, paradigm change and Feyerabend’s criticism of scientific method.
Logical empiricism versus phenomenology
Logical empiricism is presented. Phenomenology, intentionality, and phenomenological method is discussed including its application to physics, study of empathy, study of the body, consciousness, and the brain.
Related to the above, ethics in research including the ideal of value-free science, ethical responsibility of research and values and the acceptance of a scientific theory within the research community and with respect to society and environment, is discussed.
The teaching form will be lectures and seminars, with compulsory attendance. There will be compulsory assignments during the course to participate in groupwork.
A written test early in the course must be passed in order to continue the course
Assessment methods and criteria
Final exam is an individually written essay graded pass or fail.