Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
FILOSOFIA DELLA SCIENZA

Historical and Philosophical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
Introduzione storica e teorica alla filosofia della scienza

A.Y. Credits
2016/2017 12
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Gino Tarozzi after classes or upont appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Science describes, explains and discovers natural phenomena, and since it adopted the Galileian method it gave us a scientific image of the world which influences all of our knowledge. Science has been considered as the basis of techniques and technology, and some thought it could substitute metaphysics.  Philosophy of science tries to find out what is the nature of science, in particular: what is the hypothetic-deductive method; what is a scientific theory; what role is played by observation; what is the importance of theorization; whether the objects posited by theories are real or just instrumental concepts; why and how theories change and are substituted by new theories.

Thus some of the goals of the course  are the following: mapping the fundamental concepts of contemporary science; learning the foundations of the empirical sciences;  analyzing them epistemologically; learning the logical structure of Quantum mechanics; becoming acquainted with some particularly significant case-studies; making some first-hand experiences of the processes of measurement, data processing and easy computational tasks; becoming aware of the philosophical impact of contemporary science. In working on these objectives the course will provide a general introduction to the philosophy of science.

The course is also intended to improve the students'  logico-analytic and dialectic abilities, their philosophical sensibility, and the mastership of concepts and contents from the history of philosophy they have acquired in their bachelor program. There are no pre-requisites for this course, but because of the rather abstract and rigorous character of its topics, it is advisable to attend classes regularly and actively, since the very beginning. Those unable to attend classes can study on their own the texts listed in the section below for "NON FREQUENTANTI", but this will require careful work and a good attitude to autonomous learning, analysis and abstract thought.

Program

The four parts of the course will offer both a general introduction to the philosophy of science and a direct  approach to specific aspects of scientific practice

Part I: The methodology of science

1. From ancient to modern science

2. Induction and inductivism

3. Operazionism, verificazionism and the elimination of metaphysics

4. Falsificazionism, scientific revolutions scientifiche and rationality

5. Analysis of case studies

Part II:  Foundations of physics

1. Space, tiome, motion, geometry, and relativity in Newton, Mach, Poincaré, Einstein

2. Absolute/relative, conventionalism, realism, crucial experiments, underdetermination of theories.

Part III: Experiment, mathematical  model and theory

1. Excution and interpretation of a scientific  experiment: the simple  pendulum.

2. The rationalizzation of measuerment by the language of statistics

3. Truth and predictability: from statistics to probability.

4. The transmission and transformation of a scientific theory: history of the relativity principle.

5. Theoretical pluralism: the origins and foundations of Galieian physics

Part IV: Open metaphysical questions in the uncertain world

  • The dual nature of microphysical reality: waves or particles.
  • The Probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanical wave function;
  • Indeterminacy, superposition, and complementarity;
  • From the violation of the causality principle to Pauli and Jung's sincronicity;
  • The intrusion of the observer and the subjectivist interpretation of the measuring process
  • The EPR Paradox: local realism vs. long distances quantum correlations.
  • Professors  Flavia Marcacci, Alessandro Afriat and Stefano Bordoni will held seminars.

    Bridging Courses

    no prerequisites

    Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

    Dublin Descriptors Knowledge and understanding

    After the course students should be able to understand and explain philosophical texts of medium difficulty, discuss some of the classical problems in philosophy of science, use the bibliographical tools and repertories available in this field, know some of the state of the art questions on scientific theories

    Applying knowledge and understanding

    After the course students should be able to discuss and evaluate various claims and arguments both in the specialistic debate and in the general contemporary cultural debate. 

    Making judgementsAfter the course students should be able to make autonomous and original judgements about the arguments in the debate and  the examples drawn from  scientific knowledge. To this end discussions in the classroom will be encouraged. Originality and autonomous judgement will be part of the final evalution of the student's performance 

    Communication skills

    After the course students should be able to explain and discuss the relevant topics with conceptual and linguistic exactness, and to offer efficacious  and synthetic accounts of the subject matter. To this end, verbal interaction in the classroom and a careful reading and analysis of the relevant texts will be encouraged

     Learning skills

    After the course students should be acquainted with the subject matter and the method of research enough to be able to proceed on their own  in gathering further knowledge from the literature in the field and in contiguous fields. To this end they should also improve their ability to read English texts in the field.

    Teaching Material

    The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

    Supporting Activities

    Having been structured into four sections the course will provide to a wide range of learning need of students. Each teacher will make available any lecture notes, readings, bibliographical and website references which may be needed or helpful


    Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

    Teaching

    Class lectures; course papers; laboratories and seminars.The course will work interactively. Non Italian students will  be allowed to use English (or French or Spanish) for all their required readings, questions and comments in the classroom, and in the final exam.

    Attendance

    Since the topics are complex and the course aims to be interactive, it is strongly advisable to attend classes regularly since the beginning, and to complete promptly the readings or exercises assigned each time. Attendance will not be very  fruitful unless one follows the largest part of classes, and after missing a class  one should immediately inquire about the topics that have been discussed in it.

    Course books

    Bordoni, S. (1995), Eleveremo questa congettura, Pavia: Università degli Studi di Pavia; SOLO pp. 93-137, 651-684, 761-771.

    Duhem: La Teoria fisica, capitoli su esperimenti cruciali, sottodeterminazione delle teorie

    Einstein: Geometria ed esperienza

    G. Galilei, Le mecaniche, in Edizione Nazionale, cit., II, pp. 147-191

    Holton, G. (1983), L’immaginazione scientifica – I temi del pensiero scientifico, Torino: Einaudi; SOLO capitolo 1 (pp. 3-24), e capitoli dal 3 al 7 (pp. 97-332).

    T.S. Kuhn, La rivoluzione copernicana. L’astronomia planetaria nello sviluppo del pensiero occidentale, Einaudi, Torino 2000, capp. 3-5

    Mach: La meccanica nel suo sviluppo storico-critico, analisi del secchio di Newton

    Poincaré: Scienza e ipotesi, Il valore della scienza: capitoli su spazio, tempo

    Newton: Principia: Scolio su spazio assoluto e tempo assoluto

    G. Tarozzi ,“I principi metafisici sono veramente privi di significato?” con P. Graziani, in Un 'austriaco' in Italia. Festschrift in onore del professor Dario Antiseri,  a cura di R. De Mucci, K. Leube , p. 637-651, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino (2011)

    G. Tarozzi “Realismo scientifico e realismo empirico: è possibile discriminare sperimentalmente nel caso della meccanica quantistica?” con I. Colagè, Isonomia, vol. IX, numero speciale, p. 131-156, ISSN: 2037- 4348 (2009)

    G. Tarozzi “Microfisica e metafisica. Le anomalie causali e ontologiche della meccanica quantistica”, Nuova Secondaria, 4, pp. 25-37 (2013)

    G. Tarozzi, Filosofia della microfisica, Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti, Mucchi, Modena (1992)

    G. Tarozzi, Principi filosofici e principi della fisica. La riapertura delle controversie metafisiche nel dibattito sui fondamenti della meccanica quantistica in M. Pera, G. Tarozzi, M. Fleischmann, Lezioni in memoria di Giuliano Preparata,  Bibliopolis, Napoli, 2007

    G. Tarozzi, “L’utopia causale. Dal demone di Laplace alla retroazione del futuro sul passato”, in Utopie. Percorsi per immaginare il futuro, L. Mazzoli and G. Zanchini eds. Codice Edizioni, Torino; pp. 167-192 (2012)

    During classes the teachers will give additional reading references and specify which texts are strictly required for the exam and which ones are not. Some texts will be available on the Blended learning webpage of the course. Should any text be unavailable contact the teachers. Foreign students can use English editions of these texts or substitute them with texts in English edition

    Assessment

    The achievement of learning objectives will be assessed through an oral exam, intended to ascertain what and how much the student has learned both about the basic concepts of the discipline, and about the most important historical developments relevant to the topics of the course, but also their comprehension and capacity to discuss in a critical and possibly original way the topics of classes and assigned readings.

      Active participation in class discusion and exercises will also be taken into account.

    During classes the teachers will specify which texts are strictly required for the exam and which ones are not.

    Non Italian students will be allowed to use English (or French or Spanish) for all their required readings, questions and comments in the classroom, and for the final exam.

    Disabilità e DSA

    Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

    A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

    Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

    Teaching

    THOSE UNABLE TO ATTEND CLASSES will study on their own (individually or with others) according to the directions of this vademecum and if possible with the help which can be given by the teachers during office hours or through e-mail, Skype, etc. The files of lecture notes will also be made available on the platform Moodle › https://blended.uniurb.it. In order to benefit form the interactive character of the course, students not attending classes can fix with one of the teachers the argument of a term paper.

    Attendance

    none

    Course books

    Bordoni, S. (1995), Eleveremo questa congettura, Pavia: Università degli Studi di Pavia; SOLO pp. 93-137, 651-684, 761-771.

    Duhem: La Teoria fisica, capitoli su esperimenti cruciali, sottodeterminazione delle teorie

    Einstein: Geometria ed esperienza

    G. Galilei, Le mecaniche, in Edizione Nazionale, cit., II, pp. 147-191

    Holton, G. (1983), L’immaginazione scientifica – I temi del pensiero scientifico, Torino: Einaudi; SOLO capitolo 1 (pp. 3-24), e capitoli dal 3 al 7 (pp. 97-332).

    T.S. Kuhn, La rivoluzione copernicana. L’astronomia planetaria nello sviluppo del pensiero occidentale, Einaudi, Torino 2000, capp. 3-5

    Mach: La meccanica nel suo sviluppo storico-critico, analisi del secchio di Newton

    Poincaré: Scienza e ipotesi, Il valore della scienza: capitoli su spazio, tempo

    Newton: Principia: Scolio su spazio assoluto e tempo assoluto

    G. Tarozzi ,“I principi metafisici sono veramente privi di significato?” con P. Graziani, in Un 'austriaco' in Italia. Festschrift in onore del professor Dario Antiseri,  a cura di R. De Mucci, K. Leube , p. 637-651, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino (2011)

    G. Tarozzi “Realismo scientifico e realismo empirico: è possibile discriminare sperimentalmente nel caso della meccanica quantistica?” con I. Colagè, Isonomia, vol. IX, numero speciale, p. 131-156, ISSN: 2037- 4348 (2009)

    G. Tarozzi “Microfisica e metafisica. Le anomalie causali e ontologiche della meccanica quantistica”, Nuova Secondaria, 4, pp. 25-37 (2013)

    G. Tarozzi, Filosofia della microfisica, Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti, Mucchi, Modena (1992)

    G. Tarozzi, Principi filosofici e principi della fisica. La riapertura delle controversie metafisiche nel dibattito sui fondamenti della meccanica quantistica in M. Pera, G. Tarozzi, M. Fleischmann, Lezioni in memoria di Giuliano Preparata,  Bibliopolis, Napoli, 2007

    G. Tarozzi, “L’utopia causale. Dal demone di Laplace alla retroazione del futuro sul passato”, in Utopie. Percorsi per immaginare il futuro, L. Mazzoli and G. Zanchini eds. Codice Edizioni, Torino; pp. 167-192 (2012)

    During classes the teachers will give additional reading references and specify which texts are strictly required for the exam and which ones are not. Some texts will be available on the Blended learning webpage of the course. Should any text be unavailable contact the teachers. Foreign students can use English editions of these texts or substitute them with texts in English edition

    Assessment

    Oral exam. Non Italian students will  be allowed to use English (or French or Spanish) for all their required reading and for the final exam.

    During classes the teachers will specify which texts are strictly required for the exam and which ones are not.

    Disabilità e DSA

    Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

    A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

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