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Lifelong Learning

Philosophy & Logic

Philosophy of Science


I took Advanced Philosophy of Science this winter.  More background would have been nice, but they offer the lower level course in the spring for some reason.  Still, it was both interesting and frustrating.  I get the definite impression that not enough philosophers of science know all that much about science.  I mean, really, go to the original literature for crying out loud, and don't try to do philosophy from introductory textbooks.  And, for that matter, don't base your entire opinion of science on the weirdness of quantum mechanics.

I've posted a couple things here, my final paper from the above course, and my presentation on a paper by Feyerabend (from very early in his career, mind you).  Perhaps I will return to this topic again.  Hoping to look at Philosophy of Biology in the spring.


Scientific Realism: The Cosmological Constant and Scientific Realism.  (truth be told, I wasn't really happy with this paper.  I was working too much and didn't get a good start at it until late, and had a hard time focusing my thoughts.  Anti-realism really upsets me and it's clear that they are commenting on science they don't understand. Then, I learned that our final and paper should focus on different things, so I had to avoid talking about what I thought made most sense to argue with... and well.  A couple more days would have done a world of good.)

Feyerabend: Realism & Instrumentalism.  (this was a presentation I did for my philosophy of science class. Some good info here.  since I can't post the paper, I can at least post this.)

Aristotle: Aristotle v. The Atomists.  (I did this for my Aristotle course.   I didn't do as well as I'd have liked, but on the other hand, I did basically stop writing about halfway through my thought.  I talked here about Aristotle's use of terms for "chance", but never got around to talking about the implications for his teleological view of physics.)

Al-Ghazali: Causality's Black Box: Mathematics and Logical Necessity in Al-Ghazali's Incoherence of the Philosophers.  I wrote this paper for a course on Al-Ghazali (a 11th/12th century Islamic philosopher) in December 2011.  I could probably clarify a few things in it, but generally, it turned out well, and I got an A, together with compliments from the prof (that I wasn't expecting) about it's enjoyability.  If you've never heard of Al-Ghazali, you might want to read his Wikipedia page for context; my take on his position is quite different than the norm.

And check out my Characteristics of Science page for a long discussion of what "science" is.  It's broken up into smaller parts so it's easy to choose which aspect you are interested in.




The Cosmological Constant and Scientific Realism

Realism & Instrumentalism

Aristotle v. The Atomists

Causality's Black Box


Characteristics of Science










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