This course is co-taught with Marcel Weber and Raphael Scholl.

In this seminar we shall treat several issues that are at the center of attention in contemporary philosophy of science. In the autumn semester, we shall focus on two sets of issues. First, we will consider the role of laws of nature and their analysis in philosophy of science, particularly through two recent proposals. Second, we will discuss the hotly debated relationship between science and metaphysics. For the spring semester, we plan to first discuss the philosophy of chemistry and various issues arising in its context (such as laws, natural kinds, realism, explanation). Finally, we would like to enter the recent debate on how to explain scientific success.

Course Materials

Course materials such as lecture notes, handouts, etc may be made available as they will be used in class.

Presentation materials:

The following materials are recommended for this course:

  • Eric Scerri and Grant Fisher (eds.). Essays in the Philosophy of Chemistry. New York: Oxford University Press 2016.
  • John Wright. Explaining Science's Success: Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works. Abingdon and New York: Routledge 2014.
  • More materials will be made available on Chamilo.

Schedule (Spring 2017), revised

This is the schedule for the seminar. It is subject to adjustment.

Date Readings Presenter(s)
22.02. Introduction Marcel Weber
01.03. Branchetti-Robino and Llored Lorenzo Cocco
08.03. Scerri Augustin Baas
15.03. Koertge Joshua Babic
22.03. Pagni Michal Hladky
29.03. Harré Karen Crowther
05.04. Chang Baptiste Le Bihan
12.04. Hendry Niels Linnemann
19.04. No seminar (vacances)
26.04. van Fraassen, The Scientific Image, Ch. 2 George Tsimploulis
03.05. van Fraassen, 'Constructive empiricism now' Lorenzo Cocco
10.05. van Fraassen, Scientific Representation, Ch. 12 Joshua Babic
17.05. van Fraassen, Scientific Representation, Ch. 13
24.05. van Fraassen, 'The perils of Perrin, in the hands of philosophers'