Philosophy of science- What is this thing called science

Philosophy of science- What is this thing called science 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch


HPSC 2101 - What Is This Thing Called Science? 2017
First papers
Write on one of the topics below. Write 1000 words (+/- 20%), including any
footnotes but not including references. Your tutor will tell you how to hand the paper
in. .
Write in a clear, direct style. Don’t waste space on a long general set-up. Give as
much introduction as you think is needed (perhaps not much) and then get straight
down to answering the question. Avoid discursive footnotes. It’s not necessary to do
extra reading in order to do well. If you do want to read more, contact your tutor for
suggestions. (Don’t hope for guidance from wandering the internet. Most
philosophical material on the internet is not good.)
1. Various empiricist philosophers have thought that scientific theories are tools for
predicting experiences, and no more than that. Sometimes they have claimed that it is
literally meaningless to ask questions about what might lie behind experience. In
other cases they have claimed that those questions are just irrelevant to science.
Pick a particular theory, hypothesis, or idea, in any part of science, and try to
apply a version of empiricism of the kind described above. How might that scientific
idea be seen as describing only patterns in experience? (Even if you think this sort of
philosophy is a mistake, try to describe your example in those terms.)
2. Some philosophers think that all a person’s beliefs form a single big network or
“web.” We change our webs of belief to make sense of what we see, and we also try
to keep these webs of belief as simple as possible. But why should simplicity be a
good thing? Why should we try to keep our webs of belief simple?
3. This one is a harder question. Here is a passage from Theory and Reality, page 48,
discussing the ravens problem.
Suppose you hypothesize that all ravens are black, and someone comes
up to you and says, “I have a raven behind my back; want to see what color
it is?” You should say yes, because if the person pulls out a white raven,
your theory is refuted. You need to find out what is behind his back. But
suppose the person comes up and says, “I have a black object behind my
back; want to see whether it’s a raven?” Then it does not matter to you
what is behind his back. You think that all ravens are black, but you don’t
have to think that all black things are ravens. In both cases, suppose the object
behind his back is a black raven and he does show it to you. In the first
situation, your observation of the raven seems relevant to your investigation
of raven color, but in the other case it’s irrelevant.
Are there any objections that might be made to this passage, especially the last