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PHIL 061. Philosophy of Science. 4 Units.

Students examine the main philosophical issues regarding the nature and methods of science. Among the questions to be considered are: Can we clearly distinguish science and non-science? Is there such a thing as a scientific method? What counts as sufficient evidence for a scientific law? In what sense are new theories better than old ones? Is science converging on the ultimate truth about the natural world? What is it to say that electrons, black holes, or genes really exist? What are scientific explanations and how do they differ from descriptions and predictions? Examples are drawn from the natural and social sciences. No background in science is needed though science majors are especially welcome. (GE3C)