• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Philip Dowe
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

In this course, we will address a range of philosophical problems raised by scientific knowledge and its status. The problems examined will fall into roughly two kinds, one about the methods of science, and the other philosophical puzzles about what science describes. Problems of the first kind include the justification of scientific inferences, the connection between observation and theory, and how to understand progress in science. Problems of the second kind include puzzles about laws of nature, causation and probability.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Identify philosophical issues about the methods of science.

2. Understand and explain puzzles about what science describes and seeks to explain.

3. Evaluate some rival theories about scientific method and the metaphysics of science.

4. Understand arguments for and against contentious views in the philosophy of science.

5. Articulate positions and arguments in discussions.

Indicative Assessment

One 2,000 word essay, 40% (Learning outcomes 1, 3, and 4)

One 2,000 word essay 50% (Learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4)

Tutorial participation 10% (Learning outcomes 1-5)

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2 hours of lectures/week, plus 1 hour of tutorials (weeks 2-13), plus 7 hours a week private study and assessment preparation.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 24 units of courses towards a degree.

Assumed Knowledge

Students will be expected to either have a background in one or more philosophy subjects, or one or more science subjects, or a mixture (i.e. one philosophy and one science).  For these purposes, philosophy courses include MATH1042.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9411 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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