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PHIL 469 Topics in Philosophy of Science

Topics such as probability and induction; foundations of measurement; theory construction.

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.

Credits: 3

Pre-reqs: PHIL 369.

Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
PHIL 469 001Seminar1 Tue Thu14:0015:30

Course Description: This course is cross-listed with ANTH495B. Students can register in either section. Do historians and historical scientists face unique challenges because they study the past? For example, are they at a distinct disadvantage compared to experimental scientists? Are studies of the human, cultural past especially vulnerable to constructionist critique, and do these suspicions extend to non-human historical sciences of evolutionary biology, geology and paleontology? In this course we will explore philosophical questions about the nature and status of historical inquiry in a comparative frame, taking as our point of departure Adrian Currie's Rock, Bone and Ruin: An Optimist's Guide to the Historical Sciences (2018). Currie reframes philosophical debate about historical kn and ~

owledge with a focus on paleontology, geology and archaeology. In subsequent sections, we will address questions about the nature of historical explanation and the role of narrative that have been central to philosophy of history and debate in archaeology. Central texts here will be Trouillot's "Silencing the Past" (1995) and selections from "Material Evidence" (2014). Requirements include short weekly response posts, one in-class presentation, and a term paper.