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Tags: philosophy, psychology, science
This lecture looks at two accounts of explantion, the causation account and the unification account. After examinging problems with each, I consider the prospect that we can have a pluralistic, context-sensative acount of 'explanation'. That is, what counts as an explanation in one context might not count in another. This ...
Should science be in the business of explaning things, or just describing things? Just what is a scientific explanation? This lecture explores these questions, looking first at Carl Hemple's "Covering Law" model of scientific explanation.
One noteable anti-realist argument comes from the 'constructive empiricism' of Bas van Fraassen. I outline the basic idea's behind van Fraassen's theory, and some of the issues with it.
The second key premise of realism is epistemic immodesty, the idea that we can know the Truth about reality. In this video I outline the case against epistemic immodesty, and the realist response thereto.
Varieties of Scientific Realism (1 of 3) May 9, 2017
Expanding on the previous lecture, I try to map out some of the different ways in which one can be a scientific realist, and the problems with those views, according to scientific anti-realists.
Naturalism and Realism (3 of 3) April 30, 2017
This lecture gives a basic run down of scientific realism, the idea that science aims at describing the real world. I revisit the problem of the 'theory ladenness of observation' as an objection to realism, and look at some responses, including Jerry Fodor's argument from "Observation Reconsidered."
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Science (2 of 3) April 30, 2017
Continuing the discussion of naturalism, this lecture explores the 'naturalized epistemology' of W.V.O. Quine, the 'normative naturalism', how naturalism makes sense of values in science, and how it can reconcile science with common sense. It closes with a discussion of how naturalism can draw on Kuhn, Popper and others to ...
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Science (1 of 3) April 30, 2017
This lecture beings with a summary of the course so far. A noticeable trend in post-Kuhnian philosophy of science has been the shift towards epistemic relativism. From there, I introduce the idea of naturalism in the philosophy of science, as a way of trying to steer away from that trend, ...
Radical Feminist Epistemology and Postmodernism (2 of 2) April 15, 2017
In this lecture covers a very cursory approach to radical feminist epistemology, standpoint epistemology, postmodern perspectives on science, science studies, and the so-called 'science wars.' This lecture is woeful incomplete as regards these very complicated topics, but it seemed to me that this series would be incomplete without at least ...
Feminist Perspectives on Science (1 of 2) April 15, 2017
In this lecture I do a brief survey of some of feminist perspectives on science, focusing on the ways that gender bias and the exclusion of women from science has been detrimental to both science and society at large.
The Sociology of Science:(3 of 3) April 10, 2017
This video considers Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer's "Leviathan and the Air Pump", which examines the rise of empirical science from a sociological perspective.
The Sociology of Science:(2 of 3) April 10, 2017
This video considers the sociology of science, in particular the so-called "Strong Program" of David Bloor.
The Sociology of Science:(1 of 3) April 10, 2017
This video considers the sociology of science, in particular the work of Robert Merton and his analysis of the norms that govern scientific practice.
Post-Kuhnian Philosophy of Science: Paul Feyerabend (2 of 2) March 30, 2017
This video considers objections and problems with Paul Feyerabend's "epistemoloigcal anarchism."
Post-Kuhnian Philosophy of Science: Paul Feyerabend (1 of 2) March 30, 2017
This video covers the 'epistemoloiglcal anarchism' of Paul Feyerabend, who reacts to Thomas Kuhn by saying Kuhn wasn't critical enough on the idea of scientific method. Science works, according to Feyerabend, precicely because there are no rule, there is no method that governs it. The history of science shows us ...
Post-Kuhnian Philosophy of Science: Imre Lakatos (3 of 3) March 19, 2017
In this final video on Imre Lakatos' philosophy of science, I summarize Lakatos' thinking on the relationship between the history of science and philosophy of science. I end with a short aside about Larry Laudan's distinction between pursing and accepting a scientific theory.
Post-Kuhnian Philosophy of Science: Imre Lakatos (2 of 3) March 19, 2017
In this video I walk through the Imre Lakatos' idea of a 'scientific research program' and how this idea helps us evaluate scientific ideas, understand scientific change, and demarcate science from pseudoscience.
On March 8, 2016, Garret Merriam and Eugene Curry met in Kansas City, MO, to debate the question, "Does Science Point to the Existence of God?" Curry argued in the affirmative; Merriam argued in the negative. Garret Merriam: http://faculty.usi.edu/gamerriam https://www.youtube.com/user/SisyphusRedeemed Eugene Curry: https://eugenecurry.wordpress.com NB: At the end of his closing ...
I Do(n't) believe in God (or "Watch This Atheist RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE With This Christian!") March 4, 2015
What is faith? What is doubt? What is the relationship between the two? Why are these things important to us as human beings? A dialogue, rather than a debate, Dr. Garret Merriam (an atheist) and Baret Fawbush (a Christian) discuss these questions and more, in an effort to better understand ...