Science, Reason and Reality (Science 3)

Subject 136-333 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Between 10-12 weekly tutorials and between 20-24 lectures, normally two per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Two second-year HPS subjects.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly taught as 136-202/302/317. Students who have completed 136-202/302/317 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. Students cannot gain credit for both this subject and 136-033.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Howard Sankey
Subject Overview:

This subject addresses some of the central issues in the philosophy of science. It will raise questions. What is the difference between science and non-science? Is there a universal scientific method or do the methods employed by scientists vary historically? Is scientific theory change a rational process? Is science objective? Do scientific theories inform us of the truth about the world? Students who take this class will have knowledge of the major themes of recent and contemporary philosophical thinking about science. They will also have experience of the methods of critical analysis and argument employed in the philosophy of science and a background on which to base further study in the area.

Assessment: Written work totalling 6000 words comprising an essay of 1500 words 25% (due mid-semester), an essay of 2000 words 35% (due at the end of semester) and an essay of 2500 words 40% (due at the end of the examination period).
Prescribed Texts: What is this thing called science? (A Chalmers) Philosophy of science: the central issues (M Curd & J A Cover) Representing and intervening (I Hacking)
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have experience of thinking systematically about difficult intellectual problems of an abstract nature;

  • have practice conducting research, speaking articulately, writing clearly and reading with attention to detail.


Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Only available at science third year. This subject is based on 136-033 but involves additional work.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science

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