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Since January 1, 2014
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My Notes on Massive Open Online Course:
Philosophy and the Sciences
Learn about the historical and philosophical foundations of contemporary science. Explore cutting-edge debates in the philosophy of the physical sciences and philosophy of the cognitive sciences.
Notes on 2 Lectures I Watched in This Course:
Epistemic Relativism, Scientific Realism, and Falsifiability
Duhem and Kuhn
2 People I Have Learned About in this Course:
Karl Popper (1902-1994)
Austrian-British philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method, in favor of empirical falsification
  • he taught that a theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinized by decisive experiments
  • his political philosophy embraces ideas from all major democratic political ideologies and attempts to reconcile social democracy, classical liberalism and conservatism
  • "We are social creatures to the inmost center of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong."
Pierre Duhem (1861-1916)
French physicist, mathematician, historian and philosopher of science best known for his writings on the indeterminacy of experimental criteria and on scientific development in the Middle Ages
  • he argued for holism in scientific experimentation in physics, namely that an experiment in physics is not simply an observation, but rather an interpretation of observations by means of a theoretical framework, no matter how well one constructs one's experiment, it is impossible to subject an isolated single hypothesis to an experimental test, instead, it is a whole interlocking group of hypotheses, background assumptions, and theories that is tested
  • also made major contributions to the science of his day, particularly in the fields of hydrodynamics, elasticity, and thermodynamics