Fall 2018 - PHIL 144 D900

Introduction to Philosophy of Science (3)

Class Number: 7146

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SUR 5360, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 8, 2018
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SUR 3090, Surrey



An introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of science. Topics to be discussed include the distinction between science and pseudo-science, the nature of scientific method, the nature of explanation in the natural and social sciences, the phenomenon of scientific change, the relationship between scientific theory and observation, and the objectivity of social science. Students with credit for PHIL 244 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Sciences.


To describe an account of the world as “scientific” is to approve of it in some fashion, and indirectly to mark the scientific method as setting an important standard.  In this course we shall examine the nature of this approbation, and introduce the student to some of this method’s more central problems: induction, observation and theory-choice, the status of research programs and paradigms, realism and instrumentalism, among others.


PHIL 144 may be applied towards the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate, the Certificate in Liberal Arts, and the Breadth-Humanities Requirement OR the Breadth-Science Requirement (but not both; student can choose which Breadth requirement to satisfy and plan enrollment in other courses accordingly).


  • Several in class quizzes 20%
  • A short essay (from a list of topics to be provided) 30%
  • Final exam 50%



A.F. Chalmers, What is this thing called Science? (Hackett), 3rd or 4th edition

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html