Course: Philosophy and Science

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Course title Philosophy and Science
Course code KFI/FAV
Organizational form of instruction no contact
Level of course Master
Year of study 2
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 4
Language of instruction Czech, German
Status of course Compulsory
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Vokoun Jaroslav, prof. doc. Th.D.
Course content
1. What is science?, origin of modern science, science and pseudoscience, philosophical dimension in science. Epistemological, ontological and methodological questions. Scientific rationality, explanation in science, realism and anti-realism. Scientia and sapientia, scientism. Causality, teleology. Value neutrality of scientific cognition? 2. The right of science on the truth of cognition: logical positivism, verification and falsifiability of cognition. Paradigms, scientific revolutions and their structure according to Kuhn. Incommensurability. Lakatos - rival programs. Feyeabend - methodological anarchism. Discussions of Lakatos and Feyerabend. Rationality versus tradition, rationality of tradition - MacIntyre, Gadamer. Reductionism and holism. 3. Michael Polányi and his criticism of objectivistic science. Personal dimension of knowledge, tacit and explicit dimension, meaning of "passions", "apprenticeship" and "indwelling". Meaning of tradition and faith in cognition. Overcoming of division of natural, scientific and religious cognition. The truth as a contact with reality, structure of scientific discovering. Undervaluation of body and corporality in modern theory of knowing. 4. Philosophical problem of natural sciences: Space in discussion Leibniz - Newton. Various possibilities of notion of time. Problems connected with the hypothesis of evolution: evolutionary mythology and its rejection by Plato and all tradition to Kant, Kant´s concept of evolutionary biology as mythology. Acceptance of evolution in philosophy - Hegel, Bergson, Nietzsche and so on. 5. Philosophy and linguistics. Classical conceptions of language versus modern turn: Saussure, structuralism, philosophers of language - Wittgenstein, Austin, philosophical and linguistic anthropologies. Language as a system, representation of reality in language. 6. Philosophy between myth and science, between religious and scientific knowing, between theology and science. Boundaries of science. Truth of myth, philosophy and sciences. Cartesian science "etsi deus non daretur". Division subject - object and its consequences for the relation of science and religion. Scepticism, certainty, finality, experience, value in science philosophy and religion.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing)
Learning outcomes
The aim of the subject is to introduce the students the questions of the relations between philosophy (philosophies) and science (natural and social sciences). According to the research specialization of the tutor a special attention is paid to the contribution of Michael Polányi and the relation between philosophy and linguistics, as well as a role of philosophy as a mediator in a dialogue of theology and natural sciences.
The ability of a students to recognize philosophical questions in sciences, recognize pseudo-philosophical misuse of science (new age and so on), and to orientate themselves in questions of truth value of scientific statements.

Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination

An exam based on lectures and study of at least one Czech and one foreign book related to the topic.
Recommended literature
  • Adamcová, L. Kapitoly z filosofie vědy. Praha, 1993.
  • Fajkus, B.:. Filozofie a metodologie vědy. Praha, Academia, 2005. ISBN 80-200-1304-0.
  • Gill, J. Tacit Mode. Albany, 2000.
  • Gjersten, D. Science and Philosophy: Past and Present. London, 1992.
  • Harré, R. The Philosophies of Science. Oxford, 1992.
  • Koertge, N. A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths about Science. Oxford, 2000.
  • Lakatos, I., Feyerabend, P. K., Motterlini, M. For and Against Method Including Lakatos´s Lectures on Scientific Method and The Lakatos - Feyrabend Correspondence. Chicago, 1999.
  • O´Hear, A. Introduction to the Philosophy. Oxford, 1989.
  • Okasha, S. Philosophy of Science. Oxford - New York, 2002.
  • Polányi, M. Personal Knowledge. London, 2002.
  • Tomáš, M. Filosofie a přírodní vědy. Hradec Králové, 1996.
  • Wallace, W. A. The Modeling of Nature - Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Nature in Synthesis. Washington, 1996.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty: Faculty of Theology Study plan (Version): Philosophy (2016) Category: Philosophy, theology 2 Recommended year of study:2, Recommended semester: Winter