PHIL20320 Philosophy of Science

Academic Year 2023/2024

Which kinds of activity count as science? Can we tell the difference between science and pseudo-science? What is scientific objectivity? Does the influence of political and moral values on science obstruct scientific progress? These are some of the questions we will explore in this introductory module in the philosophy of science. The module is divided into two parts. The first part introduces some of the major positions in philosophy of science and addresses questions regarding scientific expertise, scientific reasoning, the nature and reliability of the scientific method, and the aims of scientific research. The second part will explore contemporary challenges concerning the influence of values on scientific research, the epistemic desirability of diversity in scientific communities, and the role of errors in science. These questions will be analysed in the light of examples from the history of science and current scientific practice."

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this course will have (1) a good grasp of the central issues in the philosophy of science, (2) engaged critically with the most important views and arguments in this area, and (3) developed some independent thoughts and arguments on some of those issues.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In person lectures.
In class opportunities to participate in discussions and debates.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHIL30100 - Philosophy of Science

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Submission of short discussion questions in the tutorials. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 1,500–2,000 word essay. Due mid-semester. Week 8 n/a Graded No


Examination: Final examination during the normal UCD exam hall period. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Essay feedback will be provided approximately two -three weeks after the submission of the essay. Students are also encouraged to consult with their lecturer on the choice of topic and their approach to the essay at least two weeks prior to the submission deadline.

Name Role
Marta Dmuchowska Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 10:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 Tues 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 Wed 14:00 - 14:50