PHL304 Philosophy of Science (8)


This subject will examine classic philosophical debates about the nature of science. What is science and how does it differ from non-science and pseudoscience? Is there a distinctive scientific method? Does applying the scientific method let us find out about reality? What is the methodological importance of scientific experimentation? Are the social sciences a genuine part of science? Are interpretive approaches to understanding people’s behaviour, such as psychoanalysis, scientific?

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHL304
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
Know, in broad outline, the course of the Twentieth Century philosophical debates about scientific knowledge.
Have a working knowledge of particular issues in the philosophy of science.
Be familiar with the work of at least one major philosopher of science.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • What science is
  • How is science different from non-science and pseudoscience?
  • The method of inductivism, scientific observations and facts
  • Popper’s method of falsificationism
  • Scientific paradigms and scientific revolutions: Kuhn and his critics
  • Scientific realism, anti-realism and experimentation
  • Are the social science scientific?
  • Is psychoanalysis scientific?


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.