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 peoples behaviour, such as psychoanalysis, scientific?

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School 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.


This 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?


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.