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?

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2019.

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?


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

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The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.