Calendar


Fall 2016

August

M 22: "What is Science, Technology and a 'Philosophy of ... X'?"
Preparation:
• Please read "Was Wittgenstein Right?" Paul Horwich (pdf; The New York Times) and "Of Flies and Philosophers: Wittgenstein and Philosophy", Michael P. Lynch (pdf; The New York Times).
• Please surf the course web site focusing on the course calendar, syllabus and assignments.
• I will invite you to join the class wiki. On doing so, within the next 48 hours, please post a brief personal profile.

Background:
Philosophy of science from Wikipedia.
Philosophy of Technology from the Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
"Philosophy Is Not a Science" (Julian Friedland, New York Times, 2012).
Philosophy of Science I.
• Hilary Putnam on the Philosophy of Science: Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3.

In-Class Activities:
• Introductions; An orientation to the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology.

M 29: "Science, Pseudoscience and Demarcation"
Preparation:
Primary: Please read Karl Popper "Science: Conjectures and Refutations" (3-10) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction to Part 1 (1-2), Imre Lakatos "Science and Pseudoscience" (20-26), Michael Ruse "Creation-Science Is Not Science " (37-46), Larry Laudan "Commentary: Science at the Bar—Causes for Concern" (47-52) and the related (given your secondary reading) commentary (53-73) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read Chapter 1 in Okasha (1-17).

Background:
Sir Karl Popper's "Science as Falsification".

In-Class Activities:
• Analyzing arguments and criteria for demarcating science from non-science.

September

M 5: Labor Day
Class will not be held.

M 12: "Rationality and Objectivity"
Preparation:
Email due (jim.collier@vt.edu) by midnight on essay and/or exam selection.
Primary: Please read Helen Longino "Values and Objectivity" (144-164) and the related Commentary (210-216) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please view "Objectivity: The Limits of Scientific Sight", Peter Galison.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction (75-78), Thomas Kuhn "Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice" (94-110), Ernan McMullin "Rationality and Paradigm Change in Science" (111-130), Larry Laudan "Kuhn's Critique of Methodology" (131-143) and the related (given your secondary reading) commentary (183-223) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read Chapter 2 in Okasha (18-39).

• Team 1 Members: Please post your questions on the reading to the Question 1 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (9/7) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 1 Members: Please post your Keywords on the proper forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (9/7) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question 1 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Friday (9/9) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours (by 9/13) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 1 Members: Please post your Synthesis to the proper forum on the wiki within 48 hours (by 9/14) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
Background:
Feynman on Scientific Method.

Our Goals:
• Addressing the team's questions.

M 19: "Underdetermination"
Our Tasks:
Primary: Please read W.V.O. Quine "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (250-270) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction to Part 3 (225-256), Pierre Duhem "Physical Theory and Experiment" (227-249), Donald Gillies "The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis" (271-287), Larry Laudan "Demystifying Underdetermination" (288-320) and related Commentary (333-386) in Curd and Cover.
Tertiary: Please read Chapter 3 in Okasha (40-57).

Background:
• On the Ideas of Quine: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4 and Section 5.
• In Conversation: Quine - The Block Panel
• Roger Ariew on Duhem Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Our Goals:
• Addressing the concept and consequences of the claim that no scientific theory can be conclusively determined to be true or to be refuted.

M 26: "Questioning Technology"
Our Tasks:
Primary: Please read Martin Heidegger "The Question Concerning Technology" (9-24) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction (xiii-xviii), Part I (introduction; 1-8), Herbert Marcuse "New Forms of Control" (34-42), Don Ihde "A Phenomenology of Technics" (76-97), Philip Brey "Philosophy of Technology Meets Social Constructivism: A Shopper's Guide" (98-111) and Andrew Feenberg "Democratic Rationalization: Technology Power, and Freedom" (139-155) in Kaplan.

• Team 2 Members: Please post your questions on the reading to the Question 2 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (9/21) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 2 Members: Please post your Keywords on the proper forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (9/21) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question 2 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Friday (9/23) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours (by 9/27) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 2 Members: Please post your Synthesis to the proper forum on the wiki within 48 hours (by 9/28) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).

Our Goals:
• Addressing the team's questions.

October

M 3: "Politics and Technology"
Our Tasks:
Primary: Please read Michael Foucault "Panopticism" (264-277) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read Part III (introduction; 245-249), Langdon Winner "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" (251-263), Richard Sclove "Strong Democracy and Technology" (278-292) and Laurence Tribe "The Constitution in Cyberspace: Law and Liberty Beyond the Electronic Frontier" (309-320) in Kaplan.

Background:
• Laurence Tribe "The Invisible Constitution".

Our Goals:
• Exploring arguments regarding the political nature of technology.

M 10: "Ethics and Technology"
Our Tasks:
Primary: Please read Hans Jonas "Technology and Responsibility" (173-184) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read Part II (introduction; 169-172),Diane Michelfelder "Technological Ethics in a Different Voice" (198-207) and Peter-Paul Verbeek Moralizing Technology: On the Morality of Technological Artifacts and Their Design" (226-243)

Background:
• Bas van Fraassen — Visible and Invisible World

Our Goals:
• Investigating the "ethical nature" of technology.

M 17: "Realism"
Our Tasks:
Primary: Please read Part Larry Laudan "A Confutation of Convergent Realism" (1108-1128) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction to Part 9 (1045-1048), Bas van Fraassen "Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism" (1060-1082), Ian Hacking "Experimentation and Scientific Realism" (1140-1153), Arthur Fine "The Natural Ontological Attitude" (1191-1213) and Alan Musgrave "NOA's Ark—Fine for Realism" (1214-1231) and related Commentary (1232-1300) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read Chapter 4 in Okasha (58-76).

• Team 3 Members: Please post your questions on the reading to the Question 3 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (10/12) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 3 Members: Please post your Keywords on the proper forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (10/12) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question 3 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Friday (10/14) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours (by 10/18) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 3 Members: Please post your Synthesis to the proper forum on the wiki within 48 hours (by 10/19) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).

Our Goals:
• Addressing the team's questions.

M 24: "Induction"
Our Tasks:
Essay due to the wiki by midnight. Exam due as scheduled this week.
Primary: Please read Nelson Goodman "The New Riddle of Induction" (451-456) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction to Part 4 (387-389), Karl Popper "The Problem of Induction" (406-411) Peter Achinstein "Explanation v. Prediction: Which Carries More Weight?" (439-450) and related Commentary (457-513) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read Chapter 5 in Okasha (77-94).

Background:
3.3 The Problem of Induction
Hume 2: The Problem of Induction

Our Goals:
• Exploring the relation of matters of fact.

M 31: "Laws"
Our Tasks:
Collaborative Dialogue: Thought piece due to the wiki by midnight.
Primary: Please read A.J. Ayer "What is a Law of Nature?" (816-832) in Curd and Cover.
Secondary: Please read the Introduction to Part 7 (813-815), D.H. Mellor "Necessities and Universals in Natural Laws" (853-870), Nancy Cartwright "Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?" (871-884) and related Commentary (885-908) in Curd and Cover.

• Team 4 Members: Please post your questions on the reading to the Question 4 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (10/26) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 4 Members: Please post your Keywords on the proper forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (10/26) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question 4 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Friday (10/28) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours (by 11/1) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 4 Members: Please post your Synthesis to the proper forum on the wiki within 48 hours (by 11/2) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).

Our Goals:
• Addressing the team's questions.

November

M 7: "Humans and Technology"
Our Tasks:
Collaborative Dialogue: Cycle 1 due to the wiki by midnight.
Email due (jim.collier@vt.edu) by midnight on end-of-term, or combined, essay.
Primary: Please read Nick Bostrom "The Transhumanism FAQ" (345-360) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read Part IV (introduction; 341-344), Ray Kurzweil "Twenty-First Century Bodies" (361-374), Evan Selinger, Hubert Dreyfus, and Harry Collins "Interactional Expertise and Embodiment" (391-416) and Carl Elliot "What Wrong with Enhancement Technology?" in Kaplan.
Our Goals:
• Addressing what it means to be both human and machine.

M 14: "Nature and Technology"
Our Tasks:
Collaborative Dialogue: Cycle 2 due to the wiki by midnight.
Primary: Please read Erik Katz "The Big Lie: Human Restoration of Nature" (443-451) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read Part V (introduction; 439-442) Strachan Donnelley "The Brave New World of Animal Biotechnology" (468-483), Gary Comstock "Ethics and Genetically Modified Foods" (484-497) and David Kaplan "What's Wrong with Functional Foods?" (498-505) in Kaplan.

• Team 5 Members: Please post your questions on the reading to the Question 5 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (11/9) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 5 Members: Please post your Keywords on the proper forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Wednesday (11/9) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question 5 Forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on Friday (11/11) (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours (by 11/15) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).
• Team 5 Members: Please post your Synthesis to the proper forum on the wiki within 48 hours (by 11/16) of the end of class (for reference the Question Formation assignment).

Our Goals:
• Addressing the team's questions.

Holiday Break

M 28: "Technology and Science"
Our Tasks:
Collaborative Dialogue: Cycle 3 due to the wiki by midnight.
Primary: Please read Bruno Latour "Laboratories" (534-551) in Kaplan.
Secondary: Please read Part VI (introduction; 507-510), Joseph Pitt "When Is an Image Not an Image?" (511-516) and Sheila Jasanoff "Technologies of Humility: Citizen Participation in Governing Science" (570-583) in Kaplan.
Our Goals:
• Investigating the relation between science and technology.

December

M 5: "Philosophy as Technology and as Science"
Our Tasks:
Collaborative Dialogue: Article due to the wiki by midnight.
Primary: Please read Paul Feyerabend ""How To Defend Society Against Science".
Secondary: Please read Chapter 7 in Okasha (120-134).
Our Goals:
• Drawing tentative conclusions about the practices of philosophy of science and philosophy of technology.

F 9: "Final"
Essay due to the wiki by 3:05. Exam due as scheduled this week.
Collaborative Dialogue: Revisiting Thought Piece due to the wiki by 3:05.

Well Done!

Philosophy of Modern Science and Technology