Philosophy of Modern Science & Technology: Calendar


Spring 2010

January

W 20: "A Map of the Issues"
Our Tasks:
• Please review Chapter 1 of Okasha's Philosophy of Science.
• Please surf and read the course web site focusing on the course calendar, syllabus and the Essay Sequence and Omnibus Review assignments.
• Please sign up for the class wiki as soon as possible (if you have not already). Click the "Join" button in the upper right corner and go from there.
• For reference, the entry for 'culture' from Williams' Keywords.
• If time and curiosity permit, please view The Vienna Circle and Logical Positivism.
Additional Resources:
• Wikipedia has nice entries on Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. And somewhat less satisfactory entries on Continental Philosophy and Philosophy of Technology.
Our Goals:
• Introductions; An orientation to issues raised in the course.

W 27: "The Logic of Science"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 1-3 of Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
• Please review Chapter 2 of Okasha's Philosophy of Science.
Additional Resources:
The Stanford Encyclopedia's entry on Karl Popper.
Our Goals:
• Surveying and analyzing the reasoning and methods of the empirical sciences as forwarded by Popper.

February

W 3: "Falsifiability and Testability"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 4-5 and review Chapter 6 of Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings and your keyword entries to the Question A forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 1/30 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question A forum on the wiki by noon on 2/2 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Examining the concepts of falsifiability and the problem of empirical basis.

W 10: "Simplicity and Probability"
Our Tasks:
• Please send me (jim.collier@vt.edu) your draft approach to Essay One.
• Please read Chapters 7 and 10, review Chapters 8-9 and consult the Appendices of Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings and your keyword entries to the Question B forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 2/6 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question B forum on the wiki by noon on 2/9 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Addressing issues of simplicity and corroboration.

W 17: "Invoking History, or the Chronicles of Normal Science"
Our Tasks:
• Please post your analysis of book reviews and your book(s) selection to the wiki.
• Please read the Preface, the Introduction and Chapters 1-4 of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
• Please review Chapters 1-4 of Fuller's Kuhn vs Popper (PDF 501 KB).
• Please consult Chapter 5 of Okasha's Philosophy of Science.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings and your keyword entries to the Question C forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 2/13 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question C forum on the wiki by noon on 2/16 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Looking at the role of history in the study of science.

W 24: "Paradigms, Discoveries and Crises"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 5-9 of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
• Please review Chapters 5-9 of Fuller's Kuhn vs Popper (PDF 501 KB).
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings and your keyword entries to the Question D forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 2/20 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question D forum on the wiki by noon on 2/23 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Exploring and defining the elusive concept, paradigm.

March

W 3: "The Revolution"
Our Tasks:
Essay One Due to the wiki.
• Please read Chapters 10-13 and the Postscript of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
• Please review Chapters 10-14 of Fuller's Kuhn vs Popper (PDF 501 KB).
Our Goals:
• Putting Structure into perspective.

Spring Break

W 17: "Post-Positivism"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 1-5 of Zammito's A Nice Derangement of Epistemes.
• Please review Chapters 15-17 of Fuller's Kuhn vs Popper (PDF 501 KB).
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings and your keyword entries to the Question E forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 3/13 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question E forum on the wiki by noon on 3/16 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Exploring the influence of Kuhn on the conduct of philosophy of science.

W 24: "Technique"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 1 and 2 of Ellul's The Technological Society.
Our Goals:
• Exploring "the fact of technique in the modern world."

W 31: "The Economy and the State"
Our Tasks:
• Please send me (jim.collier@vt.edu) your draft approach to Essay Two.
• Please read Chapters 3 and 4 of Ellul's The Technological Society.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings to the Question F forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 3/27 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question F forum on the wiki by noon on 3/30 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Tracing the influence of technique on the economy and the state.

April

W 7: "Human Techniques"
Our Tasks:
Book Review due to the wiki.
• Please read Chapters 5 and 6 of Ellul's The Technological Society.
Our Goals:
• Defining and analyzing the notion of human technique.

W 14: "Technology and Politics"
Our Tasks:
• Please read the Preface and Chapters 1-3 of Feenberg's Questioning Technology.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings to the Question G forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 4/10 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question G forum on the wiki by noon on 4/13 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Considering the interdependence of technology and politics.

W 21: "Democratic Rationalization"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 4-6 of Feenberg's Questioning Technology.
Our Goals:
• Mapping the boundaries of technocracy.

W 28: "Technology and Modernity"
Our Tasks:
• Please read the Chapters 7-9 of Feenberg's Questioning Technology.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your questions on the readings to the Question H forum on the wiki by 6 p.m. on 4/24 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Respondents: Please post your response to selected questions to the Question H forum on the wiki by noon on 4/27 (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
• Class Members: Please provide your assessment of the presentation within 24 hours.
• Discussion Leader: Please post your commentary to the proper forum on the wiki before our next class meeting (please consult the Essay Sequence assignment as needed).
Our Goals:
• Examining critical theories of technology.

May

W 5: "Derangement, Skepticism and Hope"
Our Tasks:
• Please read Chapters 6-Conclusion of Zammito's A Nice Derangement of Epistemes.
• Please review Chapters 6-7 of Okasha's Philosophy of Science.
Our Goals:
• Drawing tentative conclusions about the practices and promises of philosophy of science and philosophy of technology.

M 10: "Final"
Essay 2 Due to the wiki by 9:00 p.m.
Omnibus Review Due to the wiki by 9:00 p.m.
For reference, the exam schedule.

Well Done!

Philosophy of Modern Science and Technology