Philosophy of Science – Assessments

3.1 Explaining the Natural World Submission

Compare Bacon’s method of generalization with the hypothetical method in terms of their respective emphases on and use of (1) induction versus deduction (2) reason vs experience. (100-200 words)

3.2 Characterizing Scientific Progress Submission

Suppose a promising theory cannot be tested by current methods of experiment, or even by anticipated methods — for example, particle-physics theories with entities too small to observe, or cosmological theories about space where predicted values are too large to be observed. Do you think such endeavors still count as “science?” Explain your position. Then, consider the question of the cause of global warming. While rising sea levels seem to confirm that warming is real, some hold that the cause of warming cannot be verified to be human activity. Are such claims legitimate reason to redirect scientific investigations? Essentially, do you think science requires immediate possibility of falsification?

3.2 Characterizing Scientific Progress Discussion

What do you think is the aim of science? Do you think science is about answering questions for their own sake? Or is it the job of science to direct its efforts and resources toward solving society’s problems? Using examples may help you argue your point.