ICCUB Course

Course on "Scientific Philosophy"

By Gustavo E. Romero (UNLP - CONICET)   

Monday 15-Monday 29 Jan 2018

Place: Sala de Graus (aulari). Facultat de Física
E-mail: jmparedes@ub.edu
Documents: Class1_10831.pdf   |    Class2_10831.pdf   |    Class3_10832.pdf   |    Class4_10832.pdf   |    Class5_10833.pdf   |    ClassET_10831.pdf   |   

The course addresses the fundamental problems of scientific philosophy, that is, philosophy inspired by science. The approach is not historical but based on concrete problems and proposals for solutions to them. It will touch all major issues that matter to a scientist and that are relevant to improve the quality of your research. Among other issues, answers will be offered to such basic questions as: What is a natural law? What is a law statement? What is an event? What is probability? What is a scientific theory? How is science different from pseudoscience? What is vagueness and how to eliminate it? What is knowledge? What do we mean by understanding? What is a model and how does it differ from a theory? What is a value? What is the difference between ethics and morals? What should be the moral codes of a scientist? These and other similar questions are discussed from a modern point of view, which takes into account the latest developments in both philosophy and science. Abundant examples drawn from the physical sciences will be used. The course aims to complete the comprehensive training of scientists, teachers, and science disseminators who wish to better understand their activity.

6 Lectures: 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 January 2018, 12:00h -13:30

Special Lecture: 29 January, 12:00h -13:30

Registration: free
For organizational purposes, please let us know your participation by registering at:



Lecture 1.
What is scientific philosophy? Philosophical Semantics. Language. Formal language. Denotation. Designation. Reference. Sense. Meaning.

Lecture 2.
Vagueness. Truth. Theories of truth. Relevancy.

Lecture 3.
Ontology. Individual. Property. Thing. Change. State. History. Causality. Laws. Probability. Chance. Events. Spacetime. Determinism. Realism. Materialism.

Lecture 4.
Epistemology. Knowledge. Understanding. Explanation. Modes of explanation. Representation.

Lecture 5.
Theory. Model. Concept of science. Concept of technology. Pseudo-science and pseudo-technology. Examples. Sociological considerations.

Lecture 6.
Axiology and ethics. Values. Valuation systems. Moral. Ethics.

Special Lecture.
Ontology of spacetime. Leibnitz vs. Newton. Relationism. Absolutism. Spacetime. Substantialism. Supersubstantialism.