This module is on Philosophy of Science. The module is broken down into seven sections dealing with the Philosophy of Science. The first section is the scientific method. I will begin this journal by explaining the scientific method. First things first, what is Science? Well, I’m glad you asked. Science is defined as the study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world based on facts learned through observation and experiment. The key words in the definition of science are observation and experiment. Those keywords lead us right where we need to be in order to understand the scientific method. The scientific method is basically the technique used to construct reliable representation of the world that is consistent. The method is usually broken down into simple steps. The first step is to ask a question. For example, “Does hot water freeze faster than cold water?” Now that you have the question, the next step would be to come up with a hypothesis. Wait, rewind! Before you start working or your hypothesis you probably should do some research first. Okay, back to the hypothesis. This is where you try to answer your question with some sort of justification. For example, “Cold water freezes faster than hot water because it is already cold.” Now, it’s finally time to test the hypothesis through those keys words that I mentioned earlier, observation and experiments. I could test my hypothesis by placing hot water and cold water in separate cups. Place them both in the freezer at the same time and then constantly check them on a times schedule to see which cups of water freezes first. We’ve come to the final step, the analysis and results. The results will conclude whether or not my hypothesis was a scientific fact or just a waste. After the experiment, I can conclude that my hypothesis was wrong. This completes the scientific method.
The next section in this module is the history of Philosophy of Science. Encyclopedia Britannica defines philosophy of science as the study, from a philosophical perspective, of the elements of scientific inquiry. The module teaches that philosophy of science asks many questions but I will only list a few. What is science? Does or can science lead to certainty? Is there such thing as the scientific method? Following the history of Philosophy of science, in the module, is paradigm shifts. Paradigm shift starts with Thomas Kuhn, who explains pre-science and normal science, where the old paradigms are replaced with the new. Why is this important to the module and what does it have to do with philosophy of science? Well, according to the module, “history has seen several paradigm shifts in science.”
The next section is Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and the Process View, which is broke down into the fundamental assumption, trip down to the quantum level and the status of scientific law. Then we have the Beginnings of the Scientific Method: Golden Age, Does a scientific worldview contradict a religious worldview and lastly, the conclusion. The module is concluded by basically saying, there will always be paradigm shifts in science.
In my opinion, this module is important because it helps me understand why when we’re discussing a topic in class, whether on epistemology or metaphysics, I always end up asking myself, “Isn’t this just science. This topic relates to module seven – Epistemology being that epistemology is the study of knowledge and the philosophy of science is basically study of the way we construct scientific knowledge. Through epistemology we are introduced to rationalism and empiricism, which could relate to this topic by helping understand the approaches through which the scientific knowledge is constructed.