The course will acquaint the students of science and engineering with some issues on the nature and methods of science and mathematics, and the ethical issues arising out of the application of science and technology. The objective is to develop a critical, reflective and historical awareness on issues relating to the following topics:
Philosophy and History of Science: Growth of scientific knowledge: factors leading to the emergence of modern science. Conceptual evolution: internal and external history. Methodology of science: induction, falsificationism, confirmation and probability. Nature of scientific laws and theories: realism, instrumentalism and underdetermination. Relationship between scientific observation, experiment and scientific theory. Nature of scientific explanation: teleological explanations and the covering law model. Selected case studies on scientific theories.
Logic and the nature of mathematical reasoning: Inductive and deductive forms of reasoning. Nature of axioms: formal axiomatic systems. Concept of consistency, independence and completeness. Nature of rules of inference and proof. Selected examples of axiomatic systems and proof procedures.
Cognition: Current approaches to the understanding of mind and mental processes: empiricist, rationalist, behaviourist and cognitivist.
Ethics: Impact of science and technology on man and society: elements of environmental and professional ethics.
A.C. Grayling (ed.) Philosophy: A Guide through the subject, Oxford Univ. Press, London, 1995.
Marx W. Wartofsky, Conceptual Foundations of Scientific Thought: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Macmillan, London, 1968.
I.B. Cohen, The Birth of a New Physics, Vakils, Feffer and Simons Pvt. Ltd., Bombay, 1968.
H. Eves and C.V. Newsom, Foundations and Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics, Boston, PWS-Kart Pub. Co., 1990.
K.E. Goodpaster and K.M. Sayre (eds.) Ethics and Problems of 21st Century, Univ. of Notre Dame Press, London, 1979.
S.D. Agashe, A. Gupta & K. Valicha (eds.) Scientific Method, Science, Technology and Society: A Book of Readings, Univ. of Bombay Press, 1963