HS 202 : Introduction to Philosophy

          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.

Texts/References

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