Minor in the History and Philosophy of Science

Brian Skyrms, Director
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Minor in the History and Philosophy of Science

The minor in the History and Philosophy of Science is intended for students who wish to study the history of science, the philosophical foundations of scientific inquiry, and the relationship between science and other fields. The history of science explores how science is actually done and how it has influenced history. This may involve tracking down an idea’s source or its influences, evaluating the cultural forces at work in the generation of a scientific theory or the reaction of culture to science, or taking a detailed look at the work of a particular scientist or movement within science. The philosophy of science is concerned with determining what science and mathematics are, accounting for their apparent successes, and resolving problems of philosophical interest that arise in the sciences. Philosophy of science courses cover such topics as the role of logic and language in science and in mathematics, scientific explanation, evidence, and probability. These courses may also cover work that has been done on the philosophical problems in specific sciences—for example, the direction of time in physics, the model of mind in psychology, the structure of evolution theory in biology, and the implications of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems for mathematics.

The minor is available to all UCI students.

Requirements for the Minor

A. Select two of the following:
Introduction to Inductive Logic
The Nature of Scientific Inquiry
The Making of Modern Science
B. Select two of the following:
Crossing the World's Oceans: From Sail to Steam
Maps from Prehistory to the Present
Topics in the History of Science and Technology
PHILOS 110–115 (when topic is science)
History of Psychology
C. Select three of the following:
Topics in Philosophy of Language
Topics in Logic
Topics in Induction, Probability, and Decision Theory
Topics in Philosophy of Science
Topics in Philosophy of Physics
Geometry and Spacetime
Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
Probability and Determinism
Writing/Philosophy of Biology
Topics in Philosophy of Psychology
Topics in Philosophy of Language
Topics in Philosophy of Logic
Topics in Philosophy of Mathematics
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