Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction

    • Course description and schedule

    • Structure of the course and requirements for credit

    • Perusall

    • Where to find the texts

    • A note on recordings of seminars

    • Zoom link for discussions

  • 2

    Preliminary Material

    • Philosophy of physics: a prelude

    • Podcast: Understanding string theory by James Ladyman

    • Three measurement problems by Tim Maudlin

    • Ten misconceptions about mathematics and its history by Michael J. Crowe

  • 3

    Week 1: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

    • Set text: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences by Eugene Wigner.

    • Reading guide: The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences

    • Set text: The Miracle of Applied Mathematics by Mark Colyvan

    • Reading guide: The Miracle of Applied Mathematics by Mark Colyvan

    • Suggested reading

    • Additional reading

    • Video: Interviews about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

    • Week 1: Session 1 recording

    • Week 1: Session 1 slides

    • Week 1: Session 2 recording

    • Week 1 feedback

  • 4

    Week 2: Popper and Kuhn

    • Set text: Part I.1 of The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper

    • Reading guide: The Logic of Scientific Discovery

    • Set text: Part 1 of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

    • Reading guide: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Part 1

    • Set text: Part 12 of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

    • Suggested reading

    • Week 2: Session 1 recording

    • Week 2: Session 1 slides

    • Week 2: Session 2 recording

    • Week 2: Session 2 slides

    • Course feedback

  • 5

    Week 3: Lakatos

    • Set text: Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programs

    • Suggested reading