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Second Philosophy and Testimonial Reliability: Philosophy of Science for STEM Students

Cabrera, Frank (2021) Second Philosophy and Testimonial Reliability: Philosophy of Science for STEM Students. European Journal for Philosophy of Science. ISSN 1879-4912

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Abstract

In this paper, I describe some strategies for teaching an introductory philosophy of science course to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students, with reference to my own experience teaching a philosophy of science course in the Fall of 2020. The most important strategy that I advocate is what I call the “Second Philosophy” approach, according to which instructors ought to emphasize that the problems that concern philosophers of science are not manufactured and imposed by philosophers from the outside, but rather are ones that arise internally, during the practice of science itself. To justify this approach, I appeal to considerations from both educational research and the epistemology of testimony. In addition, I defend some distinctive learning goals that philosophy of science instructors ought to adopt when teaching STEM students, which include rectifying empirically well-documented shortcomings in students’ conceptions of the “scientific method” and the “nature of science.” Although my primary focus will be on teaching philosophy of science to STEM students, much of what I propose can be applied to non-philosophy majors generally. Ultimately, as I argue, a successful philosophy of science course for non-philosophy majors must be one that advances a student’s science education. The strategies that I describe and defend here are aimed at precisely that end


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cabrera, Frankcabrera@msoe.edu
Keywords: Science Education; Second Philosophy; Nature of Science (NOS); Testimony; String Theory; Demarcation Problem
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Frank Cabrera
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 03:43
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 03:43
Item ID: 19133
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science vs. Pseudoscience
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: 2021
ISSN: 1879-4912
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19133

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