Required Texts

What is this thing called Science? (Fourth Edition), Alan F. Chalmers. Hackett Publishing (Sept 15, 2013). $26.96  ISBN-13: 978-1-62466-038-2.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (50th Anniversary Edition; intro by Ian Hacking), Thomas S. Kuhn, University Of Chicago Press, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0226458120.

Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time, Tim Maudlin. Princeton University Press; 2015. $23.70 ISBN-13: 978-0691165714.

Course Requirements

     Reflective comments on the readings: For each week’s required readings you are required to compose 2 comments (one sentence or brief paragraph each: I do not want your reading notes) on points of interest which you think will stimulate class discussion. When called upon in class to share your observations, you must have something interesting to offer, or you will lose active participation credit. A typed copy of these comments must be submitted in hard copy at the beginning of each class to obtain credit. I will give feedback on these where I can; 9 acceptable sets of 2 comments + 1 mark for superior quality will get you 10/10. (10%) 

     Active participation: your participation in the course will be rated not only on number of classes attended, but also on your responses (+) or failures to respond (–) to requests to share your reflections, and on the quality of your participation in class. The formula for this is calculated as follows: ½ mark for each of the 12 classes you attend, + a, where a = Σ{1 mark for each volunteered comment, and –½ mark for each unexplained absence or failure to produce a reasonable comment on request}, up to a maximum of +4: I will make sure each of you has at least 4 opportunities over the course of the term, so that you are able in theory to reach 10/10. Failure to attend more than three classes without documented excuse will result in a 0 for attendance. (10%)

     Development of any of your critical comments into a short essay (about 1200-1500 words or 4-6 pp.), due Thursday, Feb 25 on Avenue, hard copy in class no longer required. For those of you needing help formulating a thesis for the essay, I have some suggestion for topics here. (30%)

     A Midterm Exam in class on March 7, 8:30-10 p.m. (20%) [or 35% if higher than your grade on the Final]‡

     Final Exam in the exam period: April 14, 7:30 p m. (30%) [or 15% if lower than your grade on the Midterm]‡

‡ The Final Exam will test you mainly on material covered in the last 4 weeks of classes, whereas the Midterm will test you on everything covered in the first 8 weeks. Consequently, it makes sense for the Midterm to be out of a higher grade.

So, instead of MT 20% and Final 30%, I am giving you the  option of MT 35% and Final 15%, if you do better in the Midterm; but keeping the 20/30 breakdown if you do better on the Final.

© Richard T. W. Arthur 2016