Philosophy, Science and Religion: Science and Philosophy

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Philosophy, Science and Religion: Science and Philosophy

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Beschrijving

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About this course: Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science a…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing. This course, entitled ‘Science and Philosophy’, will serve as the first of three related courses in our Philosophy, Science and Religion Online series, and in this first course we will ask important questions about the nature of scientific knowledge, its limits and implications for the disciplines of philosophy and religion, as well as for their intersection. We begin by asking whether scientific claims aspire to absolute truth. For instance, are there any scientific claims that are absolutely true, or are they all true relative to the system of thought that generated them? If we accept the latter, does this also hold true of any claims we might make, including within the domains of philosophy and religion? In this Science and Philosophy course we will also be exploring in some detail current and exciting questions about the relationship between physics and faith, science and pseudoscience, creationism and evolutionary biology. The second and third courses in the Philosophy, Science and Religion series—‘Philosophy and Religion’ and ‘Religion and Science’—will be launched later in 2017. Completing all three courses will give you a broader understanding of this fascinating topic. Look for: • Philosophy, Science and Religion II: Philosophy and Religion • Philosophy, Science and Religion III: Religion and Science Check out our trailer to hear more: https://youtu.be/OifqTI5VKek You can also follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EdiPhilOnline and you can follow the hashtag #psrmooc

Who is this class for: This class can be taken by learners at all levels, and should be easy to understand for 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students. Although passing short quizzes is required to pass the course, those who want to engage further also have the option of receiving peer-feedback on optional short-answer questions. The course is self-contained but can also act as a taster for Edinburgh's online MSc in Philosophy, Science, and Religion.

Created by:  The University of Edinburgh
  • Taught by:  Dr J Adam Carter, Researcher

    Epistemology - Philosphy
  • Taught by:  Dr Orestis Palermos, Research Explorer

    School of Philosophy
  • Taught by:  Dr Mark Harris, Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion

    School of Divinity
  • Taught by:  Professor Duncan Pritchard, Professor of Philosophy

    University of Edinburgh
Level Beginner Commitment 4 weeks of study Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.3 stars Average User Rating 4.3See what learners said Coursework

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Syllabus


WEEK 1


Philosophy, Science and Religion: Introduction and Overview



In this module, course instructors Dr Orestis Palermos and Dr Adam Carter provide a short introduction and overview of the key themes that will be discussed in the ‘Science and Philosophy’ course. Some background to the research question concerning the status of scientific claims is offered as well as an overview of some of the central philosophical issues concerning the relationship between science and religion, and creationism and evolutionary biology.


4 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 1.1 - Overview
  2. Video: Lecture 1.2 - Relativism and Science
  3. Video: Lecture 1.3 - Faith and Physics
  4. Video: Lecture 1.4 - Evolutionary Biology and Creationism
  5. Discussion Prompt: Does disagreement about a subject constitute a good reason to be a relativist about the subject matter in question?


WEEK 2


Do Scientific Claims Constitute Absolute Truths?



Guest lecturer: Professor Martin Kusch. This module will focus on a central challenge for scientific knowledge: Are there any scientific claims that are absolutely true, or are they all true relative to the system of thought that generated them? If we accept the latter, does this also hold true of any claims we might make, including within the domains of philosophy and religion?


5 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Lecture 2.1 - What is Relativism?
  2. Video: Lecture 2.2 - The Sociology of Science
  3. Video: Lecture 2.3 - Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  4. Video: Lecture 2.4 - Relativism and Science
  5. Video: Lecture 2.5 - The Future of Relativism in the Study of Science
  6. Peer Review: Peer-reviewed essay question
  7. Reading: [Video Lecture] Stathis Psillos on Scientific Realism
  8. Reading: Further Reading on Relativism
  9. Reading: Podcasts, Interviews, and Videos

Graded: Quiz 1
Graded: Quiz 2
Graded: Quiz 3

WEEK 3


Are Science and Religion in Conflict?



Guest lecturer: Dr Michael Murray. Are science and religion compatible with one another? Are they incompatible? What do these questions even mean, and how do we go about answering them? Philosophical tools are helpful to make progress with these very important questions. In this module, Dr Michael Murray offers a philosophical analysis of the complex and easily misunderstood issue of the relationship between science and religion.


7 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Lecture 3.1 - Conflicting in Principle
  2. Video: Lecture 3.2 - Non-Conflicting in Principle
  3. Video: Lecture 3.3 - Potentially Conflicting
  4. Video: Lecture 3.4 - Can Science Support Religious Beliefs?
  5. Video: Lecture 3.5 - A Theoretical Challenge
  6. Video: Lecture 3.6 - A Challenge from Evolutionary Psychology
  7. Video: Lecture 3.7 - Summary
  8. Peer Review: Peer-reviewed essay question
  9. Reading: [Video Lecture] Tom McLeish on the Theology of Science
  10. Reading: Further Reading on Religion & Science

Graded: Quiz 1
Graded: Quiz 2
Graded: Quiz 3

WEEK 4


Creationism and Evolutionary Biology—Science or Pseudo-Science?



Guest lecturer: Professor Conor Cunningham. This module examines the scientific status of evolutionary biology. What may count as a scientific theory? Is evolutionary biology scientific? Is it likely to change in the future? Approaching these questions from a philosophical perspective can help clarify the ongoing debate between evolutionary biology and religion.


11 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Week 4
  2. Video: Lecture 4.1- The Return of Scientia
  3. Video: Lecture 4.2 - Fundamentalism: "My Precious"
  4. Video: Lecture 4.3 - Nihilism and Pseudo-Science
  5. Video: Lecture 4.4 - The Return of Science
  6. Video: Lecture 4.5 - Dawkins and the Selfish Gene
  7. Video: Lecture 4.6 - Conclusion
  8. Video: Lecture 4.7 - Creationism vs Evolutionary Biology
  9. Video: Lecture 4.8 - Is Creationism Scientific?
  10. Video: Lecture 4.9 - Is Evolutionary Biology Scientific?
  11. Video: Lecture 4.10 - Conclusion
  12. Peer Review: Optional essay question
  13. Reading: Further Reading on Creationism and Evolutionary Biology
  14. Reading: Podcasts, Interviews, and Videos

Graded: Quiz 1
Graded: Quiz 2
Graded: Quiz 3

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