Philosophy of Science 2008

The overriding theme of this course is an exploration of the nature of scientific knowledge in the context of the realist/constructivist controversy in the philosophy of science. It will seek an accommodation between realism and constructivism. Further topics include evolution, complexity and emergence, the brain, and science as story telling as they bear on the overriding theme.

Phil 310 = Bio 310, Spring 2008, Tuesdays, 1-3:30


MarieSager's picture

Middlesex: How and Why Callie Became Cal

“Sing now, O Muse, of the recessive mutation on my fifth chromosome! Sing how it bloomed two and a half centuries ago on the slopes of mount Olympus…Sing how it passed down through nine generations, gathering invisibly within the polluted pool of the Stephanides family. And sing how Providence … sent the gene flying again…” (p 4).

Kee Hyun Kim's picture

Should we allow cloning of ourselves?

3rd web paper

Kee Hyun (Andy) Kim


“Should we allow cloning of ourselves?”

ekoike's picture

The Mystery Surrounding Our Layers of Skin

The Mystery Surrounding Our Layers of Skin

ctreed's picture

Reflections of Biology in Her Unquiet Mind


Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s book An Unquiet Mindprovided many examples of biological concepts that we discussed throughout thecourse in the context of an individual’s life.  Due to the intricacies of her condition and her acuteawareness of death, her story embodies, perhaps to an extreme, the complexitiesof what it is to be fully human and not just a creature of chemical processesmoving through life.

ctreed's picture

Bunny Vision

For years mothers have told their children to eattheir vegetables.  When it came tothose odd orange ones called carrots, they often gave the reason that eatingcarrots would improve eyesight, especially vision in the dark – just likerabbits.  By some this isconsidered an old wives’ tale, others think of the link between vitamin A andeyesight and dutifully eat their carrots. The story of carrots being linked to good eyesight first became widespreadin Britain during World War II. Coinciding with more successes at shooting down enemy bombers, newsstories appeared in Britain crediting a special new diet with an incr

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