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Department of History and Philosophy of Science

According to the American Sociological Association (ASA) sociology is the study of social life, social change, and social causes and consequences of human behaviour....

This branch of philosophy is handily called the philosophy of science.

In any case, it progressed over the years, with famous philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato beginning one of the most consequential periods of philosophy and forming the basis of its future.

Philosophers of science actively study such questions as:

History and Philosophy of Science courses for students in their second, third and fourth year

By way of organizing the countless questions posed and answers sought, broad conceptions of "science," "reason," "philosophy," and "religion" have been created and debated by humankind for centuries....

Some scholars think that this was just a lucky empirical guess, but if it was the discovery of an astronomical regularity or natural law, then Thales may be credited with distinguishing Greek philosophy and science from the somewhat aimless observations a...

Free philosophy of science Essays and Papers - …

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Natural philosophers, such as Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, RobertHooke, and Robert Boyle, sometimes appealed to supernatural agents intheir natural philosophy (which we now call “science”).Still, overall there was a tendency to favor naturalistic explanationsin natural philosophy. This preference for naturalistic causes mayhave been encouraged by past successes of naturalistic explanations,leading authors such as Paul Draper (2005) to argue that the successof methodological naturalism could be evidence for ontologicalnaturalism. Explicit methodological naturalism arose in thenineteenth century with the X-club, a lobby group for theprofessionalization of science founded in 1864 by Thomas Huxley andfriends, which aimed to promote a science that would be free fromreligious dogmas. The X-club may have been in part motivated by thedesire to remove competition by amateur-clergymen scientists in thefield of science, and thus to open up the field to full-timeprofessionals (Garwood 2008).

Because “science” and “religion” defydefinition, discussing the relationship between science (in general)and religion (in general) may be meaningless. For example, Kelly Clark(2014) argues that we can only sensibly inquire into the relationshipbetween a widely accepted claim of science (such as quantum mechanicsor findings in neuroscience) and a specific claim of a particularreligion (such as Islamic understandings of divine providence orBuddhist views of the no-self).

Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994) — A rebel within the philosophy of science.
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Free philosophy of science papers, essays, and research papers.

Views on divine action were influenced by developments in physics andtheir philosophical interpretation. In the seventeenth century,natural philosophers, such as Robert Boyle and John Wilkins, developeda mechanistic view of the world as governed by orderly and lawlikeprocesses. Laws, understood as immutable and stable, createddifficulties for the concept of special divine action (Pannenberg2002). How could God act in a world that was determined by laws?

Philosophy of Science Essay Suggestions

Christian authors have traditionally used the Bible as a source ofhistorical information. Biblical exegesis of the creation narratives,especially Genesis 1 and 2 (and some other scattered passages, such asin the Book of Job), remains fraught with difficulties. Are thesetexts to be interpreted in a historical, metaphorical, or poeticfashion, and what are we to make of the fact that the order ofcreation differs between these accounts (Harris 2013)? The Anglicanarchbishop James Ussher (1581–1656) used the Bible to date thebeginning of creation at 4004 BCE. Although such literalistinterpretations of the Biblical creation narratives were not uncommon,and are still used by Young Earth creationists today, theologiansbefore Ussher already offered alternative, non-literalistreadings of the biblical materials (e.g., Augustine 416 [2002]). Fromthe seventeenth century onward, the Christian doctrine of creationcame under pressure from geology, with findings suggesting that theEarth was significantly older than 4004 BCE. From the eighteenthcentury on, natural philosophers, such as de Maillet, Lamarck,Chambers, and Darwin, proposed transmutationist (what would now becalled evolutionary) theories, which seem incompatible with scripturalinterpretations of the special creation of species. Following thepublication of Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859), therehas been an ongoing discussion on how to reinterpret the doctrine ofcreation in the light of evolutionary theory (e.g., Bowler 2009).

Philosophy of Science - Friesian School

In the seventeenth century, the explanation of the workings of naturein terms of elegant physical laws suggested the ingenuity of a divinedesigner. The design argument reached its peak not with WilliamPaley’s Natural Theology (1802/2006), which was a late voicein the debate on the design argument, but during the seventeenth andearly eighteenth century (McGrath 2011). For example, Samuel Clarke(cited in Schliesser 2012: 451) proposed an a posterioriargument from design by appealing to Newtonian science, callingattention to the “exquisite regularity of all the planets’motions without epicycles, stations, retrogradations, or any otherdeviation or confusion whatsoever”.

Philosophy Essays: Philosophy of Science: Evolution and Creation

Before scientists developed their views on cosmology and origins ofthe world, Western cultures already had an elaborate doctrine ofcreation, based on Biblical texts (e.g., the first three chapters ofGenesis and the book of Revelation) and the writings of church fatherssuch as Augustine. This doctrine of creation has the followinginterrelated features: first, God created the world exnihilo, i.e., out of nothing. Differently put, God did not needany pre-existing materials to make the world, unlike, e.g., theDemiurge (from Greek philosophy), who created the world from chaotic,pre-existing matter. Second, God is distinct from the world; the worldis not equal to or part of God (contra pantheism or panentheism) or a(necessary) emanation of God’s being (contra neoplatonism).Rather, God created the world freely. This introduces a radicalasymmetry between creator and creature: the world is radicallycontingent upon God’s creative act and is also sustained by God,whereas God does not need creation (Jaeger 2012b: 3). Third, thedoctrine of creation holds that creation is essentially good (this isrepeatedly affirmed in Genesis 1). The world does contain evil, butGod does not directly cause this evil to exist. Moreover, God does notmerely passively sustain creation, but rather plays an active role init, using special divine actions (e.g., miracles and revelations) tocare for creatures. Fourth, God made provisions for the end of theworld, and will create a new heaven and earth, in this way eradicatingevil.

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