Philosophy of science

lsc2220  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Philosophy of science
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
2 credits
30.0 h
Guay Alexandre;

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The aim of the course is to invite Master students in science to reflect on some of the current central themes in the philosophy of science, which are related to their interests and the scientific discipline in which they have specialised. They will have to analyze, alone or in a group, a specific philosophical issue that they will choose in relation to the themes addressed in the classroom lectures. Students will have to convey the results and conclusions of their investigations in a written essay as well as through an oral presentation.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The three themes for 2019-20:
  1. Laws of nature. What is a law of nature? What is the relation between laws and determinism? Is there meta-laws?
  2. Philosophy of scientific models. What is a scientific model? What is the relation between a theory and its models? What is the relation between a simulation and a model?
  3. The concept of symmetry. What is a symmetry? What are symmetry arguments? What is the role of symmetry in contemporary science?
Teaching methods
The first part of the course consists in lectures on the three themes. In the meantime, students will register on the course’s website and form teams of maximum three members. Each team will choose a presentation subject in relation with one of the themes. The subject, the related list of references and the oral presentation plan will have to be approved by the professor. He shall be available to help students develop their presentation. The second part of the class will be devoted to the oral presentations. The final exam will cover all lectures and presentations.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation consists of two elements: a written exam (50% of the final grade) and an oral presentation in small groups (50%).
During the second session, the evaluation consists of an exam (50%) plus the presentation grade (50%). If the presentation grade is absent or has already been included in the June evaluation, this grade will be replaced by a personal research essay. Note that it is possible to make the presentation during the semester, asked for a presence grade in June and therefore use the presentation grade in the September evaluation.
Online resources
See course Moodle site.
Voir site Moodle du cours.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in Physics

Master [60] in Geography : General

Master [120] in Data Science : Statistic

Master [120] in Statistic: Biostatistics

Master [120] in Biology of Organisms and Ecology

Master [120] in Philosophy

Interdisciplinary Advanced Master in Science and Management of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Master [60] in Chemistry

Master [120] in Geography : Climatology

Master [120] in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology

Master [120] in Mathematics

Master [120] in Environmental Science and Management

Master [120] in Physics

Master [120] in Statistic: General

Master [120] in Chemistry

Master [60] in Philosophy

Master [60] in Biology

Master [120] in Geography : General

Master [60] in Mathematics