An overview of History and Philosophy of Science, dissecting terms such as History, Philosophy and its focal point science, correlating history of science and philosophy of science, tackeling about other essential information such as scientific method, paradigms and the role of History and Philosophy of Science in Science classroom. This is such a great help to inspire teachers and soon to be on how they can integrate their learning's in this subject to further enhance more science teaching.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “history”?How do you define history? *It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about these events3. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Philosophy”?4. How do you define “Philosophy”? *
Pythagoras- first true mathematician Pythagoras has commonly been given credit for discovering the Pythagorean theorem, a theorem in geometry that states that in a right-angled triangle the area of the square on the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides—that is, a^2 + b^2 = c^2.A theorem is a result that can be proven to be true from a set of axioms. The term is used especially in mathematics where the axioms are those of mathematical logic and the systems in question.A theory is a set of ideas used to explain why something is true, or a set of rules on which a subject is based.Axiom- a rule or principle that many people accept as truemaxim widely accepted on its intrinsic meritSharing: Philosophy: reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language (5mins)
Metaphysics-the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.2. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge and is also referred to as "theory of knowledge“, justified beliefhow much do we, or can we, know? Whatever turns out to be the correct account of the nature of knowledge, there remains the matter of whether we actually have any knowledge. It has been suggested that we do not, or cannot, know anything, or at least that we do not know as much as we think we do. Such a view is called skepticism.3. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Science”?How do you define Science? *
But these answers are too general.There’s much more to be said in detail about the nature of science.Two objects exert a force of attraction on one another known as "gravity." Even as the center of the Earth is pulling you toward it (keeping you firmly lodged on the ground), your center of mass is pulling back at the Earth, albeit with much less force. Sir Isaac Newton quantified the gravity between two objects when he formulated his three laws of motion. Yet Newton's laws assume that gravity is an innate force of an object that can act over a distance. Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. As a result, he found that space and time were interwoven into a single continuum known as space-time. Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another.
How do you now correlate history and philosophy to science?*This discipline sometimes overlaps metaphysics, ontology and epistemology, viz., when it explores whether scientific results comprise a study of truth. In addition to these central problems of science as a whole, many philosophers of science consider problems that apply to particular sciences (e.g. philosophy of biology or philosophy of physics). Some philosophers of science also use contemporary results in science to reach conclusions about philosophy.How will you now relate history and philosophy of science?The proper relationship between HS and PS can not be limited to any single internal/external, or descriptive/ prescriptive role on each other because they have and will continue to rely upon each other for their very existence. The proper role of both subdisciplines toward those who carry out scientific inquiry however can be stated as being one of an historically informed guidance councilor, or navigator which can help scientific practitioners avoid the pitfalls and unproductive byways of the past. This statement holds for those who study the history of psychology as much as it holds for those who study the history of physical, chemical, and biological science.
How can science have practical goals? *
How do you describe a good scientists?2. spurious- false or fake
How do we perform scientific method?How do you describe a scientific observation?Why do you think scientific method is important?
Based from the figure, how do you define paradigms?In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn proposed that science advances via a series of scientific 'revolutions' marking shifts between different 'paradigms.' A paradigm is a kind of model or frame of reference for interpreting the workings of the world. A classic example of a paradigm shift is the post-Copernican shift from a geocentric worldview to a heliocentric one: the idea that the Earth goes round the Sun, rather than the Sun going round the Earth. In a sense, Copernicus' success was possible through adopting an extraterrestrial perspective, that transcended the traditional Earthbound worldview.
Why do you think it is important to integrate history and philosophy of science in classroom?History is not a stranger to the science classroom. Teachers often include stories about famous discoveries and scientists--adding a human dimension (and sometimes a bit of humor) to the scientific concepts. What student does not hear of Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, Dmitri Medeleev and the periodic table, Marie Curie and radioactivity? *But history can be valuable for other reasons, as well. First, historical case studies allow teachers to convey an understanding of the nature of science--how scientists pose questions, design experiments, interpret results, generate alternative hypotheses and decide between them. They also provide an excellent opportunity for talking about the cultural, economic and ethical contexts of science--and how scientific discoveries, in turn, fit in society and relate to other fields of study. History also shows how scientific knowledge changes, leading students to appreciate both the achievements and limits of science. *Even more important, perhaps, history provides a context for understanding how students learn fundamental concepts. Students, like their historical counterparts, are learning concepts for the first time--without prior knowledge about the significance of those concepts. History shows what originally motivated various investigations, often in ways that students today can appreciate. History can also reveal common preconceptions of various topics, conceptions that must be transformed if teaching is to be effective. Historical debates often show how to address such misconceptions. History is thus an important tool for a constructivist classroom, where students "construct" their own knowledge by confronting and developing new explanations for discrepant events drawn from history.The important role of history and nature of science among objectives in science education has been recognized in several emerging national standards for science education. The National Research Council's National Science Education Content Standards , for example, specify standards for learning:science as a human endeavorhistory of sciencenature of science
History and Philosophy in Science TeachingCurriculum Modules K-12Learning should be challenging. True learning (as opposed to memorization) results from active thinking. I must encourage students to question accepted "truths" from every angle and to reconcile that information with their experiences and beliefs. Learning is life-long. The learning skills students develop will be retained long beyond many of the "facts" they acquire. I must encourage students' natural curiosity about the world and facilitate creative thinking that will serve them well beyond the classroom.Learning should also be relevant and enjoyable. The best learning occurs when students can personally relate to the subject matter and are actively involved in the experience. I believe students will enjoy studying history when they can see a direct connection between their own experiences and those in the past. Finally, as the instructor, I must facilitate discussion and dialogue with and among students.
History and Philosophy of Science
• (from Greek ἱστορία - historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by
• is the study of the past, specifically how it relates to humans
• comes from the Ancient Greek
(philosophia), which literally means
"love of wisdom". The introduction
of the terms "philosopher" and
"philosophy" has been ascribed to
the Greek thinker Pythagoras.
• the study of general and
fundamental problems, such as
those connected with reality,
existence, knowledge, values, reason,
mind, and language
• PHILOSOPHY INVESTIGATES:
The most general questions about what exists:
–Metaphysics and ontology:
Attempt to categorize the most general forms of reality and possibly to explain why
reality is like that. E.g. Can mind exist independently of matter?
The most general questions about questions and possible answers:
an attempt to characterize the nature of knowledge and to identify the kinds of
knowledge that are possible and the ways of acquiring knowledge.
–Theory of meaning:
An attempt to clarify the nature of meaning and how it differs from nonsense.
The most general questions about what ought to exist, or ought not to exist:
–Ethics (moral philosophy) and aesthetics
an attempt to distinguish what is good and what is bad, including what is good or bad in
art. Meta-ethics investigates the nature of ethics.
What is Science?
A better answer – science is a disciplined attempt to find out:
• what exists
E.g. people, fleas, clouds, rivers, atoms, sub-atomic particles, molecules, poverty,
wars, minds, emotions, computational processes in computers, genes, species,
• how things work
E.g. how molecules of atoms and of hydrogen can be transformed into molecules of
water, how centripetal force produces circular or elliptical motion, how an egg
develops into a chicken, how humans generate grammatical sentences (sometimes).
• why they work as they do
This usually requires appeal to do a deeper theory. Usually mathematics is required to
derive precise consequences from a deep theory.
• what doesn’t exist but could exist
Many animals that might have evolved did not. Many molecules might be produced
that have not been. Could peace exist on earth?
• how such things would work if they existed
What kind of design would allow a computer to learn to talk and understand
What is Science,
.... a disciplined attempt to find out:
• what sorts of things cannot exist
A mouse proving theorems about algebra? Dreams?
• under what conditions they cannot exist
Some are probabilistic,
e.g. throwing two dice will produce two sixes only about 2.7778% of the time. What
about: “a chess machine will not move its king into check”?
• why they cannot exist
The only way to explain why something is impossible (why a law holds) is with
reference to a deeper, more general theory. Einstein’s theory of general relativity
provided an explanation for Newton’s law of gravitation.
Craft, Science, Engineering
Historically there is often a progression through craft, then science to engineering, which can
produce new craft, new science and new engineering, indefinitely.
We develop skills, learn from experience, teach others, solve many practical problems.
But we don’t really understand why our methods sometimes work and sometimes fail.
We describe systematically and explicitly what was previously only intuitive.
This often requires mathematics (not necessarily numbers – e.g. grammars or program specifications).
We link different theories together to form systems, some of which explain others.
We accept nothing on trust, have no faith about anything, but we persist when it looks
as if there’s more to find out. A scientist should never believe anything as proven, but
can provisionally decide that one theory is currently better than all rival theories.
We publish theories and data, and we invite and attend to criticism (or should do!)
We use the science to refine, explain and extend what was previously only craft,
e.g. explaining why old bridges are stable, designing a new kind of bicycle frame.
We use engineering advances to probe nature in more depth and with greater precision,
discovering more for science to explain, and sometimes falsifying theories in new ways.
Components of Theories
For every kind of scientific subject matter we need:
• A form of representation (often using some kind of mathematics)
• An ontology (catalogue of kinds of things that can exist)
• Techniques and tools for manipulating the representations, so as to model things,
draw inferences, and sometimes replicate.
A lot more needs to be said about the forms of representation used in various sciences.
• Often the development of a new notation or form of representation, together with a
new body of mathematics for reasoning with it, is crucial to an advance in science.
• For example, the development of new programming languages helps to
advance the science of information processing.
• New forms of representation that are good for science sometimes also advance
engineering, and vice versa.
The boundaries between craft, science and engineering are not sharp.
• The craftsman or artisan who reflects on what does and does not work, keeps
records, and looks for patterns, is already moving towards being a scientist.
• Sometimes creative scientists are not terribly disciplined; they have hunches, they
have prejudices against certain theories, they may fail to grasp a new unfamiliar
• Sometimes a high-priest mentality, or intellectual snobbery leads people to think that
only what they do can be called science: they may be unaware that their rigid
constraints (e.g. use only numerical data that can be fed into statistical packages to
produce significant correlations) may be obstructing deep science.
• In particular, some non-physicists mistakenly believe that the essence of physics is
collection of measurements and a search for laws consistent with the measurements;
so they teach their students that it is the only way to do science: corrupting the
minds of the young in the name of science.
History of Science
• study of the historical development of science and scientific knowledge,
including both the natural sciences and social sciences
Philosophy of Science
• concerned with all the assumptions, foundations, methods, implications of
science, and with the use and merit of science.
The proper role of both sub disciplines toward those who carry out scientific
inquiry however can be stated as being one of an historically informed
guidance councilor, or navigator which can help scientific practitioners avoid
the pitfalls and unproductive byways of the past.
Must Science have practical goals?
A topic on which both philosophers and scientists are divided is whether science must
have practical aims.
For example, some people think all scientific research must be justified by its
potential economic value, or by the prospect of using the results for the benefit of humans.
However, alternative views are possible, e.g.
• Instead of aiming only to benefit human beings, science should aim to reduce the harm done by humans
to other species, including those close to extinction – even if that harms or inconveniences humans.
• Science should aim to produce the best state of the universe, or at least the best possible state of our
planet, irrespective of whether that involves preserving human beings or constraining their behaviors,
or replacing them with something better
– e.g. intelligent robots lacking the kinds of human nastiness involved in war, torture, murder,
rape, religious fanaticism, racialism, nationalism, etc.
• The only core aim of science is to collect information about what is in the world and how things in the
world behave in different conditions (using various forms of observation and experiment), and then to try
to construct the best possible explanatory theory (or collection of theories) accounting for all the
Science does not assume final answers are
• that no answer is ever final,
• that it is always possible that contrary evidence can turn up,
• that it is always possible that better theories will be suggested,
In this, science differs from many other types of activity, including most religious thinking,
e.g. those which involve a commitment to faith.
This does not mean that science is a free-for-all, that “anything goes”.
If most people accept theory A as the best available in some branch of science, that does
not mean that no scientist can propose theory B which is inconsistent with A.
It does mean that the reasons why B is better have to be articulated, and those reasons
can then be investigated.
• It may turn out that the claim is spurious.
• It may turn out that B is far superior but only after new engineering technology has developed in order to
reveal new evidence.
• It may turn out that deep analysis and testing does not determine which is better.
• In that case we have to go on developing the ideas until we see that they are actually equivalent, or we
do find a reason for preferring one, perhaps in a hundred years’ time.
Not everyone agrees how to do science. One key issue concerns the
pursuit of objectivity.
The Scientific Method
Open to the data
Provisional knowledge and refutation
Evidence is basis for knowledge
Evidence is based on observation
Replication is important
Assumes an objective reality
Precise and generalizable findings
Assumptions that organize our observations
and make sense of them.
• Based on ontology (study of existence)
and epistemology (study of the nature of knowledge)
– Ones fundamental model, scheme, world view
– Methodology (organizing principles) stems
Recognize a Pattern
Develop a logical explanation for the Pattern
The Role of History and Philosophy of
Science in Classroom
• historical case studies allow teachers to convey an understanding of
the nature of science
• history provides a context for understanding how students learn
The National Research Council's National Science Education Content
Standards , for example, specify standards for learning:
• science as a human endeavor
• history of science
• nature of science
designed for students to explore
the world of scientific thought and
practice, and to deepen their
knowledge of the historical and
conceptual evolution of science
• 2-3 presenters a day
• Visual aids or power point
presentation (give an activity)
• Hand-outs to be given to the class and prof.
• quiz (10-15 items)
• Class (50%) and prof. (50%) rating for the demonstration
• Computation of grade (secretary, treasurer and auditor)
• Life of Philosopher, Experiences and
• Contribution, Philosophies
How did he formulate his philosophy?
Causes and Effects of Philosophy
• Importance of his Philosophy
• Relationship and Integration to other fields
(Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy,
Biological and Physical Science)
• How does the philosophy affect our daily life?
“There is no such thing as philosophy
-free science; there is only science
whose philosophical baggage
is taken on board without
Darwin's Dangerous Idea, 1995
One of the most exciting
aspects of teaching science is
conveying how science is done
and engaging students in the process
of discovery for themselves.
Good luck future teachers