The purpose of the course is to offer a historical and epistemological overview of empirical science, in order to better understand its nature and value, and the relationship between scientific knowledge, philosophy and theology. The first part of the course will present some highlights on the history of science, in its cultural and philosophical context, that will help to grasp the key elements of the nature of scientific activity. The second part will consider the method and the value of scientific knowledge, analysing the main interpretations proposed by some contemporary philosophers. The course will close with the study of the relations between scientific and philosophical knowledge, reflecting also on some historical conflicts between science, philosophy and religion.
M. Artigas, Knowing Things for Sure: Science and Truth, Lanham (MD): University Press of America, 2006; M. Artigas, Th. F. Glick, and R. A. Martínez, Negotiating Darwin. The Vatican Confronts Evolution, 1877-1902, Baltimore (MD): The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006; J. Dougherty, The Nature of Scientific Explanation, Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2013; E. Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996; Th. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed., Chicago (IL): University of Chicago Press, 1996; K. R. Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography, London: Open Court, 1982; W. R. Shea and M. Artigas, Galileo in Rome: The Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius; W. A. Wallace, The Modeling of Nature. Philosophy of science and Philosophy of Nature in Synthesis, Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1996.