Courses & Units

Philosophy of Science HPH306


Science is our most successful attempt to understand the world around us, and it plays an extremely important role in contemporary society. As such, we should not ignore the possibility that science may have something to contribute to traditional philosophical debates about the nature of the world and our place in it. But nor should we, as philosophers or ordinary citizens, ignore the limitations of science and accept everything scientists tell us uncritically. In this unit we cast a philosophical eye over science, considering questions like What is science? What makes something a science rather than a pseudo-science? Are there limits to scientific knowledge? We may also cast a scientific eye on philosophy, considering what science might have to tell us about such issues as what it is to be human, the philosophy of time, the question of design in and of the natural world, and the nature of explanation. This unit will be of interest to philosophy majors, to students studying in a bachelor of science, or to anyone who is interested in the nature of science.


Unit name Philosophy of Science
Unit code HPH306
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline Philosophy and Gender Studies
Coordinator Doctor Richard Corry
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 2 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand some of the philosophical issues that lie at the foundations of science.
  • Analyse and critically assess philosophical arguments.
  • Engage with a range of philosophical views, synthesising perspectives to arrive at reflectively formed judgements.
  • Communicate your ideas and reasoning in a clear manner.
  • Appreciate the potential and limitations of scientific and rational enquiry.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
091701 $2,040.00 $957.00 not applicable $2,040.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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25 credit points at Introductory level or higher


Teaching Pattern

On campus 

Online lecture or equivalent (1 hour)

Weekly seminar (1 hour)

Weekly tutorial (1 hour)

Off campus 

Online lecture or equivalent (1 hour)

Weekly online discussions (equivalent 2 hours)

AssessmentEssay plan (5%)|Article summary (15%)|Essay (40%)|Take home exam (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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