Coordinator: Dr. K. K. Mashood
Teaching philosophy of science to students from other disciplines
Joeri Witteveen and Sara Green, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
940 5808 5713
Philosophy of science courses are increasingly taught not only to philosophy students, but also to students from other disciplines. While this offers a unique opportunity to engage with other fields and make philosophy of science relevant for other target groups, it also calls for reflection on what and how to teach. Whereas philosophy of science critically examines the methodological approaches in other fields, much less attention has been given to the didactical strategies used within philosophy of science, and to discussions of how we, through teaching, can make philosophy of science relevant to other target groups. In this seminar, we present a recently published topical collection in which scholars discuss the benefits and challenges associated with teaching philosophy of science to non- philosophers. We also reflect on our own experience with teaching mandatory philosophy of science courses to science students from a range of programs at University of Copenhagen. We highlight some of the lessons we have learned in making philosophy of science “fit for teaching” outside of philosophy circles by taking selected cases from the students’ own field as the starting point. We argue for adapting philosophy of science teaching to science students and discuss the benefits of drawing on research within science education to inform curriculum and course design. This involves reconsidering teaching resources, assumptions about students, intended learning outcomes, and teaching formats. We also argue that to make philosophy of science relevant and engaging to science students, it is important to consider their potential career trajectories. By anticipating future contexts and situations in which methodological, conceptual, and ethical questions could be relevant, philosophy of science can demonstrate its value in the education of science students.
Joeri Witteveen is tenure-track assistant professor in history and philosophy of science at the University of Copenhagen. His main research interests are in philosophy of biology. He is currently PI for a four-year research project on taxonomy and conservation policy.
Sara Green is associate professor in philosophy of science at the University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses primarily on philosophy of biology and medicine, particularly the epistemic and societal implications of systems biology and precision medicine.