The Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge is one of the world's major centres for study in HPS. This website provides general departmental information, details of staff and graduate students and their research areas, and full listings of over a dozen seminar series, specialist discussion groups and workshops running within the Department. The section "Research Guide", under "Information for Current Students" or on the "Quick Links" section, is one of the best things of its kind ever created, containing numerous essays by members of the Department on areas such as writing style, collecting oral history and organising dissertations, plus bibliographies for a wide variety of specialist fields within the history and philosophy of science. This is invaluable material for students of HPS at any institution, and some of the bibliographic guides may in addition prove useful for higher-level researchers. A separate section within the site is devoted to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, housed within the Department. The museum specialises in scientific instruments and related materials, and is particularly strong on items produced in England between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The website provides outline details of its collections, exhibitions and publications, plus a number of "case studies" or small online exhibits. The Department's Whipple Library also has a presence on the site: this offers online catalogue information, collection development policy guidelines, etc, plus a list of dissertations and theses held by the Library, downloadable in PDF format.
This website reprints the review of Karl Popper's (1902-1994) legacy to the philosophy of science which was first published in the 'Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'. It sets out the central tenets of Popper's thought together with an analysis of the context in which it developed and some key biographical information. The webpage was compiled as a tribute to the life and work of a scholar 'regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of this century'. The author, Stephen Thornton of the University of Limerick, is also editor of 'Minerva: The Internet Journal of Philosophy' and there is a link to this site. The page sets out Popper's problem of the demarcation between 'science' and 'non-science' in terms of his engagement with traditional empiricism and situates the argument in the context of his social and political thought and the critique of historicism. It forms a useful introduction to Popper's thought for students of philosophy of science and related disciplines. There are links to relevant webpages and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
Lyle Zynda's Lectures on the Philosophy of Science is a site which posts Zenda's complete lecture notes prepared for the course Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Lyle Zynda, now an academic at Indiana University South Bend, taught this course at Princeton University in the Spring 1994 semester. His lectures are posted as recommended reading by Stephen Sapp of Iowa State University for Sapp's final year undergraduate course on the Sociology of Technology. There are 24 lectures in all, with the following titles: Introduction ; The Inferential View Of Scientific Explanation; The Causal Theory Of Explanation, Parts I - III; Problems with the Causal Theory Of Explanation; Van Fraassen's Pragmatic View Of Explanation; Carnap vs. Popper; An Overview Of Kuhn's The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions; Paradigms and Normal Science; Anomaly, Crisis, and the Non-Cumulativity of Paradigm Shifts; Incommensurability; Laudan on Kuhn's Theory of Incommensurable Theories; Laudan on the Hierarchical Model of Justification; Laudan's Reticulated Theory of Scientific Justification; Dissecting the Holist Picture of Scientific Change; Scientific Realism Vs. Constructive Empiricism; Inference To The Best Explanation As An Argument For Scientific Realism; Entity Realism (Hacking & Cartwright); Entity Realism And The 'Non-Empirical' Virtues; Laudan on Convergent Realism; Convergent Realism and the History of Science; and The Measurement Problem, Parts I and II. Academics and postgraduates preparing lectures and seminars on the Philosophy of Science should find this site most informative, as will undergraduates taking similar courses.
This website offers a basic introduction to the philosophy of science. It is divided into three sections: the first consists of brief accounts of some of the key figures in the history of the philosophy of science; the second introduces some of the important concepts in the discipline; the third looks at the limits of science. The section devoted to influential figures from the history of the philosophy of science includes brief summaries of the innovations contributed by Francis Bacon, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Herschel, William Whewell, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Imre Lakatos. The key ideas section introduces the theories of observation, induction, imagination, falsification, 'new orthodoxy', and reductionism. The section on the limits of science defines the scope of scientific enquiry and relates what science can and cannot tell us. The site should be of use to those with no prior knowledge of the philosophy of science who require a basic primer.