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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Summer semester A 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Homer Le Grand


Previously coded PHL2210


Unit looks at the growth of scientific theories from the standpoint of three humanities disciplines - history, philosophy and sociology - using a case study method. On completion, students will have an acquaintance with several important developments in the history of science, and have thought about issues in the philosophy of science and sociology of knowledge. They will also have read Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and so have encountered one of the most important books on science written in the 20th C. Three case studies will be presented and students will undertake an individual case study under supervision.


  1. Have an understanding of major theoretical approaches to the nature of science;
  2. Have familiarity with a variety of case studies in the history of science;
  3. Have improved their skills in analysing and interpreting philosophical texts;
  4. Have developed some skills in reading and analysing historical scientific texts;
  5. Have developed skills in criticising philosophical accounts of scientific progress.


Written work: 75% (3000 words)
Exam: 25%

Chief examiner(s)

Trevor Pisciotta

Contact hours

On-campus: 2 hours per week. OCL: workshops optional.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



A first-year unit in Philosophy or 12-points of study in a science discipline.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: