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Thinking About Science

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Please read the case study and reading materials. There is no minimum no of reference. Lecture Recordings:

Assessment Tasks
Relevance is a crucial factor in any piece of work for assessment, and relevance is determined by the question actually asked and the way you have interpreted it, which should be made clear from the outset. For that reason you should begin each piece of work by giving the full wording of the question you are answering. For the essay, in your first paragraph you should make it clear how you are planning to address the question that was set.

A critical expository exercise is a short exercise consisting of two kinds of questions. Four exposition questions (of around 150 words per
question) calling for exposition of particular arguments, or an explanation of a philosopher’s position on some matter. And one critical evaluation question (of around 200 words) calling for a critical evaluation of the issues discussed in the expository questions. Total word length for the critical expository exercises is 800 words. To be satisfactory, each answer needs to be precisely focussed, and deal in detail with the relevant textual material.

Assessment task 1 – Critical Expository Exercise 1
Details of task:
Answer all of the questions in the critical expository exercise below, be sure to note the recommended word lengths. The critical evaluation
question is marked with an asterisk. Begin your responses with the full wording of the question you are answering.
Galileo and the Copernican Revolution. Answer each of the following questions:

1. From Osiander’s Foreword to De Revolutionibus, find at least two arguments for instrumentalism. Support your answer with quotations. (About 150 words.)

2. Using arguments and examples from Copernicus’ Preface to De Revolutionibus, explain the difference between a simple theory, a complex theory, and a coherent theory. Is a coherent theory necessarily simple? (About 150 words.)

3. Describe an instance where Galileo believed a theory that appeared to be contradicted by some observational evidence. Was he justified in doing so (i.e. did he have good theoretical arguments or observational evidence)? (About 150 words.)

4. According to Galileo what should we do when we encounter an apparent conflict between our sensory experience and the truth of a
biblical passage? (About 150 words.)

5.* Do you think there are relationships between simplicity and realism? Give a reason/argument for your answer. Do you think there are
relationships in science between complexity and instrumental ism? Give a reason/argument for you answer. (About 200 words.)

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