Philosophical Issues of Technical Knowledge

Appendix 1

Course: Philosophical Issues of Technical Knowledge

Programme Summary

Major: 13.04.01 Thermal Power Engineering and Thermal Technology

Degree: Master

Course units:

  • Unit 1. The subjects of the philosophy of science. The main existential forms of science.
  • Unit 2. The structure and forms of knowledge. The empirical and theoretical knowledge.
  • Unit 3. Technical sciences as a separate branch of knowledge. Classification of technical sciences.
  • Unit 4. The main periods in the history of science. The evolution stages of technical sciences. Technical revolutions.
  • Unit 5. Scientism and anti-scientism. Ethical problems of today’s science and technology.
  • Unit 6. The origin and evolution of the philosophy of technology. Key areas of present day’s philosophy of technology.
  • Unit 7. The relationship between science and technology at different stages of the technological evolution. The specifics of the engineer’s job.

Course contents:

Unit 1. The subjects of the philosophy of science. The main existential forms of science.

  • Science as mentality, learning and knowledge.
  • Science as a social institution, the functions of science.
  • The origin of the philosophy of science and its subjects.
  • The problems of philosophy and methodology of science in positivism and neopositivism.
  • The problems of philosophy and methodology of science in postpositivism.

Unit 2. The structure and forms of knowledge. The empirical and theoretical knowledge.

  • Scientific concepts and scientific laws as the structures of scientific knowledge.
  • A fact, a problem and a hypothesis within the structure of scientific knowledge.
  • The structure and functions of the theory of science. An R&D programme.
  • The correlation between the empirical and theoretical knowledge.
  • Empirical methods.
  • Theoretical methods.

Unit 3. Technical sciences as a separate branch of knowledge. Classification of technical sciences.

  • The methodological basis of today’s classification of science.
  • The origin of technical sciences.
  • The subject and methods of technical sciences.
  • Technical sciences and the natural science: How they interact.
  • The classification of technical sciences.

Unit 4. The main periods in the history of science. The evolution stages of technical sciences. Technical revolutions.

  • The period in the history of science preceding the classical science.
  • The classical period in the history of science.
  • The nonclassical period in the history of science. Origination of technical sciences.
  • The post-nonclassical period in the history of science. Nonclassical technical theories.
  • The role of technical revolutions in the history of technical sciences.

Unit 5. Scientism and anti-scientism. Ethical problems of today’s science and technology.

  • The origin of scientism as a social and cultural philosophy.
  • The crisis of the anthropogenic society.
  • The essence of anti-scientism as a social and cultural philosophy.
  • The ethos of science.
  • The formal ethics of science.

Unit 6. The origin and evolution of the philosophy of technology. Key areas of present day’s philosophy of technology.

  • The philosophy of technology: Why and how it originated.
  • The problem of the essence of and the idea behind technology in the philosophy of technology.
  • The scientific branch in the philosophy of technology.
  • The sociological branch in the philosophy of technology.
  • The anthropological branch in the philosophy of technology.
  • The religious branch in the philosophy of technology.

Unit 7. The relationship between science and technology at different stages of the technological evolution. The specifics of the engineer’s job.

  • The specifics of the engineer’s job.
  • The relationship between science and technology during the evolution of technical sciences.
  • The evolution of engineering education.
  • New methodologies in engineering.
  • The relationship between science and technology nowadays.

Activities:

  • Teacher-led group activities in a classroom;
  • Extracurricular self-study of the teacher’s assignments and tasks, including the use of educational facilities (obligatory);
  • Office-hours.

Total hours – 72.

Total points – 2.

Classroom hours – 36.

Unsupervised hours – 36.

Midterm assessment – Pass/fail examination.

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