Class Proposal - Fundamentals of the Philosophy of Physics

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Ann Danick
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Submission Type: [X] New Class [ ] Major Rewrite [ ] Minor Revision

Class Name: Fundamentals of the Philosophy of Physics

College: Sciences

School: School of (Social?) Sciences

Author(s): Ann Danick

ALL Authors Must have taken and passed the UFSA Class Author's Guide Course. [X] Yes [ ] No

Director of Curriculum Development consulted? [] Yes [X ] No

Superintendent consulted? [ ] Yes [X] No

Class Type

[] Lecture with Exam (Online only)

[ ] Lecture with Exam (Metaverse and Online)

[X ] Interactive Lecture with Exam (Metaverse only)

[ ] Practical Exercise or Simulation (Metaverse only) (Consult Superintendent)

Class outline:

The philosophy of physics is the area that discusses the unresolved problems of descriptive physics, many of which are at the frontier of current physics research. To start with it might be useful to have a preliminary look at some of the ways in which the results of modern physics have affected philosophical questions. This can happen when a theoretical study in physics extends what were thought to be the boundaries of its research domain.

Consider, for example, current cosmology. The Big Bang is the most widely accepted model of the structure of our universe on a very large scale. In this model, the evolution of the current universe is traced over time, towards the past, and the spatial dimensions of the universe contract in that direction backwards in time.

At this point it seems that the usual scientific ways of thinking have to be supplemented with ways of thinking that the philosopher knows well. What is at issue is the very nature of our demand for explanation and the kind of response to that demand that will be expected. This is the point at which physics and philosophy seem to merge, with specific questions about the nature of the world becoming inextricably entangled with questions, of a more methodological sort, about what exactly are the kinds of explanations and descriptions of the world. which are legitimate to expect from science. Calculations, equations, or mere description of facts? What kinds of evidence is acceptable or required, if any, and how will they be grounded and sustained?
"Hail to the man who went through life always helping others, knowing no fear, and to whom aggressiveness and resentment are alien"
Albert Einstein
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