Foundations of the Sciences

Teacher: Barbara Osimani

Content: What is Science? Who says what science is, with what authority and according to which criteria? What justifies scientific knowledge? Are its foundations, if any, of logical, metaphysical or practical nature? What are the grounds for acting on its basis? What are the principal tools allowing us to further our knowledge of reality? How do we evaluate their adequacy and reliability? What distinguishes a scientific method from other sources of knowledge? what distinguishes the different approaches to statistical inference (e.g. frequentist vs. Bayesian school vs. imprecise probabilities approach, and their respective

What are the methodological and practical implications? How do the diverse paradigms deal with the relationship between theory/hypothesis and evidence? These are some of the questions that the course addresses by resorting to a large philosophical and methodological literature devoted to the foundations of science, scientific inference, and pragmatic dimensions in scientific practice.

In particular, the course will focus on the following themes:
1) epistemology and ontology of science: the demarcation problem;
2) Scientific uncertainty: Probability and the Foundations of Statistics;
3) (Formal) methods in the Science

Main Topics:

  1. Epistemology and ontology of science: the demarcation problem;
  2. Scientific Uncertainty: Probability, and the Foundations of Statistics;
  3. (Formal) Methods in the Sciences