(Solved) PHI 10002 Introduction to Philosophy




PHI 10002 Introduction to Philosophy PHI 10002 Introduction to Philosophy

PHI 10002 Introduction to Philosophy

Assessment Instructions


Types Individual or Group task Weighting Assesses attainment of these ULOs
Essay Individual 50% 2,4,5,6
Tutorial Presentation Individual 20% 1,3,4,5,6
Journal Individual 30% 4,5,6


Aims and objectives

The unit introduces students to the rich and fascinating story of humanity’s efforts to understand itself and its place in the universe. Through being exposed to some of the greatest thinkers and some of the most profound arguments in history, students will learn to question and seek meaning and truth in their own lives. They will also learn to appreciate the central place of philosophy in civilized life and its potential to address global crises and create better futures. The unit of study also fosters a range of analytical, critical and communication skills, valuable for professional development.

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Participate in informed class discussion on a range of relevant philosophical topics;
2. Develop and systematically defend a position in writing on an assigned topic;
3. Articulate and orally defend a position on a selected topic in a tutorial presentation;
4. Demonstrate a specific knowledge of key themes dealt with in assigned readings;
5. Demonstrate an ability to identify and critically evaluate philosophical perspectives and presuppositions underlying current real-world problems and debates;
6. Demonstrate an ability to think dialectically.


An essay of scientism: Other Ways of Knowing: the Reaction against Scientism


Scientism is a term used by philosophers to describe the applicability of the scientific methods and approaches as well as the assumption that empirical science is the only viable source of valuable knowledge (Crosby, 2014). For a very long time now, science has increasingly been viewed as bridging the gaps in knowledge, particularly regarding the reality due to its ability to exert prowess in explanation, invention and discovery. Due to the perceived success of science, which is brought about by its demonstrability and objectivity toward knowledge, most people, including authors has been lured into believing that science is the primary source of knowledge and the answer to all questions about reality. As a result, other fields of knowledge have been abandoned, modified and belittled. However, the last few decades has bled wide ranges of debates against scientism, arguing that science is not the only source of knowledge and that other traditional fields of knowledge are as vital in offering answers regarding reality just as science. This essay seeks to examine scientism, including its history, assumptions and the debates and discussions that oppose it.

Scientism-history and assumptions

Science, as it is known today came into existence during the period of Renaissance as a separate discipline from philosophy. Before its emergence, all forms of intellectual inquiries were reckoned as philosophical quests. During this time, there was no dichotomy between science and philosophy and science was largely based on speculations and intuitions of the key properties of nature (Ani, 2016). As such, most scientific theories were untested and logical thinking was regarded as the only proper way of gaining knowledge. However, with the dawn of the Era of Renaissance, there rose a deeply seated quest for certainty in knowledge whereby renaissance thinkers started to desist the use of abstract traditional theories and started focusing on knowing and mastering natural phenomenon derived from empirical experimentations. This new form of knowledge was completely integrated in the 17th century, bring about greater emphasises on experiments and observations as the main method of gaining information regarding reality (Thornton, 2008). Coupled with the greater advancements in mathematics and the invention of scientific apparatus such as the microscopes, telescopes among others, empirical observations and experimentations became possible. This made sure that the new form of knowledge did not rely on speculations.

With time, science became quite prevalent and dominant of the other traditional methods of inquiry and resulted to a phenomenon known as scientism which is the notion that science is not only the true and viable method of gaining the truth about reality, but also all other truth that were traditionally embedded into philosophy, ethics and political (McErlean, 2014). This meant that science had an ultimate and authoritative interpretation of reality. Some of the basic assumptions of scientism include the fact that if any truth, whatsoever, is to be acquired, scientific methods of inquiries are to be given utmost priority as they are the best in giving and meaningfully explaining reality. This, leads to a second assumption which states that since science entails attaining knowledge through empirical procedures and experimentations, anything else that can’t be verified empirically is nonsensical, unworthy and irrational (Ani, 2016). As such, based on the concept of scientism, the whole reality is reduced to experiential material entities. Kidd (2016) provides other assumptions of scientism arguing that the obvious tenets of scientism is that scientific methods have no limits and can, therefore, explain and offer solutions to all problems of the world. As such, any other models of knowledge should model themselves to adopt scientific ways of knowing.

Arguments against scientism

According to Ani (2016), the tenets of scientism as a branch of philosophy are quite enticing as they offer an overly simplified version about reality