INTEG 220: Nature of Scientific Knowledge

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of knowledge. While most epistemology courses focus on ordinary, everyday knowledge, this course (and the one that follows) will examine the nature of disciplinary knowledge. INTEG 220 will focus on epistemological questions about the natural and physical sciences while INTEG 221 will emphasize the humanities and social sciences (and, in particular, the social nature of knowledge), although there will be significant overlap between the courses.

During INTEG 220, we will engage in multiple cycles of (1) reading and discussing philosophical theories of scientific knowledge; (2) listening to andand engaging with a scientific expert about the nature of knowledge in his or her discipline; and (3) reflecting on the nature of knowledge in various disciplines through discussion and writing. Topics will include: scientific reasoning, progress in science, forms of scientific evidence, and epistemic pluralism (different ways of knowing). While we will discuss these issues with respect to science in general, we will emphasize their relation to the disciplines represented by our guest speakers. During the last part of the course, we will read about and reflect on the nature of disciplinarity, interdisciplinary expertise, and how the topics of this course relate to the goals of Knowledge Integration. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to work in small groups to synthesize what you have learned by comparing the nature of knowledge across disciplines.

This course is on the Faculty of Engineering Complementary Studies List

Most recent INTEG 220 syllabus (in the Outline Repository)

INTEG 220 course description (in the Undergraduate Academic Calendar)