Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for PHL 195 Effective Fall 2021

Course Number:
PHL 195
Course Title:
Science, Skepticism, & the Unknown
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces scientific method, assessment criteria for scientific observations and explanations and the difference between genuine and pseudoscience. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

In today’s world we are confronted with a seemingly endless list of pseudo-scientific claims which claim to be the result of serious scientific investigation, but which are nothing more than a clever combination of fiction and fact couched in scientific sounding jargon. Now more than ever, it is crucial to understand the difference between genuine and bogus scientific claims. 

The purpose of this course is to learn what the scientific method is, and how genuine scientific research (e.g., that of the psychologist or the astronomer) differs from pseudo-scientific charlatanism (e.g., the observations and explanations of the psychic or the astrologer).

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Articulate key philosophical arguments in the field of philosophy and scientific reasoning.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based perspectives, values and beliefs to examine how diverse philosophical perspectives affect human experience and scientific knowledge.
  • Construct arguments on philosophical and scientific issues using critical reasoning to identify and investigate philosophical theses and evaluate information and its sources.
  • Respond to arguments on philosophical and scientific issues using critical reasoning to identify and investigate philosophical theses and  evaluate information and its sources.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Philosophy courses ask students to use critical thinking and reasoning skills in multiple ways: to identify the content, structure, and influence of beliefs, to examine how diverse philosophical perspectives affect human experience, and to construct and respond to arguments on a variety of philosophical issues. They encourage students to both create and understand their and others’ frameworks of meaning, and to use this new understanding in their own lived experience.

Course Activities and Design

The course will be conducted in the standard classroom setting.  It will involve lectures, discussions, tests and papers.
 

Outcome Assessment Strategies


Grades will be based on regular quizzes, homework, and other written material.  Any other requirements will be discussed the first week of classes.
 

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)