C4866 Scientific knowledge and thinking

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2018
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: k (colloquium).
doc. Mgr. Jan Havliš, Dr. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Mgr. Jan Havliš, Dr.
National Centre for Biomolecular Research - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: doc. Mgr. Jan Havliš, Dr.
Supplier department: National Centre for Biomolecular Research - Faculty of Science
subject is open to any student with interest in principles behind scientific knowledge.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
Course objectives
main objective of the course is to acquaint students with science in its wider sense, mainly as a reliable method of gaining knowledge.
Learning outcomes
at the end of the course students should be able:
to analyse development of scientific study of phenomena
to understand its tools and means (up to its contemporary state)
to master practical aspects connected to scientific work.
  • A. science as a method
  • 1. science – what all it could be and what not (non-science, anti-science)
  • 2. development and history of scientific thinking
  • 3. science and philosophy, epistemology, language
  • 4. methods and tools of discovering (causality, sentences, formal logic, system theory, statistics, experimental design)
  • 5. procedure of science (shaping presumptions/aims/means, observation/data collection, hypothesis, hypothesis testing, generalisation, theory)
  • B. science as a part of social cognisance
  • 1. role of science in society, applications, technology
  • 2. popularisation of science
  • 3. ethics and character of scientific work (collaboration vs competition)
  • C. science as a system
  • 1. scientific information, publication and communication (literary research, process and ways of publishing), scientometry, importance of scientific lingua franca - English
  • 2. scientific community (universities, colleges, research institutes, industry)
  • 3. funding science
    recommended literature
  • ROSENBERG, Alex, Philosophy of science, 3rd Edition, Routledge 2011
  • FLEGR, Jaroslav. Frozen evolution. BookSurge Publishing 2008, ISBN 978-8086561738
  • POPPER, Karl R. The logic of scientific discovery. London: Routledge, 2001. 479 s. ISBN 041507892X. info
  • DAWKINS, Richard. Unweaving the rainbow : science, delusion and the appetite for wonder. 1st pub. London: Penguin Books, 1999. xvi, 335. ISBN 0140264086. info
  • DAWKINS, Richard. Climbing mount improbable. Illustrated by Lalla Ward. [London]: Viking, 1996. xi, 308. ISBN 9780670850181. info
Teaching methods
the lecture is based on ppt presentation, its explication and discussion to this explication. presentation it-self will be available as a study material (black-and-white printable pdf with high resolution and restricted access rights). it is recommended to attend the lecture, because of the explication, which significantly extends the presentation. subject will be eventually lectured if the number of enrolled students exceeds number 5, otherwise students will be given the chance to pass the subject without lecturing combining study materials and on-demand tutorial (at max 2x2h per semester; contact the lecturer to set up the schedule).
Assessment methods
oral examination; consists of two questions referring the first to practical and the second to philosophical aspects of scientific knowledge. as for the question on the first theme, understanding and knowledge are required. as for the second theme, the student should be able to relevantly dispute about.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course can also be completed outside the examination period.
The course is taught each semester.
The course is taught: every week.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2016, Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, autumn 2017, spring 2018, Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2018, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/sci/autumn2018/C4866