Myth, Music, and Science: Teaching the Philosophy of Science through the Use of Non-Scientific Examples

Science & Education 12 (3):289-302 (2003)
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This essay explores the benefits of utilizing non-scientific examples and analogies in teaching philosophy of science courses. These examples can help resolve two basic difficulties faced by most instructors, especially when teaching lower-level courses: first, they can prompt students to take an active interest in the class material, since the examples will involve aspects of the culture well-known, or at least more interesting, to the students; and second, these familiar, less-threatening examples will lessen the students' collective anxieties and open them up to learning the material more easily. To demonstrate this strategy of constructing and employing non-scientific examples, a lengthy analogy between musical styles and Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions is developed.

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Edward Slowik
Winona State University


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