Philosophy of Science
Small Group Exercise:
Science or Pseudo-science?
1. Find the other people with a handout the same color as yours. This is
your group for this exercise.
2. Read the discussion on the reverse side of this handout.
3. With your group, discuss the questions on the reverse side of this handout.
Decide together how your group will answer these questions.
4. If there is no experimental test your group can come up with that might test
the hypothesis, come up with an explanation of this problem.
5. Designate a spokesperson for your group. Your spokesperson will briefly
present an overview of your scenario, and then give your group’s answers
to the questions on the reverse side of this handout. The rest of the class
will have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments.
20 minutes for work in the small groups
30 minutes for presentations and discussions (about 5 minutes per group)
All cases taken from Ronald N. Giere, Understanding Scientific Reasoning
(4th ed.), Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1997.