Philosophy 160
Professor Stemwedel
Spring 2014

Short essay questions

1. Read "Global cooling - Is global warming still happening?" []

Consider the claim, “Global warming has stopped and cooling is beginning.” What would Hempel say about whether this is a testable claim? (Explain your answer.) If you think he would say it is not testable in its present form, describe what might be done to make it a testable claim.
(Due Tues., Feb. 11)

2. Read "Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?" []

What would Kuhn say about the fact that there is so much agreement among climate experts that humans are causing global warming?

What would Popper say about the claim that eventually "the testing period must come to an end"?
(Due Tues., Mar. 4)

3. Read "Climategate and the peer review process." []

Describe some of the behaviors here (actual or alleged) that Longino would identify as undermining objective knowledge-building.

What kind of steps do you think participants in the peer review process (including authors, reviewers, and journal editors) should take to ensure that the published papers that come out of this process are as objective as possible?
(Due Tues., Apr. 1)

4. Read "Tree-ring proxies and the divergence problem." []

What would van Fraassen say about whether tree-rings allow us to observe past temperatures? What do you think he would say about whether climate scientists should use tree-rings or other proxy measurements to build or test their climate models?
(Due Tues., Apr. 29)

Short essay guidelines

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