Themes and schemes: A philosophical approach to interdisciplinary science teaching

Synthese 80 (1):63--79 (1989)
Abstract
An interdisciplinary fusion between the philosophy of science and the teaching of science can help to eradicate the disciplinary rigidity entrenched in both. In this paper I approach the history of sciencethematically, identifying general themes which transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines. Such conceptual themes can be used as a basis for an interdisciplinary introduction to university science, encouraging certain important cognitive skills not exercised during the disciplinary training emphasised in traditional approaches. Courses which teach themes such as conservation, randomness, and holism/reductionism have already proved successful, and these innovations should encourage philosophers and historians to explore the exciting new possibilities which arise from stepping outside the confines of a single discipline.
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