Sufficient background & interest in philosophy and/or history of science.
Western knowledge and understanding of the natural world changed between 1550 and 1700. This period is conventionally called the “scientific revolution”. From one perspective, this period witnessed the development of many concepts used in present-day science, such as the concepts of law of nature, experiment, force, and planet, as well as the idea of modern science itself. From another perspective, however, the concerns and activities of natural philosophers of this period strike us as strange. In part, this strangeness is related to the social contexts in which they worked. In this course, we will switch repeatedly between the perspectives of familiarity and unfamiliarity to gain a fuller understanding of how people knew nature in early-modern Europe.
Course objectives will be made available on Blackboard at the start of the course.
Mode of instruction
Lectures and seminars
Two compulsory presentations during the semester;
two shorter papers;
oral class participation.
- John Henry, The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science. 2nd ed. Palgrave, 2002.
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