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Scientific Revolution (TF)


Admission requirements

Sufficient background & interest in philosophy and/or history of science.


In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, something important happened to the way Europeans understood the world. This shift in understanding has conventionally been called “the Scientific Revolution.” But some modern scholars deny that such a thing ever happened. In this course we will approach the Scientific Revolution from a broad historiographical perspective, with a focus on the discipline of history of science but drawing also on intellectual history and history of philosophy. We will also be seeking to move beyond our stereotypes about what “science” is, by inquiring about the various ways in which people in times and places different from our own have struggled to know the physical and social worlds. The issues that we consider will help us gain a fuller sense of what it meant to know nature in the period we call the “scientific revolution.”

Course objectives

Course objectives will be made available on Blackboard at the start of the course.


See Rooster BA Wijsbegeerte 2010-2011

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Assessment method

  • two compulsory presentations during the semester;

  • two shorter papers;

  • term paper;

  • oral class participation.



Reading list

  • John Henry, The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science. 2nd ed. Palgrave, 2002.


Please register for this course on uTwist. See registration procedure

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs via:

Contact information

Dr. J.W. McAllister


Specialisations: History of Philosophy; Theoretical Philosophy.