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The Scientific Revolution


Admission requirements

Sufficient background & interest in philosophy and/or history of science.
Toehoorders / à la carte-studenten hebben alleen toegang tot deze cursus met toestemming van de docent.


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

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


Zie Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2012-2013, BA Wijsbegeerte, derde jaar.

See Timetables Philosophy 2012-2013 , Undergraduate Courses in English

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 uSis.
See Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply. See also Registration for courses and examinations

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

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Aanmelden voor Toehoorderschap via:

Na aanmelding ook inschrijven voor cursus en tentamen via uSis

Contact information

Dr. J.W. McAllister