Puzzles and Revolutions: Text and Tradition

INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT IN THE HUMANITIES 201A

What do we know and how do we know it? This course concerns the history of systematic inquiry into the natural world. In particular it examines the nature of so-called scientific revolutions at select moments in time, beginning with Greco-Roman antiquity and progressing through episodes in 16th-19th centuries. What do these episodes tell us about the relationship between natural science and the socio-historical framework in which this kind of inquiry takes place? Can the two be separated, and if so how separable are they? Readings may include, but are not limited to: Aristotle, Ptolemy, Galen, Vesalius, Copernicus, Galileo, Harvey, Descartes, Newton, the early Royal Society as well as more contemporary authors such as Kuhn and Ayer. Requirements will include writing several brief papers and responses to the readings.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM

Section 01

Puzzles and Revolutions: Text and Tradition
INSTRUCTOR: Salas
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