HPS210 (July-August 2013)

HPS210: Natural Philosophy in Context from Antiquity to Newton

This course will be taught from July to August, 2013.

Course Description
This course surveys the history of science, from Antiquity to the Early Modern era. Through it, we shall gain an understanding of how knowledge of the natural world was obtained, applied, and, taught from ancient Greece to the early eighteenth century. This course will focus on individual developments in specific scientific fields, such as astronomy/astrology, physics, biology/natural history, alchemy/chemistry, and medicine, and the social, cultural, and intellectual changes which help us understand these developments.

HPS 210 will situate developments within history of science (or rather natural philosophy) within their historical contexts. By doing so, we will gain insight into how natural philosophers from Aristotle to the Newtonians understood the world and which methods they believed best applicable to its study. We will also come to view natural philosophy as a human activity, and see how the practice and content of science are intimately connected to philosophical and religious positions, social and economic structures, and available information and technology.

While this course is an interdisciplinary course, designed for both humanities and science students, its emphasis will be on the “history” side of history of science.

You can find this year’s syllabus here.

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