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