Skip to main content

Unit information: History of Science in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name History of Science
Unit code PHILM0007
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pyle
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit would concentrate on two or three of the scientific revolutions. The case studies will be selected from among (1) the Copernican revolution, (2) Lavoisier and the discovery of oxygen, (3) the emergence of Darwinism, (4) electromagnetism and the aether, and Einstein's relativity, and (5) the birth of quantum mechanics.

The MA seminar unit for the History of Science unit consists of an in-depth study of one of three Scientific Revolutions (those associated with the names of Copernicus, Lavoisier, and Darwin), chosen by the students each year. We read our way through a considerable volume of primary source materials, with a view to gaining a fuller understanding of the dynamics of a particular revolution in science. After the sustained immersion in the primary sources, we are better able to judge the accuracy of fit between the historical facts and the philosophical stories told by Kuhn and his critics.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Have acquired knowledge and understanding of various core issues and debates concerning the history of medicine,
  2. Be able to construct and analyze sophisticated philosophical arguments and engage with other philosophers in constructive debate. Be able to do independent research. Be able to communicate ideas clearly and effectively to an audience.

Teaching details

1-hour lecture + 1-hour seminar each week + essay tutorials

Assessment Details

One essay of 5,000-6,000 words (excluding notes and bibliography)

Reading and References

Kuhn, T., Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Feedback