Programs by Campus


History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine



Core Courses

  • HPSC-X 506 Survey of History of Science up to 1750 (3 cr.) Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment science. 
  • HPSC-X 507 Survey of History of Science since 1750 (3 cr.) Growth of physical, biological, and social sciences during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Attention will be paid not only to the scientific contents but to the institutional and social context.
  • HPSC-X 511 Science and Values (3 cr.) The course covers the debates about the view that science is (or ought to be) value-free. The course combines historical and systematic perspectives. Topics include: 19th-century ideas about 'pure science' and scientific freedom, ideals of 'value-free science' and current debates about the roles values play (or should play) in science.
  • HPSC-X 533 Case Study (1 cr.) Case study to apply skills acquired in core courses.
  • HPSC-X 540 How Science Really Works: Scientific Methods (3 cr.) Introduction to philosophical and historical debates about scientific methods. Students will acquire the conceptual tools to discuss and reflect on the rules and procedures that make the pursuit of knowledge scientific. 
  • HPSC-X 551 Survey of the Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) Science claims to tell us what the world is like, even the part of the world we cannot see, and to explain why things happen the way they do. But these claims are controversial. Examination of competing models of scientific explanation and the ongoing debate over whether scientific theories should or even can be interpreted realistically.
  • HPSC-X 552 Modern Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) Origin and charac­ter of twentieth-century philosophy of science. Examination of the historical development of the philosophy of science—in interaction with parallel developments within the sciences themselves—from 1800 to the early twentieth century. 
  • HPSC-X 556 History and Philosophy of Premodern Science (3 cr.) Historical survey of philosophical discussions of the nature of science, in the premodern period.

Courses in History of Science

  • HPSC-X 632 History of medical and life sciences (3 cr.) Historical development of the theory and practice of medicine, biology, and related sciences. Content will vary
  • HPSC-X 609 History of the physical and chemical sciences (3 cr.) Advanced and intensive study of selected topics in the history of the physical and chemical sciences. To include topics not ordinarily covered by existing survey courses in history of science
  • HPSC-X 642 History of the social and human sciences (3 cr.) Explores the scientific, professional, and cultural dimensions of modern social and human sciences, including its emergence as an academic discipline in the late 19th century. Focus on interpretive issues raised by recent scholarship
  • HPSC-X 705 Topics in the History of Science (3 cr.) Content and instructors will vary; students may thus receive credit more than once. Admission by consent of instructor or chairperson

Courses in Philosophy of Science

  • HPSC-X 690 Philosophical issues in the physical and chemical sciences (3 cr.) Topics in the philosophy of the physical and chemical sciences; topics may include space, time, and space-time, substances and elements, atomism, chemical explanations
  • HPSC-X 693 Philosophical issues in the medical and life sciences (3 cr.) Survey of important concepts in the biological and medical sciences from antiquity to the present. A familiarity with biology or medicine is helpful but not necessary
  • HPSC-X 755 Topics in the Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) Content and instructors will vary; students may thus receive credit more than once. Admission by consent of instructor or chairperson. 

Courses in HPS

  • HPSC-X 521 Research Topics in the History and Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) For beginning graduate students. An introduction to research on a specialized topic, the use of tools and methods in history and philosophy of science, and how to plan and execute a project. Topics may include Digital HPS; Visual Representation in Science and Medicine; History of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • HPSC-X 706 Special Topics in the History and Philosophy of Science (3 cr) Content and instructors will vary; students may thus re­ceive credit more than once. Admission by consent of instruc­tor or chairperson.
Cross-Listed Courses

Individualized Study

  • HPSC-X 600 Advanced Readings Course (cr. arr.)**
  • HPSC-X 633 Practicum (2 cr.) Practicum or internship. Students will have the opportunity to develop and apply the analytic and reflexive competencies gained in the course work.
  • HPSC-X 700 Masters Thesis (cr. arr.)** Students will write a thesis. The topic will be selected in consultation with a faculty advisor. 
  • HPSC-X 800 Ph.D. Thesis (cr. arr.)**

**These courses are eligible for a deferred grade.

Logic Courses

  • A variety of logic courses are regularly offered through the Philosophy and Mathematics departments. Students should consult the Philosophy Department’s graduate bulletin for the most current list of logic courses offered for graduate credit.
  • Ph.D. students in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine who wish to satisfy their tool skill requirement in logic must consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in the Philoso­phy Department to determine which courses they may take to meet that department’s formal logic requirement. Minimally, students must demonstrate a thorough understanding of first-order logic and take two graduate courses in logic broadly con­strued to include philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of language, of which at least one is in logic narrowly construed, i.e., involving formal methods and metatheory.

Academic Bulletins

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