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College of Arts
and Sciences (College)
2006-2008
Academic Bulletin

College Programs
College of Arts and Sciences (College) 
Kirkwood Hall 104 
130 S. Woodlawn 
Bloomington, IN 47405  
Local (812) 855-1821 
Fax (812) 855-2060 
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History and Philosophy of Science

Faculty
Introduction
Undergraduate Courses
Area Certificate in the Cultures of Science and Medicine
Minor in History and Philosophy of Science
Course Descriptions
Cross-Listed Courses

Faculty

Chairperson

Professor William Newman

Professors

Colin Allen, Elisabeth Lloyd, Domenico Bertoloni Meli, William Newman

Associate Professors

James Capshew, Ann Carmichael, Jordi Cat

Assistant Professors

Sander Gliboff, Amit Hagar, Jutta Schickore

Academic Advising

Goodbody Hall 130, (812) 855-3622

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Introduction

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPSC) is concerned with the structure and development of science and the interplay between science and society. The department provides a diverse set of courses for undergraduates interested in the logical foundations of scientific knowledge, the scientific method, the rise of science from its origins to the present, and the impact of science on both intellectual and institutional life.

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Undergraduate Courses

Because the department does not offer an undergraduate major, almost no course requires a previous history and philosophy of science course for enrollment. Science and other requirements are specified only when they are essential for comprehending the course material.

Guide to Course Numbers

Courses at the 100 level are designed for freshmen and sophomores. Such courses are typically limited to enrollments of 30 students per section. The 200-level courses do not require extensive experience in an appropriate major and are designed for undergraduates at all levels. The 300-level courses deal with more specialized topics and may require some understanding of a particular science. The 400-level courses are specialized courses designed with college honors students particularly in mind. The 300- and 400-level courses sometimes meet with corresponding graduate courses but will normally carry separate undergraduate requirements.

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Area Certificate in the Cultures of Science and Medicine

Purpose

This program aims to give both undergraduates majoring in the sciences and undergraduates majoring in the humanities a unique opportunity to bridge the ever-widening gap between the notorious "two cultures." The program is organized and administered within the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, but it also involves a wide spectrum of other units across the university, such as the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Sociology; and the Schools of Business, Education, Journalism, and Public and Environmental Affairs. In this way, the program involves several different tracks that integrate the sciences and the humanities in a variety of ways: (1) medicine and health; (2) science writing, literature, and literacy; (3) science, technology, and the environment; (4) science, computation, and information; (5) science and pseudo-science.

Requirements

Students must complete 25 credit hours-24 credit hours of course work divided into eight 3 credit courses, with an extra credit hour given for a capstone research project. Four of the courses, totaling 12 credit hours, will be in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, and the remaining four, also totaling 12 credit hours, will be spread across the other curricular units involved in the program in accordance with the chosen track. Each student's plan for a particular track must be approved by the director of the program.

A core course in the history of science, offered every semester under the presently existing course number X102, is required for all students in the program. Three other HPSC courses, one of which must be at or above the 300 level, are also required. Four courses from other relevant units, adapted to the particular track elected by the student, will then complete the program. In non­HPSC courses, at least one must be at the 300 level or above. Four courses (including both HPSC and non­HPSC courses) will be at the 300-400 level.

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Minor in History and Philosophy of Science

Requirements

18 College of Arts and Sciences credit hours in history and philosophy of science, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, including:

  1. At least one course at the 300 or 400 level.
  2. Not more than three courses from the following: X100, X102, X110, X200, X207.

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Course Descriptions

General Introductory Courses

Recommended particularly for freshmen and sophomores who wish to explore how thought, society, and nature interact to make and shape science.

X100 Human Perspectives on Science (3 cr.) A & H Selected issues in the history and philosophy of science. Individual sections will vary in content and major themes, but all will employ case studies to examine the philosophical, cultural, institutional, and social impact of science on our lives. Departmental flyers, available at registration time, will describe each section in detail. May be repeated once for credit with different topic.

X102 Revolutions in Science: Plato to NATO (3 cr.) S & H An introduction to the formative steps in the scientific tradition. The course will survey in a chronological sequence aspects of the Aristotelian worldview, the Copernican revolution, the mechanical philosophy, the chemical and Darwinian revolutions, and the rise of twentieth-century science.

X110 Scientists at Work: from Frankenstein to Einstein (3 cr.) S & H Introduction to the study of science as a cultural phenomenon. Exploration of the individual and collective behavior of scientists in historical and contemporary contexts using materials from history, biography, sociology, journalism, fiction, drama, poetry, and film.

X200 Scientific Reasoning (3 cr.) N & M Patterns of scientific reasoning presented in a simple form useful to both nonscientists and prospective scientists for understanding and evaluating scientific information of all sorts. Illustrations in the natural, biological, behavioral, and biomedical sciences are drawn from a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources, including popular magazines and newspapers.

X207 The Occult in Western Civilization (3 cr.) A & H Critical and historical evaluation of a wide range of occult topics: superstitions, magic, witchcraft, astrology, the Cabala, psychic phenomena (mesmerism, spiritualism, ESP), and UFOs.

X253 Inductive Reasoning (3 cr.) N & M Hume argued that there is no rational inference from our past experience of the sun's rising to the prediction that it will rise tomorrow. What do philosophers today say about the problem of induction? This course shows how probability theory and other formal devices can be used to model inductive inferences. Credit not given for both X253 and PHIL P253.

Science, History, and Culture

For students at all levels who want to study the role of science, medicine, and technology in the modern world. Previous experience with history and philosophy of science courses not expected.

X205 Introduction to Medical History (3 cr.) S & H From primitive humans to the present: survey of medical concepts, systems of health care, and the social relations of physician and patient.

X210 Technology and Culture (3 cr.) S & H We will consider the following questions (among others): Is Western technology fundamentally different from that of other cultures? What do science and technology have to do with each other? Is technology gendered? Is technological change inevitable or desirable?

X222 Big Science in the Twentieth Century (3 cr.) S & H Exploration of the effects of increasing scale on the nature of the scientific enterprise, with case studies from physics, space science, biology, and other fields. Topics include measuring the size of science, the politics of large-scale research, funding, and the growth of knowledge.

X308 History of Biology (3 cr.) A & H P: Two college-level courses in the life sciences. Survey of the important concepts in biology from antiquity to the mid-twentieth century. Emphasis will be on changes in evolution theory and concepts of development and inheritance. Credit not given for both X408 and X308.

X338 Science and Religion (3 cr.) A & H Examines the relationship between science and religion in terms of its areas of inquiry, social institutions, and historical phenomena. Topics will include Mesopotamian astronomy and astrology, science and the Church in the Middle Ages, Galileo and the Church, Christianity and the Newtonian worldview, the Darwinian Revolution and creationism, and the impact of contemporary physics on theology.

X369 History of American Science (3 cr.) S & H R: One course in American history and one course in natural science. Survey of the intellectual and institutional development of science in the United States from colonial times to the present, with special emphasis on the changing role of the scientist in American society.

X370 Science and Gender (3 cr.) S & H The role of science and technology in constructions of masculinity and femininity from 1600 to the present. Historical and philosophical analysis of the interaction between science and technology and ideologies of gender. Evaluation of proposals for transforming science.

X371 Topics in the Science of Sex and Gender (3 cr.) S & H P: May vary with topic. Possible topics include history of theories of sexuality, critique of current scientific concepts of sex and gender, philosophical perspectives on sexology, and the history of theories of sex evolution and determination. Departmental flyers, available at registration time, will describe each section in detail. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credits.

X493 Structure and Methods of the Life Sciences (3 cr.) A & H Addresses fundamental questions such as: What are the differences between the life sciences and the physio-chemical sciences? Is reduction possible in the life sciences, and what does it mean? What is the best way to analyze theory structure in the life sciences? How successful has the genomic approach been in the life sciences, in reducing explanation to a molecular level? What does it mean to say that explanation is necessary at a variety of levels of the organization of life?

Philosophical Issues within the Sciences

Courses provide a sophisticated introduction to philosophical problems that arise in various contemporary scientific theories. Most of these courses do not presume a previous knowledge of the science examined.

X390 Space, Time, and Relativity (3 cr.) A & H Topics in the philosophy of space, time, and spacetime. Theory of motion and Zeno's paradoxes; St. Augustine on time; time and becoming; relational versus absolute theories of space and time; Mach's principle; introduction to Einstein's theory of relativity and space-time.

X391 Philosophical Issues in Quantum Theory (3 cr.) A & H An examination of philosophical problems and challenges raised by quantum theory. Topics include Heisenberg uncertainty relations, non-locality and EPR paradox, hidden variables, interpretations of quantum theory. No previous knowledge of quantum theory is assumed.

X394 Structure and Methods of the Life Sciences (3 cr.) A & H Examination of selected fundamental questions concerning the structure and methods of biology and psychology. Topics include the structure of theories and testing in the life sciences; teleology; fitness and levels of selection; the logic of classification; historical explanations in science; emergence and holism.

X406 Survey of History of Science up to 1750 (3 cr.) S & H Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment science.

X407 Survey of History of Science since 1750 (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. R: at least one course sequence in Western history (such as H103-H104). Growth of quantitative methods in physical science and experimental methods in physical science and experimental methods in natural history. Gradual separation of science from philosophy and theology.

Fundamental Problems in Philosophy of Science

Advanced undergraduate courses. X451, X452, and X456 together constitute a systematic survey of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of science. They may be taken separately or in any order.

X451 Scientific Understanding (3 cr.) A & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. R: one course in philosophy or philosophy of science. 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. This course examines competing models of scientific explanation and the ongoing debate over whether scientific theories should or even can be interpreted realistically.

X452 Modern Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) A & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. R: one course in philosophy or philosophy of science. Examines the origin and character of twentieth-century philosophy of science by investigating the historical development-in interaction with parallel developments within the sciences themselves-from 1800 to the early twentieth century. Hermann von Helmholtz, Ernst Mach, Henri Poincare, Moritz Schlick, and Rudolf Carnap.

X456 Philosophy of Science in Antiquity (3 cr.) A & H Historical survey of philosophical discussions of the nature of science, to include figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Augustine, and Aquinas. Covers a period from the ancient Greeks to the Middle Ages; may cover a longer or shorter period.

Special Topics and Seminars

Students should consult the departmental flyers at the time of registration for the content, requirements, and format of these courses.

X123 Perspectives on Science: Social and Historical (3 cr.) S & H Individual sections will vary in content and major themes, but all will employ case studies from the history of science to examine the intellectual, cultural, and social impact of science for a variety of historical perspectives. Various case studies are presented at an introductory level. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X126 Perspectives on Science: Natural and Mathematical (3 cr.) N & M Individual sections will vary in content and major themes, but all will employ case studies to illustrate, from a variety of perspectives, the logic and methods of the natural and mathematical sciences. Examples illustrating these methods are presented at an introductory level. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X220 Issues in Science: Humanistic (3 cr.) A & H General topics and themes in the history and philosophy of science. Departmental flyers, available at registration time, will describe each section in detail. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

X223 Issues in Science: Social and Historical (3 cr.) S & H Individual sections will vary in the central issue to be discussed, but all will engage in an examination of some issue concerning the intellectual, cultural, and social impact of science in historical perspective. Designed to investigate the evidence and arguments related to different interpretations of or approaches to the central theme or issue of the course. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X226 Issues in Science: Natural and Mathematical (3 cr.) N & M Individual sections will vary in the central issue to be discussed, but all will engage in an examination of some issue concerning the logic and methods of the natural and mathematical sciences, with a view towards understanding those methods and the role they play in scientific theorizing generally. Designed to investigate the evidence and arguments related to different positions on the role or value of such methods in science. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X300 Undergraduate Readings in History and Philosophy of Science (1-5 cr.) Individualized readings for students minoring in history and philosophy of science. May be used with consent of instructor as an alternative to other undergraduate courses.

X320 Topics in Science: Humanistic (3 cr.) A & H Specialized topics and themes in the history and philosophy of science. Departmental flyers, available at registration time, will discuss each section in detail. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credit hours.

X323 Topics in Science: Social and Historical (3 cr.) S & H Specialized topics and themes relating to the intellectual, cultural, and social impact of science in historical perspective. Students will engage with primary source material, and with debates about how that material ought to be understood. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X326 Topics in Science: Natural and Mathematical (3 cr.) N & M Specialized topics and themes relating to the logic and methods of the natural and mathematical sciences, with a view towards understanding those methods and the role they play in scientific theorizing. Students will engage with actual philosophical debates about the proper understanding of an application of such methods in science. May be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

X420 Advanced Seminar in the History and Philosophy of Science (3-4 cr.) This seminar offers specialized topics and themes in history and philosophy of science. Weekly meetings and reports on weekly reading assignments. Consult departmental flyers available at registration time for seminar topic and structure. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 8 credit hours.

Cross-Listed Courses

Biology
L369 Heredity, Evolution, and Society (3 cr.) N & M

College of Arts and Sciences (COLL) Topics Courses
E103 Topics in Arts and Humanities
   Approved topic: Quantum Mysteries for Everyone (3 cr.) A & H
E104 Topics in Social and Historical Studies (3 cr.) S & H
   Approved topics: Genetics, Eugenics, and Biotechnology; The Occult in Western Civilization; Evolution, Religion, and Society; What Is Science? And, Who Cares? All You Ever Wanted to Know; Voyages of Scientific Discoveries
E105 Topics in Natural and Mathematical Sciences (3 cr.) N & M
   Approved topics: Scientific Revolutions; Rational Decision Making

English
L141-L142 Introduction to Writing and the Study of Literature I-II (4-4 cr.) A & H
   Approved topic: Science, Society, and the Self
L240 Literature and Public Life (3 cr.) A & H
   Approved topic: Literature and Medicine

History
H213 The Black Death (3 cr.) S & H, CSA
H333 Epidemics in History (3 cr.) S & H
J400 Seminar in History (3 cr.) S & H
   Approved topic: Sickness and Health in Society
C380 History of Ancient Medicine (3 cr.) S & H

Hutton Honors College
H205 Interdepartmental Colloquia (3 cr.) N & M, TFR

Physics
P211 Global Energy Problems: Technological Options and Policy Choices (3 cr.) N & M

Sociology
S319 Science, Technology, and Society (3 cr.) S & H

School of Public and Environmental Affairs
E262 Environmental Problems and Solutions (3 cr.)
H316 Environmental Science and Health (3 cr.)
H322 Principles of Epidemiology (3 cr.)

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