We offer an array of specialized courses in history and philosophy of science as well as general courses in philosophy of science; history of science, technology, and medicine; and history of philosophy of science (HOPOS).
Philosophy of Science (HPS 83801) is typically taught every fall semester. The two course sequence History of Science, Technology and Medicine to 1750 (HPS 83601) and History of Science, Technology and Medicine since 1750 (HPS 83602) is typically taught every other year, alternating with the two course sequence History of Philosophy of Science to 1750 (HPS 98311) and History of Philosophy of Science since 1750.
Full course information and course changes can be found at: https://class-search-secure.nd.edu/reg/srch/ClassSearchServlet
Magic, Causation, and Scientific Explanation
This course examines the intertwined histories of pre-modern magic and natural philosophy. As the title suggests, there are three principal foci to the course. We will get an overview of the history of magic, from antiquity to the early-modern period, as well as the varieties of modern historiography of magic. We will also study the Neoplatonic tradition, in particular, on causation, natural and occult. And we will familiarize ourselves with the modern scholarship on the relationship between the development of science (particularly during the "Scientific Revolution") and the "magical world-view."
Space, Place, and Landscape
In this course, we will explore human relationships to the built environment and the complex ways in which people consciously and unconsciously shape the world around them. Cultural landscapes are not empty spaces, but rather places we imbue with meaning and significance. We are particularly interested in the ways in which the built environment has worked as an agent of cultural power as well as how social relations (notably class, gender, and ethnicity) have been codified and reproduced through landscapes. We will examine how people perceive, experience, and contextualize social spaces at the intersection of symbolic processes, senses of place, memory, and identity formation as well as how these change through time and across space. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, we will draw from history, geography, art, environmental science, architecture, landscape studies, anthropology, and urban planning, among other disciplines. Students will undertake a significant original research project that investigates the human experience through space, place, and landscape.
STS: an intro to the field
This graduate course is intended to introduce students to the fields of science and technology studies as they interface with the history and philosophy of science. The course will review the modern history of the social study of science and technology and the variety of methods developed in the last half century to understand both the production and application of knowledge. Topics will include scientific and technological institutions, professionalization, expertise, and public decision-making. It is anticipated that most student projects will involve assessments of the scholarly literature on a particular topic, though appropriate original research projects may also be accommodated.
History, Science, Technology of Medicine Since 1750
The course will begin by reviewing the several distinct social contexts of late 18th century science, including its relations to technology and medicine. It will then trace the emergence of academic (or more properly, university-based) science, sanctioned by the state and characterized by the emergence of distinct professions, disciplines and/or ways of knowing in the 19th century. The second half of the course will be devoted to tracing these themes in the 20th century, giving particular attention to both theoretical transformations and to the relationships between scientific disciplines, between science and the state, and between science and technology. Assignments include review essays and a final exam. Graduate standing or permission of instructor required.
History of Theology of Science
The genesis and growth of modern science resulted in a series of flash points of tension with the Christian churches and the theologians who served them, but also gave rise to generative questions and other resources for dealing with the challenges that modernity posed to Christian faith in general. This course is not a historical survey of these interactions per se, but a study of the theological interpretations of or reactions to (sometimes against) science that they catalyzed. It begins with Copernicus and Galileo, and ends with the resurgence of theological interest in science and religion in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Infinity in Philosophy
Thinking about infinity has been part of philosophy since its earliest days, and mathematical advances in the theory of infinity mean it remains an important area for philosophy today. This course will examine some ancient and early modern puzzles about infinity as well as contemporary philosophical issues. Issues to be discussed will include puzzles about infinite divisibility of space and time; paradoxes of infinite decision theory; infinite regress arguments; and paradoxes associated with the "absolute infinite" in mathematics.
Contemporary metaphysics proceeds as often as not by addressing puzzling cases focussing on issues in identity, unity, constitution, mereology, and essentialism. We have seen of late a spate of hylomorphic approaches to these puzzles, some more and some less successful. Others have turned to hylomorphism to tackle nagging problems regarding grounding, where again some approaches seem more and some others less promising. The same holds true for a parallel range issues in philosophy of mind, including not least some vexing questions concerning mental causation. This seminar presents and assesses the new hylomorphism
History of Economic Thought
The course intends to ask how it is that we have arrived at this curious configuration of doctrines now called "economics"; and importantly, how differeing modes of historical discourse tend to ratify us in our prejudices about our own possible involvement in this project. The course will begin in the 18th cenury with the rise of a self-conscious discipline, and take us through the s tabilization of the modern orthodoxy of WWII. Effort will be made to discuss the shifting relationship of economics to the other sciences, natural and social. A basic knowledge of economics ( including introductory economics and preferably intermediate econimics) will be presumed.
Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Theory
Intended for graduate students in physics and in the history and/or philosophy of science who wish to examine in some reasonable detail the roots, both historical and philosophical, of quantum mechanics and the profound conceptual problems to which that theory has given rise
Evolutionary Game Theory
This course will provide an introduction to evolutionary game theory, followed by some applications to issues in philosophy, biology, and the social sciences.