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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* HIS 294 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

What is the Scientific Revolution?

Jennifer M. Rampling

Something "happened" to science between 1450-1750. The sun replaced the earth at the center of the cosmos, Europeans encountered new worlds and new peoples, and heaven and earth shook to the impact of new technologies like telescopes and heavy artillery. Yet how much was really new? Did all these changes merge into one phenomenon that we can call "the scientific revolution"? And were there many such revolutions or could the very idea be a modern invention? From optics and anatomy to alchemy and magic, this course will ask exactly how natural knowledge was shaped, challenged and exploited between the late Middle Ages and the Enlightenment.

Sample reading list:
Lawrence Principe, The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction
Katharine Park and Lorraine Dastson, Cambridge History of Science, v. 3: Early Modern Science
Galileo Galilei, The Starry Messenger
Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy
Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Reading/Writing assignments:
One short paper in lieu of a midterm. One longer term paper, submitted for Dean's Date. Five "thinkpieces" based on weekly readings, to be submitted via email in advance and discussed in precept (Week 1 excepted). These, together with participation in class discussion, will contribute towards the class participation grade.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 20%
Final Exam - 30%
Term Paper(s) - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 25%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
PDF option not available to History concentrators.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20815 L01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm M W   Green Hall   0-S-6   Enrolled:23 Limit:50
20816 P01 10:00 am - 10:50 am T   McCosh Hall   B13   Enrolled:3 Limit:12
20817 P02 11:00 am - 11:50 am T   McCosh Hall   B13   Enrolled:10 Limit:12
22855 P03 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T   East Pyne Building   039   Enrolled:9 Limit:12
22856 P99 TBA        Enrolled:1 Limit:25