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Unit of study_

HPSC3016: The Scientific Revolution

Modern Western science has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from other scientific cultures. It ascribes its tremendous success to sophisticated experiments and meticulous observation. It understands the universe in terms of tiny particles in motion and the forces between them. It is characterised by high- powered mathematical theorising and the rejection of any intention, value or purpose in Nature. Many of these characteristics were shaped in the 17th century, during the so-called scientific revolution. We will consider them from an integrated historical- philosophical perspective, paying special attention to the intellectual motivations of the canonical figures of this revolution and the cultural context in which they operated. Topics will include: experimentation and instrumentation, clocks, mechanistic philosophy, and the changing role of mathematics.

Code HPSC3016
Academic unit History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(HPSC2100 or HPSC2900)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify and discuss some of the major chapters in the emergence of early modern science
  • LO2. discuss and assess the historical and philosophical concept of ‘scientific revolution’
  • LO3. critically assess the methodological and philosophical merits of some approaches to this period
  • LO4. recognise, read and interpret primary historical material from this period in english translation.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.