Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 -11:50 a.m.
A seminar open to undergraduate and graduate students
office: Social Sciences Building, Room 206
office hours: Thursday 1:30 - 4:30
office phone: (773) 834-7571
office fax: (773) 834-1299
This course examines the history of the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century. Topics covered include astronomy, scientific methodologies, alchemy, patronage, and experiment. Primary materials include selections from the works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Boyle, and Newton (all in translation). We will also discuss recent debates over whether there was a "Scientific Revolution." We will then look at studies of early modern science that have broadened our understanding of the period, ranging from work on gender, museums, and the Jesuits to explorations of the New World and the sciences of non-European cultures.
Class attendance is mandatory. Students may choose one of the following two options:
(1) Before the first class of each week please complete all of the primary and required secondary readings for that week (the recommended readings are optional). Then write a brief summary of the readings assigned for that week. Notes on the primary sources should summarize the material, usually in one paragraph. Notes on the secondary readings should usually be two short paragraphs -- one summarizing the central argument and one offering critical analysis. The reading notes should total 2 to 3 pages per week. Bring these notes to class for discussion. At the end of the week, revise your reading notes following the class discussions and email them to me by the beginning of the next week. Students should complete reading notes for nine of the ten weeks. These will be graded and will serve as the basis for class discussions. Grading: reading assignments 70%; class participation 30%.
(2) Students interested in a particular topic should complete a final paper of 15 pp. for undergraduates and 25 pp. for graduate students. Students should consult me as early as possible on possible topics. An outline and bibliography are due by May 10; a first draft must be turned in by May 24; and the final draft is due May 31. Grading: final paper 70%; class participation 30%.
All of the primary and required secondary readings for this course will be available in the Course Reader, which can be purchased at the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine (Social Sciences Research Building, Room 208). Books for the course will be available at the Seminary Co-op:
Cohen, I. Bernard and Richard S. Westfall (eds.), Newton (Norton Critical Editions, 1996).
Rene Descartes, A Discourse on Method: Meditations on the First Philosophy and Principles of Philosophy, trans. John Veitch, Everyman Library (Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, 1994).
Stillman Drake (ed.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (Anchor Books, 1957).
Francis Bacon, Selected Philosophical Readings [?].
Biagioli, Mario. Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Dear, Peter Robert. ed., The Scientific Enterprise in Early Modern Europe: Readings from Isis.
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957.
Shapin, Steven, and Simon Schaffer. Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.
Shapin, Steven. The Scientific Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Mario Biagioli, "The Scientific Revolution is Undead," Configurations 6.2 (1998): 141-148.
Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1996).
Joachim Rheticus, Narratio prima, in Edward Rosen, ed., Three Copernican Treatises (New York: Dover, 1959), selections.
Andreas Osiander, "Foreword to Copernicus' De revolutionibus," in Edward Rosen, ed., Nicholas Copernicus, Complete Works (Warsaw: Polish Scientific Publishers, 1978).
Nicholas Copernicus, "De revolutionibus: Dedication to Pope Paul III," in Copernicus, Complete Works, vol. 2: 3-6.
------, De revolutionibus, Book One (excerpts), in Copernicus, Complete Works, selections.
Thomas S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957), 1-184.
Robert Westman, "The Copernicans and the Churches," in David C. Lindberg and Ronald Numbers, eds., God and Nature (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986), 76-113.
Tycho Brahe, De mundi aetherei recentoribus phaenomenis... (excerpts), from Marie Boas Hall, ed., Nature and Nature's Laws (New York: Walker and Harper & Row, 1970), selections.
Johannes Kepler, Astronomia nova (excerpts), in Hall, ed., Nature and Nature's Laws, selections.
Owen Hannaway "Laboratory Design and the Aim of Science: Andreas Libavius versus Tycho Brahe," in Peter Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise in Early Modern Europe: Readings from Isis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).
Gerald Holton, "Johannes Kepler's Universe: Its Physics and Metaphysics", Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 69-90.
Peter Dear, "Jesuit Mathematical Science and the Reconstitution of Experience in the Early Seventeenth Century," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 18 (1987): 133-75.
Peter Dear, Discipline & Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1995).
Judith Field, "Kepler's Rejection of Numerology," Brian Vickers, ed., Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 273-96.
Robert S. Westman "The Melanchthon Circle, Rheticus, and the Wittenberg Interpretation of the Copernican Theory," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Stillman Drake (trans.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (New York: Anchor Books, 1957), "The Starry Messenger" (22-58), "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" (175-216), "The Assayer" (231-280).
Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 1-157, 267-352.
Albert Van Helden, "Telescopes and Authority from Galileo to Cassini," Osiris Series 2, 9 (1994): 9-29.
William Shea, "Galileo and the Church," in Lindberg and Numbers, eds., God and Nature, 115-35.
Margaret J. Osler, "Galileo, Motion, and Essences," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Richard S. Westfall "Science and Patronage: Galileo and the Telescope," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Albert Van Helden "The Telescope in the Seventeenth Century," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Rene Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Valentine Rodger Miller, trans., (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983), selections.
Francis Bacon, Preparative towards a Natural and Experimental History and New Atlantis, in Brian Vickers, ed., English Science: Bacon to Newton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), selections.
------, The Advancement of Learning (excerpts), in Hall, ed., Nature and Nature's Laws, selections.
Bruce Stansfield Eastwood, "Descartes on Refraction: Scientific versus Rhetorical Method," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Christoph Meinel, "Early Seventeenth-Century Atomism: Theory, Epistemology, and the Insufficiency of Experiment," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, trans. H. A. Hargreaves (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990), 1-73.
Robert Boyle, New Experiments Physio-Mechanicall. Touching the Spring of the Air and its Effects (excerpts), from Hall, ed., Nature and Nature's Laws, selections.
Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society (London: Martyn, 1667), selections.
Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 1-154, 283-344.
Peter Dear "Totius in verba: Rhetoric and Authority in the Early Royal Society," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Steven Shapin "The House of Experiment in Seventeenth-Century England," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Thomas S. Kuhn "Robert Boyle and Structural Chemistry in the Seventeenth Century," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Isaac Newton, "A Letter from Mr. Isaac Newton... containing his New Theory about Light and Colors," in I. Bernard Cohen, ed., Isaac Newton's Papers & Letters on Natural Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978), selections.
------, Mathematical Principles, Cajori and Motte, trans., (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California, 1946), selections.
Keith Hutchison "What Happened to Occult Qualities in the Scientific Revolution?" in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
B. J. T. Dobbs, "Newton's Alchemy and His Theory of Matter," in Dear, ed., The Scientific Enterprise.
Simon Schaffer, "Glass Works: Newton's Prisms and the Uses of Experiment," in David Gooding, Trevor Pinch and Simon Schaffer, eds., The Uses of Experiment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 67-101.
Francis Bacon, selections.
Paula Findlen, Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1994), selections.
Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Vintage Books, 1973); originally published as Les mots et les choses: une archeologie des sciences humaines (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), selections.
Londa Schiebinger, The Mind Has No Sex? (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), 10-36, 66-101.
Evelyn Fox Keller, "Baconian Science: The Arts of Mastery and Obedience" and "Spirit and Reason at the Birth of Modern Science," in Reflections on Gender and Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984).
Mario Biagioli, "Knowledge, Freedom, and Brotherly Love: Homosociality and the Accademia dei Lincei," Configurations 2 (1995): 139-66.
Margaret Alic, Hypatia's Heritage: A History of Women in Science from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986).
Sandra Harding, The Science Question in Feminism (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986).
Keller, E. Fox. in Keller Reflections on Gender and Science. Yale: 1985.
Roger Hart, "On the Problem of Chinese Science." In The Science Studies Reader, edited by Mario Biagioli. New York: Routledge, 1998.
------, "Quantifying Ritual: Political Cosmology, Courtly Music and Precision Mathematics in 17th Century China," MS.
------, "The Jesuits as Missionaries of Science: The Introduction of Euclid's Elements into Seventeenth-Century China," MS.
Roger Hart, "How to Do Things with Worlds: Incommensurability, Translation, and Problems of Existence in Seventeenth-Century China." In Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations, edited by Lydia H. Liu. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999.
G. E. R. Lloyd, Adversaries and Authorities: Investigations Into Ancient Greek and Chinese Science, Ideas in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Nathan Sivin, "Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China--Or Didn't It?" reprinted in Science in Ancient China: Researches and Reflections, Variorum Collected Studies Series (Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1995).