Graduate Courses Spring 2020 (Term 2204)


2502       History of Science 2-Core: Life Sciences & Medicine      2204       31177
Mazvitta Chirimmuta/Michael Dietrich
Wednesday 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.    G-28 CL
HPS 2502 is intended to be an introduction to history and historiography of the life sciences and medicine from their origins in Ancient Greece to the beginning of this century. Needless to say, to cover anything like the full range of texts, thinkers and movements in their historical and cultural settings is impossible, and the History Core Seminars don’t aim to do that.  Rather, we aim to look at a selection of texts from different periods, try to understand those texts in their historical and cultural contexts, and try to trace out historical connections between them, whenever and wherever that is possible.  The goal, then, is as much historiographicand methodological as it is historical.    The choice of topics and texts will be somewhat dependent on the interests and specialties represented by the department faculty.  This Core seminar an episodic introduction to the history of the scientific study of life, health and disease. 
2520       Newton     2204       31561 
Marion Gilton
Tuesday 2:00p.m.-4:30p.m.   1008-C CL
Newton Seminar:  This course will consider the role of Newton in the development of modern science, with a focus on his scientific methodology and legacy. We will therefore look at both some of those who came before him and some of those who came after in order to address the following questions. What was the intellectual landscape in which Newton found himself? How should we characterize the experimental and theoretical methodologies used in the Principia and the Opticks? And finally, how were variants of Newtonianism developed and received?
2522       Special Topics in History of Science: Human/Animal in Western Civilization      2204 31195 
Paolo Palmieri
Monday 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.    1008-C CL
This seminar explores the liminality that has continually demarcated the frontier between human and animal in the history of Western civilization. We will engage diverse historical-philosophical approaches to the question of what constitutes human as opposed to animal, beginning with ancient Greek philosophy, and tracing contemporary ideas back to their origins in the Graeco-Christian worldview. We will investigate the shifting human/animal frontier during the Renaissance and the scientific revolution of the seventeenth-century, in the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and in contemporary thought. By reconstructing the genesis of human/animal debates, we will transgress the bounds of sectarian divisions between styles of thinking and become more self-conscious about history and philosophy of science as an intellectually multi-faceted form of inquiry open to pluralism and diversity.
2559       Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics   2204       31560
John Norton/David Wallace
Thursday 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m.   1008-C CL
This seminar will cover historical and foundational issues in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. We will read important papers in the history, including some by Carnot, Clausius and Thomson. We will also examine foundational issues, following class interest but provisionally including Boltzmannian vs Gibbsian approaches, the notion of a reversible process in thermodynamics, the relation of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, the origins of dynamical irreversibility, the statistical mechanics and thermodynamics of black holes, and Maxwell’s infernal demon.
2643       Philosophy of Climate Science   2204       32425 
Dr. Barker
Monday 2:30p.m.-5:00p.m.   1008-C CL
Course Description not available
2650       Philosophy of Psychiatry     2204       31196 
Jonathan Fuller
Thursday 2:00p.m.-4:30p.m.    G28-CL
In this seminar, we will survey and discuss major topics in the philosophy of psychiatry from historical and contemporary perspectives. The philosophy of psychiatry is a growing field of research that intersects with philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and philosophy of neuroscience. Topics to be explored include: the antipsychiatry movement and critiques of psychiatry, the history and philosophy of the DSM, the concept of mental disorder, psychiatric kinds, biological psychiatry, and explanation and reduction in psychiatry. We will also discuss philosophical problems in the context of particular mental disorders. Students will come away with an understanding of how psychiatry illuminates broader issues in the philosophical study of mind and brain and of science.
2687       The Epistemology of Experimental Practice    2204       31553
Sandra Mitchell
Tuesday 9:30am-12:00pm     G28-CL
Observation and experimentation have long been taken as central to the legitimacy of scientific claims.  Richard Feynman wrote “The test of all knowledge is experiment.  Experiment is the sole judge of scientific ‘truth’” (1963).  But how do experiments reveal the way nature is organized? In this course we will explore a range of topics in the philosophy of experiment, including underdetermination and theory-ladenness, replicability, techniques and norms of experimental practice, convergence and divergence of experimental results, the production and use of data, the relationships between experimentation, theorizing and model-building and the new challenges of digitization and big data.  This seminar will be organized as a research group where each participant will develop their own research project throughout the semester which jointly engages both the philosophical issues and particular scientific practices and results. Ongoing research reports, a final presentation of results, and an annotated bibliography will be required.