HPSC3016 - The Scientific Revolution

Semester 2

6 credit points
2 x (1-hour lecture plus 1-hour tutorial) per week (see timetable)
Assessment: tutorial work, essays, tutorial participation

From Knowledge to Science: The Scientific Revolution

Re-enchanting the Scientific Revolution

Modern science has a number of distinct characteristics. 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 theorizing and the rejection of any intention, value or purpose in Nature. Many of the procedures, assumptions, and beliefs of modern science 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.

In This Course We Will Discuss:

  • Experiments and Instruments
  • Canons, Clocks and Science
  • Mechanisms and Mechanistic Philosophy
  • The Changing Role of Mathematics
  • Powers and Forces
  • The Great Synthesis