HPS 400 A: Colloquium In The History And Philosophy Of Science

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
EEB 031
Andrea Woody
Andrea Woody

Additional Details:

Capstone Seminar: Philosophical and Historical Analyses of Scientific Measurement

Measurement is taken to be a hallmark of scientific practice; histories of science are often studded with references to vital measurements, and simple epistemological models often portray accurate measurement as a crucial step in distinguishing among competing explanations.  In both historical and philosophical accounts, measurement is often treated as a relatively unproblematic activity with little conceptual content.  In this seminar, we will pursue more critical histories and philosophies of measurement and attempt to accomplish this task by drawing philosophy and history together.  We will explore 3-4 case studies of measurement in science since the 19th century (physical sciences: the speed of light, temperature, the charge to mass ratio of the electron; cognitive sciences: intelligence; social and economic sciences: happiness/satisfaction), and discuss how historians and philosophers of science have treated these episodes.  HPS majors will get the opportunity to practice both elements of the major as well as drawing upon their background in natural science. All students will be asked to write a substantial term paper based on an individual research project related to topics discussed in class.


Catalog Description: 
Examines issues from the perspectives of both history and philosophy. Prerequisite: either HSTCMP 311, HSTCMP 312, HSTCMP 313, HSTCMP 314, HSTCMP 315, HSTCMP 317, HSTCMP 318, or HSTCMP 412; either PHIL 350, PHIL 360, PHIL 450, PHIL 460, PHIL 464, PHIL 466, PHIL 473, PHIL 481, PHIL 482, or PHIL 483.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Natural World (NW)
Other Requirements Met: 
Research Credit
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:16pm