“Genomes and What to Make of Them”
In this course, we will consider the nature of modern genomic science through close reading of two recent books: Genomes and What to Make of Them by Barry Barnes and John Dupre, and Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome by Sarah Richardson. In the context of reading these books, students will be introduced to central themes in contemporary philosophy of science concerning the nature of evidence and explanation and the interplay of science and values. The course is designed to help students cultivate central philosophical skills required for more advanced coursework. In turn, we will focus on comprehension, extracting arguments from text, argument analysis and critique, and development of novel lines of analysis. We will also work to improve skills for communication in writing and speech. Students will complete weekly assignments and write short essays in later weeks. Regular class attendance will be crucial for success in this course.
TEXTS: Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, Sarah S. Richardson; Genomes and What to Make of Them, Barry Barnes and John Dupre.