Knowledge and Criticism
Full course description
Knowledge and Criticism examines the role of science in modern, western culture. Advanced science and technology are often understood as the hallmarks of all that makes us modern. How has this situation arisen? On what choices and assumptions is modern science based? Knowledge and Criticism answers these questions by going back to the founders of modern science (like Descartes and Newton), to the Enlightenment ideals of knowledge and progress (like those expressed in the French Encyclopédie), and to the reaction against all this during the Romantic era (with poets like Keats and Goethe). Students will also investigate the present: what do scientists do today, and how does their work fit into our culture and society? This course builds on your knowledge of Greek and medieval philosophy acquired in ACU1000/CW1000 Apollo and Dionysus. It prepares the ground for the great modernisation themes in ACU1002/CW1002 Disenchantment and Ideology. Its focus is also related to ACU2000/CW2000 Network Society.
Insight into the significance of science in modern western culture and knowledge of the Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment and Romanticism.
- Peter J. Bowler and Morus, Iwan Rhys, Making Modern Science. A Historical Survey (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005).
- Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1996).
- R.R. Palmer, Joel Colton and L. Kramer, A History of the Modern World 10th edition (New York etc.: McGraw-Hill 2006) or any later edition.