Final Exam Review

Final Exam Review - History of Science 100 Final Exam...

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History of Science 100 Final Exam Review Introduction There are two main ways of understanding what is meant by the word ―science—one refers to a body of knowledge about the world; the other to methods of obtaining and securing that knowledge. This course deals with both these conceptions and treats them together. The world we come to know about is shaped by the means we use to know it, and those means of knowing are molded by what we think the world is. This is a survey of the history of what we have come to know about the world and how we have come to know it. We take you from the ―Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century to the present and in doing so we have two aims. First, we’d like you to develop a historical sensibility about scientific knowledge and ways of knowing, and that means we want you to appreciate something of the “otherness” of past epochs-- past senses of what the world is and past ways of knowing it. For example, in the late seventeenth century Isaac Newton said that it was a legitimate part of natural philosophy to talk about God and His attributes, while at present it is widely regarded as wrong or nonsensical to mix science and religion. Also during the seventeenth century, polemical arguments had to be made in defense of systematic experimentation, and now experiment is right at the heart of what it means to be scientific. Key Themes in History of Science 100: The relation between science and utility: what is science for and how have sensibilities about the utilities of science changed over time? The relationship between the human world and the natural world-- and the shifting place of God in our understandings of nature. What happens to natural knowledge once divine agency is excluded from our understanding of how nature works? How does this exclusion transform our understanding of ourselves, our place in nature, and our ability to manipulate or transform the world? The ways in which science emerged over the course of the last few centuries as an inherently global practice. By this we mean both how science was shaped by global networks-- through the circulation of peoples, goods and ideas-- and how science itself came to have increasingly global applications, from botanical lore to atomic diplomacy to entrepreneurial science. Section 1: Introductions The course starts with passages of “early modern” science, that is, with the period commonly designated as the “Scientific Revolution” of the seventeenth century. This is the moment which, in many accounts, “Made the Modern World,” when “Modern Science” came into being and when “we” began to think in characteristically modern terms. There is something quite right about these stories: some very important changes in ways of knowing about the world and in what was known about the world occurred at or around this time. And these changes are rightly associated with the work of many of the individuals: Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek,
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2012 for the course HIS 100 taught by Professor Stevenshapin during the Fall '10 term at Harvard.

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Final Exam Review - History of Science 100 Final Exam...

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