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Making Knowledge in the "Scientific Revolution"

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1875
Section 001
Instructor Donna Bilak
Days T
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 2
Level U
Requirement   SCI


This 2-unit course meets during the second seven weeks only, First Class: November 6; Last Class: December 11


What was science? This course explores diverse modes of scientific knowledge production during the 17th century, a period characterized by a transformation in how the natural world was investigated and understood by means of experimental processes, empirical observation, and scientific instruments. We will consider the “Scientific Revolution” through the lens of the large-scale narratives established by earlier 20th century conceptualizations on this subject, as well as through recent historiographic perspectives that rethink these premises through the study of early modern scientific practices, socio-cultural and commercial networks, and material exchanges as causal factors in the development of the “new science” during the 17th century. This course also reflects upon the historian’s archive as a laboratory of knowledge-making. Readings include Butterfield, Kuhn, Latour, Shapin, Smith, Findlen, Daston, Principe. Primary sources include Bacon, Boyle, Evelyn, Quiccheberg.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)