History & Philosophy of Science

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Philosophy

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
History &Philosophy of Science
Spring 2023
Taught By: Berker Basmaci
Section: A

CRN: 13314

Credits: 4

This course is a survey of the emergence, development and fate of the modern scientific worldview in its historical, philosophical and critical aspects. In the first part, we study the definitive moments in the history of modern physics in parallel with the relevant transformations of the concepts of knowledge and truth in the history of modern philosophy. We begin with the astronomical revolution in the 16th and 17th century, brought about by the works of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, which undermined the Aristotelian concept of the universe as a closed and hierarchically ordered sphere. We then move on to the formation of Descartes' philosophy of methodological doubt, Newtonian mathematical physics and Kant's transcendental idealism as repercussions of this crisis in knowledge, which defines the modern experience. In the second part, we study the collapse of Newtonian physics with Einstein's theory of relativity and the development of quantum physics, alongside the emergence and development of logical positivism in the early 20th century, which is arguably the last heroic justification of the scientific worldview. In the last part, we read the critiques of positivism like Adorno, Heidegger, Kuhn, Latour and Quine, and discuss the negative implications of the modern scientific exclusion of sensible experience, affects, ethics and art from the domain of 'facts' as well as the entanglement of scientific practices with intersectional structures of domination under capitalism.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Philosophy (LPHI)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:12am EST 2/5/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 10:00am - 11:40am
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 002
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/15/2023