ILS 202 offers an introduction to the history of the sciences between the late seventeenth century and the early twentieth century, with the aim of understanding the varied ways of knowing that have come to be known as “science.” We will ask: What does it mean to know something about nature? How can we be sure this knowledge is secure? And what is this “scientific” knowledge of nature good for, according to people in particular times and places? In pursuing these questions, we will treat such pivotal intellectual developments as Newtonianism, the conservation of energy, and Darwin’s theory of evolution. At the same time, we will seek to understand the relationship between these ideas and the broader cultural context in which they took place, paying particular attention to the ways it was possible to “do science” in different times and places.
Requisites: Not open to students with credit for HIST SCI 202 or 404
Breadth - Natural Science
Level - Elementary
Counts as L&S Credit