ILS 201: Western Culture: Science, Technology, and Philosophy

What does science have to do with religion? What does it mean to have expertise about the natural world? And what difference do politics and funding sources make to scientific investigation? Learn how to think critically and historically about science in this course by exploring such fundamental questions
across two millennia. We begin with ancient mythology and philosophy, then follow the movement of the Greek classical tradition into medieval Islam and Christendom, and finally turn to the ‘revolution’ in science of the 16th and 17th centuries with Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. These historical investigations provide vital insights into ideas of the ‘natural’, scientific observation, and experiment, as well as into our expectations of scientific knowledge and the scientific enterprise.

Requisites: Not open to students with credit for HIST SCI 201.

Breadth – Natural Science

Level – Elementary

Counts as L&S Credit