History and Philosophy of Science Minor
What is science?
When people ponder this question, they are often led to seek answers outside the sciences themselves. This interdisciplinary minor is planned to help students address historical and philosophical questions about science. In the history of science, we ask: How did we come to hold the beliefs we do about the natural world? How were the great scientists of the past led to the discoveries for which they are remembered? Why did people in the past have very different ideas on issues like the motions of the heavens or the nature of the human body? It is a puzzling reality of world history that the human understanding of nature, society, and the mind has varied greatly with place and time. This intriguing variety also raises philosophical questions: What separates science from pseudoscience or religion? How can we decide whether scientific knowledge will have good or bad consequences for humanity? Can science ever reach the ultimate truth about the universe?
The minor in History and Philosophy of Science offers courses in such diverse departments as economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. It presupposes no specialized scientific background and may be combined with any undergraduate major.
Five courses (20 credits)
with no more than three from any single department.
Students interested in taking the minor should contact the coordinator.
Complete List of Courses Approved for the Minor
ECON 698, Topics in Economics*
ECON 798, Economic Problems*
HIST 521, The Origins of Modern Science
HIST 522, Science in the Modern World
HIST 621, 622 History of American Thought
HIST 652, Topics in European Intellectual History
HIST 654, Topics in History of Science
HUMA 651, Humanities and Science: The Nature of Scientific Creativity
PHIL 424, Science, Technology, and Society
PHIL 447, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and People
PHIL 630, Philosophy of the Natural Sciences
PHIL 780, Special Topics in Philosophy*
PSYC 571, The Great Psychologists
PSYC 591, Special Topics in Psychology*
*with approval of the coordinator.