List of Courses

The Scientific Revolution, Experimentation, and Causation

Fall, 2017

Links to copyrighted material go to the course website at Harvard, where signin is required.  Other links work.  Unfortunately, the only way to be sure which is which is to click the link.

Resources that may help you stay oriented in time:

Text:  Peter Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500 - 1700, Second Edition (2009).

Session 1 (September 7):  Introduction

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 01 .pdf
  2. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Introduction (9 pages)
  3. Dear - Intelligibility - Introduction .pdf (15 pages)
  4. Kuhn - Concepts of Cause .pdf (10 pages)
  5. Optional:  

Session 2 (September 14):  Scholasticism - Part 1

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 02 .pdf
  2. Gaukroger - Emergence - Augustine Aquinas .pdf (40 pages)
  3. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 1 (19 pages)
  4. Optional:

Session 3 (September 28):  Scholasticism - Part 2

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 03 .pdf
  2. Dear - DandE - Introduction .pdf (10 pages)
  3. Dear - DandE - Ch 1 .pdf (18 pages)
  4. Optional:  

Session 4 (October 5):  16th Century Scientific Renaissance

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 04 .pdf
  2. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 2 (18 pages)
  3. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 3 (17 pages)
  4. Henry - Sci Rev - Magic .pdf (13 pages)
  5. Optional:  

Session 5 (October 12):  The Mechanical Philosophy

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 05 .pdf
  2. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 5 (20 pages)
  3. Henry - Sci Rev - Mechanical .pdf (16 pages)

Session 6 (October 19):  Applied Mathematics - Part 1 (Jesuits)

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 06 .pdf
  2. Dear - Reconstitution of Experience .pdf (43 pages)  Note:  this paper is an early version of the material that became Chapters 2 and 3 (and a bit of Chapter 4) of Discipline and Experience.  If you would prefer to read the chapters in the book, which are the mature statement, do so.

Session 7 (October 26):  Applied Mathematics - Part 2 (Galileo)

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 07 .pdf
  2. Dear - DandE - Ch 5 .pdf (27 pages)
  3. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 4 (15 pages)
  4. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 7, Section I (4 pages)

Session 8 (November 2):  Experimentation - Part 1 (Pascal)

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 08 .pdf (revised October 24)
  2. Dear - DandE - Ch 7 .pdf (30 pages)
  3. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 7, Section II (4 pages)

Session 9 (November 9):  Experimentation - Part 2 (Boyle)

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 09 .pdf
  2. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 7, Sections III and IV (10 pages)
  3. Conant - Boyle .pdf (28 pages)
  4. Shapin Schaffer - LandAP - Air Pump .pdf  (15 pages)
  5. Optional:  

Session 10 (November 16):  Experimentation - Part 3 (Boyle and Hobbes)

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 10 .pdf
  2. Shapin Schaffer - LandAP - Boyle Hobbes .pdf (24 pages)
  3. Gaukroger - Emergence - Boyle Hobbes .pdf (11 pages)
  4. Optional:  Please read the first 15 pages of the Introduction to Shapin and Schaffer (see last week's optional readings).

Session 11 (November 30):  Newton

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 11 .pdf
  2. Sections III, IV, and V of Dear - DandE - Ch 8 .pdf (21 pages)  Note:  The file includes the whole chapter, but only sections III, IV, and V are assigned.
  3. Dear - DandE - Conclusion .pdf (5 pages)
  4. Revolutionizing the Sciences:  Chapter 8 and Conclusion (23 pages)

Session 12 (December 7):  Causation

  1. Topics and Questions to Consider 12 .pdf
  2. Woodward - Making Things Happen - Ch 1 .pdf (23 pages)
  3. Optional material is available on the page for Causation.