Fall 2015 HPS Course Offerings
HPS 78599 Thesis Direction
CRN 11351
Jurkowitz, Edward
Research and writing on an approved subject under the direction of a faculty member.
HPS 78600 Nonresident Thesis Research
CRN 11662
Jurkowitz, Edward
Required of nonresident graduate students who are completing their theses in absentia and who wish to retain their
degree status.
HPS 83100 Colloquium
CRN 11192
Jurkowitz, Edward
T 4:15-5:30
Discussion of a prominent recent work in the field of HPS, and research presentations by visiting scholars. Required
course for HPS students in the first and second years of the program.
HPS 83801 Philosophy of Science
CRN 12754
Chakravartty, Anjan
T 12:30-3:15
A survey of major problems, movements, and thinkers in twentieth-century philosophy of science. The course begins
with a look at the historical background to logical empiricism, its rise to prominence, and its early critics, such as
Popper. After a study of major problems in the neo-positivist tradition, such as confirmation, explanation, and the
nature of scientific laws, historicist critiques of neo-positivism, chiefly Kuhn's will be studied next, followed by a
consideration of the realism-instrumentalism debate. The course concludes with a brief look at new perspectives,
such as social constructivism and feminist philosophy of science. (Satisfies core philosophy of science requirement.)
HPS 93614 Ancients, Medievals & Moderns
CRN 20277
Joy, Lynn and Goulding, Robert
T-R 11:00-12:15
This graduate seminar examines changing conceptions of nature and scientific knowledge from their origins in
ancient Greek thought and practice through their transformations in medieval and modern science and philosophy.
One focus of the course consists of the contributions of the Platonic tradition in natural philosophy to developing the
mathematical scientific disciplines. A second focus consists of the multiple roles of the Aristotelian tradition in
developing both natural philosophy and the empirical sciences. This seminar will also examine several of the
paradigmatic medieval and modern revisions or rejections of these Platonic and Aristotelian traditions. We will
consider how such revisions or rejections made possible important innovations in astronomy, physics, chemistry, and
biology in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. (This course fulfils an HPS requirement fulfilled by
either HPS 93811- History and Philosophy of Science to 1750, HPS 93812 History and Philosophy of Science from
the Scientific Revolution to 1900)
HPS 93722 Molecular Revolution
CRN 29629
Sloan, Phillip
M-W 2:00-3:15
This course is intended for students in both science and arts and letters interested in gaining historical and
philosophical perspective on modern developments in the functional life sciences (embryology and human
development, genetics, cell theory, general physiology, biophysics, and molecular biology). The course will
commence with Kant’s reflections on biology and organism and will follow the intellectual and institutional
developments of selective episodes in the science of life in German, French, and English traditions from the
nineteenth century into the twenty first. Included will be a small laboratory component and visits to research facilities.
Authors under examination will include Claude Bernard, Karl Ernst von Baer, Gregor Mendel, Hermann von
Helmholtz, Jacques Loeb, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Delbrück, Watson and Crick, Jacob and Monod, and
contemporary commentators on genetics, biophysics, developmental biology, and reductionism. Open to advanced
undergraduates by permission. Graduate students outside HPS may register as auditors. Satisfies core HPS history
HPS 98742 History of Economic Thought
CRN 20630
Mirowski, Philip
T-R 2:00-3:15
The course intends to ask how it is that we have arrived at this curious configuration of doctrines now called
"economics"; and importantly, how differing modes of historical discourse tend to ratify us in our prejudices about our
own possible involvement in this project. The course will begin in the 18th century with the rise of a self-conscious
discipline, and take us through the stabilization of the modern orthodoxy of WWII. Effort will be made to discuss the
shifting relationship of economics to the other sciences, natural and social. A basic knowledge of economics
(including introductory economics and preferably intermediate economics) will be presumed.
HPS 93875 Philosophical Issues Concerning Time
CRN 20631
Sieroka, Norman
M-W 5:05-6:20
Time is a fundamental dimension in our encounter with the world and it prominently figures in various areas of
philosophy. This course provides an introduction to philosophical issues surrounding the concept of time in the
following contexts. We will treat metaphysical questions concerning the relation between time and change, and the
existence of past, present, and future; issues in philosophy of physics regarding the measurement of time, absolute
versus relative time, the direction of time, and the possibility of time travel; issues in the philosophy of cognitive
science arising from the constitution and fundamental role of time consciousness and its possible neurophysiological
counterparts; normative and ethical issues connected with the role played by temporal relations for the conduct of our
lives, for the responsibility with regard to other generations, and in the context of punishing crimes. Finally, we will
have a brief look at the handling of time within history and philosophy of science itself: that is, as it is used in
identifying and resolving problems and questions about the historiography of the sciences and the use of history for
philosophy and science.