History of Science from Galileo - Darwin

Faculteit Wijsbegeerte
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode FI204HSA
Vaknaam History of Science from Galileo - Darwin
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam History of Science from Galileo to Darwin
  • explain and critically reflect on some key moments in the history of science
  • explain and critically reflect on the views of some major philosophers and scientists including Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Newton, Lamarck, Darwin and others.
  • critically compare the contributions of these philosophers to the history of philosophy and science.
  • report on research in an academically sound way both orally and in written form.
Omschrijving This course consists of two parts. In the first part (5 EC) we will study some important moments in the history of science from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, focusing in particular on the life and natural sciences. In the second part (5 EC) we will closely read Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Early modern scientists and philosophers rejected Aristotelian natural philosophy. According to Aristotelian natural philosophy, a body was a compound of matter and a form or essence that made it belong to some given kind of species. According to the mechanical philosophy of Descartes and his followers, however, all there is to know about bodies can be put in terms of matter in motion alone. This New Philosophy raised several questions. How to account for life in a world consisting of inanimate matter governed by laws? And if bodies are collections of particles of matter, in virtue of what is it that a body belongs to some given kind or species? As we will see, the French naturalist, Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, questioned the reality of sharp boundaries between species in the vegetable and animal kingdoms. His views on the transformation of species will be compared with Darwin’s evolutionary theory of the origin of species. The course will also pay attention to other critics of Aristotelian natural philosophy and how Galileo and Newton revolutionized the study of the cosmos and the natural world.
Uren per week
(Lecture and seminar)
(Assignments and essay)
Vaksoort master
Docent(en) Dr. H.T. Adriaenssen ,prof. dr. L.W. Nauta
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Links to other texts will be made available via Nestor

Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, ed. Jim Endersby Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015 (paperback) 9781316610206
Opmerkingen Part A and B are mandatory courses for the MA programme Philosophy, Science, and Humanities. Part B may be followed independently from Part A, and can be chosen as an elective by master students not following the PSH master’s programme.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Ma Philosophy, Science and Humanities 2 semester I verplicht
Master Exchange Courses - semester I keuze