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Spring 2022 History UN2978 section 001
Science and Pseudoscience: Alchemy to AI
Science and Pseudoscience

Call Number 12839
Day & Time
Location
TR 4:10pm-5:25pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructors Pamela Smith
Madisson Whitman
Type LECTURE
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description During the 2020 US presidential election and the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, science and “scientific truths” were fiercely contested. This course provides a historical perspective on the issues at stake. The course begins with an historical account of how areas of natural knowledge, such as astrology, alchemy, and “natural magic,” which were central components of an educated person’s view of the world in early modern Europe, became marginalized, while a new philosophy of nature (what we would now call empirical science) came to dominate the discourse of rationality. Historical developments examined in this course out of which this new understanding of nature emerged include the rise of the centralized state, religious reform, and European expansion. The course uses this historical account to show how science and pseudoscience developed in tandem in the period from 1400 to 1800. This historical account equips students to examine contemporary issues of expertise, the social construction of science, pluralism in science, certainty and uncertainty in science, as well as critical engagement with contemporary technologies.
Web Site Vergil
Department History
Enrollment 64 students (95 max) as of 8:02AM Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Subject History
Number UN2978
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Note Discussion section HIST UN2979 required
Section key 20221HIST2978W001

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