GR8948: Scientific Pluralism in Practice | S. Firestein and A. Barwich

Undergraduate and Graduate Seminar
W 6:10-8PM

The course centers on ideas associated with pluralism as applied to scientific practice. Pluralism itself has had a long tradition in the historical and political study of the individual and society, and it was championed, for example, by Isaiah Berlin in the 20th century. However, pluralism has only rarely been applied to science studies. More recently several philosophers of science have begun exploring the role for pluralism in scientific practice . We examine the historical development of science towards an increasingly monistic practice and consider the philosophical and practical promises as well as challenges of driving science in a more pluralistic direction. This course will discuss the benefits and limits of such a pluralistic idea of science and how it translates into practice. The course is run as a seminar in historical and philosophical studies of science for students of the sciences (particularly but not limited to biology and neuroscience) as well as the humanities. We will look at examples from neuroscience, general biology, physics, and other areas from the history of science (e.g., chemistry and medicine).

There are no prerequisites.

Link to Vergil
Note: only courses offered during the two previous semesters have active Vergil links.