MATH 301 Syllabus

History of the Scientific Revolution

Revised: February 2015

Course Description

A study of the role of science in Western culture from classical antiquity to the
seventeenth century. (P3) Three semester hours

Student Learning Objectives

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Investigate how science develops in particular social and historical contexts;
  • Analyze and interpret primary sources; and
  • Craft and defend a historical argument in the context of a research project.

Text

Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1992

Supplementary Texts (required):

Debus, Allen G. Man and Nature in the Renaissance. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1978. Dscartes, Rene. Discourse on Method and the
Meditations. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.Galilei, Galileo. Siderius Nuncius
or The Siderial Messenger. Translated by Albert Van Helden. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1989.

Internet Readings and Electronic Reserve Readings containing primary source
materials from Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Harvey, Paracelsus, Boyle, Copernicus,
Kepler, Bacon, and Newton.


Grading Procedure

Grading procedures and factors influencing course grade are left to the discretion

of individual instructors, subject to general university policy.

Attendance Policy

Attendance policy is left to the discretion of individual instructors, subject to
general university policy.

Course Outline

Introduction
 READING #1: Lindberg, pp. 1-20.




Science in Classical Antiquity 
READING #2: Lindberg, pp. 21- 45.
READING #3: Lindberg, pp. 46-84.
READING #4: Primary Source Reading: Plato, The Republic and Timaeus (from internet readings)
READING #5: Primary Source Reading: Aristotle, Metaphysics and De Caelo (On the
Heavens) (from internet readings)
READING #6: Lindberg, pp. 85- 110
 READING #7: Primary Source Reading: Ptolemy, Almagest (from internet readings)

Roman Science
 READING #8: Lindberg, pp. 111-159
READING #9: Primary Source Reading: Galen (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)

From Islam to the Latin West
 READING #10: Lindberg, pp. 161- 214
READING #11: Lindberg, pp. 215-280

The Study of Man and Nature in the Renaissance
 READING #12: Lindberg, pp. 281-315 and 355-368.
READING #13: Debus, pp. 1-15 and 34-73; Lindberg, pp. 317-353.
READING #14: Primary Source Reading: William Harvey, On The Motion Of The Heart And Blood In Animals, 1628 (from internet readings)

Chemistry and Alchemy 
READING #15: Debus, pp. 16-33 and 121- 130
READING #16: Primary Source Reading: Paracelsus (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)
READING #17: Primary Source Reading: Boyle (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)

Astronomy
 READING #18: Debus, pp. 74-100.
READING #19: Primary Source Reading: Copernicus (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)
 READING #20: Primary Source Reading: Kepler (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)
READING #21: Galileo, Sidereus Nuncius 
READING #22:
Primary Source Reading: Galileo (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)

Scientific Method
 READING #23: Debus, pp. 101-121
READING #24: Primary Source Reading: Bacon's New Atlantis (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve)
READING #25: Primary Source Reading: Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620) (from internet readings) 
READING #26: Descartes, Discourse on Method, pp. 5-54.
 READING #27: Conclusion of Descartes

Mathematics and Physics 
READING #28: Primary Source Reading: Galileo (from Hunter Library Electronic Reserve) 
READING #29: Primary Source Reading: Newton Principia Mathematica (from internet readings)
 READING #30: Primary Source Reading: Newton Opticks (from internet readings)

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