Simon R. E. Werrett
From preclassical antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages, stressing the growth of scientific ideas, the cultural context in which they take shape, and their relationship to other movements of thought in the history of civilization.
This course follows the development of natural knowledge in human cultures from ancient times to the end of the middle ages. We explore the different ways the Greeks, and Romans, Chinese, Christians and Muslims sought to understand the Natural World, and how their beliefs helped shape the natural sciences in the middle ages and ultimately modern science. Covering practices such as astronomy, natural history, and medicine, and figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and Ptolemy, the course will ask questions about the changing forms and uses of natural knowledge in different times and places and science’s relationship to religion, philosophy, politics, and society.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures and weekly sections; reading.
No previous study of history of science required.
Class assignments and grading
Mid-term and final exams; essay-format assignments.