Syllabus for Science and the Knowing Body: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge, 17th-20th Century

Science and the Knowing Body: Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge, 17th-20th Century

Syllabus

  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5LH380
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: History of Science and Ideas A1N, Technology A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2009-12-10
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 30, 2010
  • Entry requirements:
  • Responsible department: Department of History of Science and Ideas

Decisions and guidelines

The Department of History of Science and Ideas is responsible for the course.

Learning outcomes

The students will
- acquire a critical awareness of the role of the human body in scientific knowledge production, now and then
- obtain skills in judging the basic historical practices and discourses that led to the deep-seated image of science as the epitome of disembodied knowledge
- be able to analyse the scientific and industrial revolution taking into consideration the mind-body dichotomy
- be able to judge the actual process of globalisation of knowledge – its potentials and problems - from the body perspective

Content

Science is widely celebrated as the epitome of disembodied knowledge. It is universal, abstract and, above all, disconnected from the burdens of the flesh. It is the ultimate triumph of mind over matter. Over the lasts decades historians and sociologists of science have dispelled that notion of science as simply being the pure product of a realm of ideas. More and more they have paid attention to the mundane work involved in creating new ideas and the effort involved in establishing truths. Scientific ideas are now widely recognised as emerging from a set of practices deeply embedded in material culture. Hence even scientists' bodies matter a great deal. It is by now clear that the identity and trustworthiness of scientists are inextricably implicated in the credibility of the facts about the world that they produce. From this perspective, therefore, the knowing body matters quite importantly for science. In this course we will investigate the changing meanings of this relationship between the body of the investigator of nature and the respective knowledge he or she produced.

Instruction

The course will consist of lectures and seminars held by students as well as the teacher. Students are expected to write essays on selected topics of the teachers as well as their own choice. Participants will write a course newsletter.

Assessment

The course will consist of lectures and seminars held by students as well as the teacher. Students are expected to write essays on selected topics of the teachers as well as their own choice. Participants will write a course newsletter.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 31, 2010

  • Bremmer, Jan N.; Roodenburg, Herman A cultural history of gesture : from antiquity to the present day

    London: Polity Press, 1991

    Find in the library

  • Classen, Constance Worlds of sense : exploring the senses in history and across cultures

    London ;a New York: Routledge, 1993

    Find in the library

  • Lawrence, Christopher; Shapin, Steven Science incarnate : historical embodiments of natural knowledge

    Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998

    Find in the library

  • Roberts, Lissa; Schaffer, Simon; Dear, Peter The mindful hand : inquiry and invention from the late renaissance to early industrialisation.

    Part of:

    Lawrence, Christopher; Shapin, Steven Science incarnate : historical embodiments of natural knowledge

    Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998

    Find in the library

  • Smith, Pamela H. The body of the artisan : art and experience in the scientific revolution

    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004

    Find in the library