History of Science 165. The Scientific Revolution





Before the emergence of modern science, knowing about the natural world was generally the domain of people called natural philosophers. In early modern Europe, what it meant to engage in this activity, even what nature was understood to be, underwent so many radical transformations that historians and philosophers later named the era the Scientific Revolution. This seminar will examine the diverse ? even conflicting ? meanings that have been given to the Scientific Revolution over time. We will pay special attention to the role of media in scientific, political, and social revolution. Other topics will include the experimental method, the nature of belief, instruments, gender, natural history, classification, and the role of narrative in knowledge-making. Students will have several opportunities to study artifacts in the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments and at Houghton Library.