Course

SHP 225†† Einstein

Professor

Peter Skiff

CRN

17158

 

Schedule

Tu Th††††††††† 1:00 -2:20 pm††††† Hegeman 102

Distribution

OLD: E

 

Cross-listed: Science, Technology & Society

An examination of Einsteinís life and work, the impact of his work on current world views, and some of the many controversies involved therein, using biography and popular descriptions of the relativity theories, atomic theories, and optical theories. We will compare the advantages of methods of positivism and realism in philosophy and of "internalism" and "externalism" in the history of science. Readings include some primary sources; secondary authors include Overbye, F`lsing and Holton. Accessible to students with no prior college‑level scientific or mathematical experience. On-line registration

 

Course

SHP 227†† Science and Pseudoscience

Professor

Peter Skiff

CRN

17159

 

Schedule

Tu Th††††††††† 2:30 -3:50 pm††††† Hegeman 102

Distribution

OLD: E

 

Cross-listed: Science, Technology & Society

The search for a demarcation between "science" and "pseudo-science" has generated many productive developments in the academic philosophy of science.These are also significant in "civilian" culture, as considerable damage, both civic and psychological, has surrounded adherence to alleged pseudosciences in both the recent and distant past.This course will take up number of well-studied twentieth century incidences of pseudoscience in physical science, probably including Blondet's N-rays Barkla's J-rays, Langmuir's criteria, Ehrenhaft's electrons, polywater, cold fusion, the fifth force, and other minimally controversial situations, as well as a few cases not yet clearly decided. No background in science or mathematics is required, as the contrasting orthodox scientific principles will be descriptively presented. Readings include selections from works by Gratzer, Holton, Gardner, Popper, and others, and studies in journals of History and Philosophy of Science. On-line registration