Theories and Models|
Spring 2020 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
This class will focus on how theories and models are designed and regarded across the university curriculum--in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. This topic is particularly pertinent to intellectual history, a subject that regularly uses texts from across the modern university curriculum as its primary readings. Given the range of intellectual history, both in terms of chronology and subject matter, intellectual history could be argued to be the subject best positioned to consider the process of making theory.
Questions to be addressed include: What are some of the unexpected results of the increased use of mathematics and computers even in the humanities and social sciences, not just in the sciences, and how has this changed the relationship of theory and models for each of these disciplines? To what extent does the debate about the refutability, the falsifiability--or truth status--of models indicate an ongoing need for theory? The specific modern academic subjects to be examined will be philosophy, economics, and physics. Thomas Kuhn's THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS (1962) will serve as a starting point for this study; however, most of the readings during the semester will be much more recent.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(HIST-MN)
Ludwik Fleck, GENESIS AND DEVELOPMENT OF A SCIENTIFIC FACT (Chicago).
Thomas S. Kuhn, THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS (Chicago).
Sunny A. Auyang, FOUNDATIONS OF COMPLEX-SYSTEM THEORIES IN ECONOMICS, EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS (Cambridge).
and other readings to be announced.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly 2-page papers; three 5-page papers.