Week 1

Mon. 8/31

Wed. 9/2

Fri. 9/4

Course Introduction: Logical Positivism and the Philosophy of Science.
The role of Science in Human life.

Science and Mathematics. Thales, Pythagoras, and the discovery of form. "All is number." Diggins Chapters 8-9, 11-12

The Golden Mean. Diggins Ch. 15

 

Week 2

Mon. 9/7

Wed. 9/9

Fri. 9/10

No classes - Labor Day.

The construction of the world out of numbers. Plato's Timaeus.
    Diggins Ch. 13.

The discovery of the Irrationals. Continuity in Ancient Mathematics, Diggins Ch. 14. Ch 16. or Dantzig, “The Unuterrable.”

 

 

Week 3

Mon. 9/14

Wed. 9/16

Fri. 9/18

Infinity in Ancient and Modern Science. "Aristotle on Zeno's paradoxes" or Dantzig, “This Flowing World,” pp. 125-134

The paradoxes of Infinity. Cantor's redefinition of Infinity and the concept of number

Dantzig, “The Anatomy of the Infinite,”

Cantor's redefinition of Infinity and the concept of number.

The infinitesimal Calculus.
Dantzig, “This Flowing World,” pp. 134-143.

 

Week 4

Mon. 9/21

Wed. 9/23

Fri. 9/25

Ancient Astronomy and the Phenomena to be dealt with. Eratosthenes measures the Globe, Diggins, Ch 17

Ptolemaic Astronomy. History of Physics Lectures, Sections 3, 4, 5, 8 required, especially 3

Ptolemaic Astronomy.
Ptolemaic Astronomy. History of Physics Lectures, Sections 3, 4, 5, 8 required, especially 3*.

Copernican Astronomy. Copernicus's Commentariolus.

 Assignment 1 Due

 

 

 

 


Week 5

Mon. 9/28

Wed. 9/30

Fri. 10/2

Galileo and the Scientific Revolution. Galileo "Two Kinds of Properties",
"The View of Nature of the Scientific Revolution
".

The Principle of Relativity.

Galileo’s Principle of Relativity

Newton's laws of Motion. Absolute Space and Time. Selections from Newton’s "Scholium on Absolute Space" .

 

 

Week 6

Mon. 10/5

Wed. 10/7

Fri. 10/9

PART TWO OF COURSE
Logical Positivism. "Logical Empiricism", "A short summary of Logical Positivism.
Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Ch. 1

Paradigms and Normal Science

Kuhn

Postscript pp. 174-197.
Ch. 4-5

Scientific Discovery. Kuhn Ch.7 and 9.

EXAM 1 DUE

 

Week 7

Monday October 12

Wed. 10/14

Fri. 10/16

Fall Recess

Theories and World Views. Kuhn, Ch. 10,12,13

Contemporary Realims:

Putnam’s Twin Earth and Brains in a Vat.

Godfrey-Smith Ch. 12

 

Week 8

Mon. 10/19

Wed. 10/21

Fri. 10/23

The Science Wars.

Thomas Nagel,  “The Sleep of Reason”

Special Relativity, Albert Einstein “Relativity”

Part I, Sections 1-10.

No Class

 


 

Week 9

Mon. 10/26

Wed. 10/28

Fri. 10/30

Special Relativity. Space-Time diagrams “Relativity Tutorial”

 

Cosmology and alternate universes:

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 1, Ch. 2

General Relativity

Cosmology and alternate universes:

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 1, Ch. 2

 

Assignment 2 Due

General Relativity

The Inflationary Universe:

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 3

 

Week 10

Mon. 11/2

Wed. 11/4

Fri. 11/6

Quantum Mechanics.
"Quantum Behavior", John Horgan "Scroedinger's Cation".

 

Realism and Quantum Mechanics. Bell’s Theorem. David Harrison "Bells Theorem"
 Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 8

String Theory

 

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 4, Ch. 5

 

Week 11

Mon. 11/9

Wed. 11/11

Fri. 11/13

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Dennett,  Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,
Ch 1-2

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Explaining the very Improbable

Accumulating Small Change

Evolution as Algorithm.

Dennett Ch 3 and Ch 5.

(Skip 4)

 

Week 12

Mon. 11/16

Wed. 11/18

Fri. 11/20

The  Origin of the Universe

Dennett Ch. 7

Assignment 3 Due.
The Anthropic Principle.

William Lane Craig
“The Teleological Argument And The Anthropic Principle

Functionalism and consciousness. The Chinese Room: Searle: “Minds, Brains, and Programs” or “The Chinese Room Homepage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 13

Mon. 11/23

Wed. 11/25

Fri. 11/27

Information and the Holographic Universe

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 9

Gödel’s Theorem and the Mind.

Dennett Ch. 15

Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 10

Thanksgiving Break

 

Week 14

Mon. 11/30

Wed. 12/2

Fri. 12/4

Syncronicity and the Emergence of Order.
Sync

Steven Strogratz and
Who Care about Fireflies?



Assignment 4 Due
The Game of Life and The Nature of Science.
Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Ch. 11

Science, Time, and Human Consciousness. Hoeg, Borderliners, pp. 1-138.

 

Week 15

Mon. 12/7

Wed. 12/9

Fri. 12/11

Technology, Alienation, and Civilization. Hoeg, pp. 138-208.

Technology, Alienation, and Civilization. Hoeg, pp. 208-end.

 

Reading Day

 

FINAL EXAM:   

Tuesday, December 15                                  1:00PM.