Phil 32 – Philosophy and the Rise of Modern Science (2012)

Week 10 office hours: In addition to my usual office hours on Monday (12-2), I will also have extra office hours on Wednesday (12-2). Feel free to come by if you have any questions about the essay, or anything else from the class.

Syllabus I made one last modification to the syllabus: the reading for week 10 has been significantly shortened. (You’re welcome!)

****Quiz questions****

First Essay Assignment

First Extra Credit Assignment

Midterm Study Guide

Second Extra Credit Assignment

Second Essay Assignment

Final Exam Study Guide

Required texts:

The Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy

Readings in Modern Philosophy, Vol. I

Readings in Modern Philosophy, Vol. II

Other useful links: Written assignments may be uploaded to the course page at UCSD’s TED site.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy This is a fantastic resource for all students of philosophy (much better than wikipedia for philosophy).

Three Hypotheses This educational website is aimed at younger students, but it has some very nice animations showing the differences between the astronomical models of Ptolemy, Tycho, and Copernicus.

Descartes’ explanation of celestial motion: In case any one is interested, this brief section from the SEP article on Descartes’ physics contains an interesting discussion of the mechanistic explanation of celestial motion in a plenum. Descartes proposed this theory in The World, which he wrote around 1630, but which wasn’t published until after his death.

Molyneaux Vindicated: Thanks to Jakob for finding this recent empirical study into the Molyneaux problem. (You might need to access it through UCSD’s servers.)

Trials and Errors: Why Science is Failing Us This article from WIRED Magazine presents an interesting discussion of the problem of isolating causal mechanisms in contemporary medical science. This would be useful reading when we get to Hume.

Announcement: Workshop for Women in Philosophy (Monday, March 5th, 2012) Any undergraduate women who are philosophy majors, minors, or considering being majors or minors should consider going to this event.
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