The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
When Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientifc Revolutions appeared in 1962, it offered a radically new perspective on the history of science. It challenged the prevailing view that science develops by “accumulation” and argued instead that the history of science is marked by revolutionary “paradigm shifts.” In this seminar we will read selections from Kuhn’s seminal book and related readings, meeting to discuss its implications for the practice of science and the evolution of scientific knowledge. The readings will develop a model for scientific revolutions from historical developments in the physical sciences, which are relevant to on-going revolutions within a variety of scientific disciplines, including geology, cosmology, genetics, and neuroscience. Together, we will examine the stages in the “life” of scientific ideas alongside a brief history of the scientists who shaped them. We will also discuss what, if anything, makes scientific inquiry distinct from other methods of knowing. For a free copy of the book or to receive more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates: Monday evenings on 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24
Week 1: Kuhn chapter 1 and Karl Popper Logic of Scientific Discovery, sections 1.2, 1.3, 1.8.
Week 2: Kuhn chapters 2, 3, 10.
Week 3: Kuhn chapters 6, 8, 12
Week 4: Kuhn chapter 4 and Thomas Kuhn, “The Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?”
Visions of Justice:
From Conservatism to Postmodernism
Justice today typically comes in hyphenated forms. There’s social justice, racial justice, environmental justice, and even spacial justice. Many of these views offer a powerful critique of the classical idea that justice is grounded in human reason. This seminar will introduce students to some popular views of justice and their contemporary importance. First we will examine two leading conservative thinkers and then conclude by looking at some influential liberal and postmodern critics. Pizza will be served.
Dates: Tuesdays on 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, and 11/5
Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm
10/15: Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty” ; “Political Judgement” (optional)
10/22: Freidrich von Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society“; “Social Justice” (optional); and “Social Justice Notes” (optional)
10/29: Michael Oakeshott, “On Being Conservative“; “Rationalism in Politics” (optional)
11/5: Richard Rorty, “Relativism” and “Truth without Correspondence to Reality.”
Location: 2134 Allston Way
**This seminar is free and open to all UC Berkeley, GTU, and St. Mary’s students.
How to Be Christian In College
A lot of people think it should be hard to be a Christian and a college student. Is it? Should it be? And in any case, how can you do both well? Berkeley professors Lara Buchak and Steven Justice will offer both intellectual and practical perspectives on Christians’ relationships with ideas and arguments, with professors and peers, with churches and pastors, and with the choices they face in their own lives. No readings; just come ready to discuss. All undergraduates are welcome.
Dates: Thursday evenings on 8.31, 9.7, 9.14, 9.21, 9.28, 10.5.
Time: 5:00-6:30 p.m.
8.31: Being a Christian in relation to ideas
9.7: …in relation to professors
9.14: …in relation to other Christians
9.21: …in relation to family or pastors
9.28: …in relation to moral choices
10.5: …in relation to larger values and goals
Location: 2134 Allston Way