The Scientific Revolution
General Catalog Course Title:
Special Topics
Terms Offered:
Fall 2012

The course surveys the momentous social and cultural transformation that took place between the sixteenth and the mid-eighteenth century, which is usually described as the Scientific Revolution. During this period, the criteria for assessing what count as sound evidence changed profoundly, as did those to judge whether an argument is valid, or a belief credible. We shall explore the social, political, and cultural contexts in which modern science emerged as a distinctive and authoritative form of knowledge. We shall also address key questions about the nature and meaning of this revolution, and assess to what extent it was a break from previous ways of knowing and understanding the world. A particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which the relationship between science and religion changed in this period, and to the intriguing connections between Renaissance magic and the science of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.