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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Man and the Natural World in the Enlightenment (PGHC11205)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is a course on the history of science in the Enlightenment. Developments in scientific knowledge can be seen, in many ways, to have provided the defining ethos for the whole Enlightenment movement; dramatic changes in natural philosophy and the understanding of the physical world provided the inspiration and the foundation for the Age of Reason. The course will explore:

- The origins of the Enlightenment in the scientific movement of the seventeenth century (especially the work of Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, and Isaac Newton).

- The various ways in which the aim of the Enlightenment was to provide a 'science of man', including the origins of scientific psychology and a rational basis for morality.

- The variety of ways in which religion interacted with the scientific worldview, contrasting the tradition of natural theology in Britain with the more secular approach in France, and considering the rise of deism and atheism.

- The impact of new scientific discoveries on the culture of the Enlightenment, including electricity, magnetism, developments in chemistry, and in the life sciences, and new ideas about light, heat, and energy.

- The ways in which even supposedly technical knowledge can be shown to reflect the social and political (including religious) preoccupations of the discoverers and propagators of that knowledge.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course will have acquired an in-depth knowledge and understanding of crucial aspects of the cultural and intellectual history and historiography of science in the Enlightenment. In particular, they will have acquired:

- an awareness of the role of science in the historical development of European culture, particularly of the eighteenth-century.
- an ability to appreciate the constructive interaction between ideas and the historical contexts in which they are developed.
- skills in the methods and approaches of intellectual history. In particular to be able (i): to analyse coherent (though now rejected) systems of ideas about nature and society, (ii): to locate ideas in their historical contexts, (iii): to assess critically the extent of the Enlightenment's contribution to modern cultural values.
- a critical understanding of how dominant cultural values are established and challenged, and to be able to apply this understanding to contemporary culture.
Assessment Information
One essay of 3000 words.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsMan Natural World Enlightenment
Course organiserDr John Henry
Tel: (0131 6)50 4262
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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