Postgraduate Course: Advanced Theory in Science and Technology Studies (PGSP11371)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||This course gives postgraduate students the opportunity to pursue a more sophisticated understanding of key theoretical perspectives in science and technology studies (STS). Focusing on a wide range of thinkers and writings, Advanced Theory in STS challenges students to master the details of vital STS theory, and to consider ways of taking that theory in new, innovative directions.
Broadly, Advanced Theory in STS is designed for students interested in unpacking the ideas and arguments that underlie STS's understanding of science and technology. It is also of benefit to students who hope to further hone their critical thinking skills and expand their range of theoretical tools. Although focused on theoretical topics, the class attempts to demonstrate how theory and empirical research work collaboratively. Thus the class is also of relevance to those who hope to produce sophisticated, empirically-grounded research.
This course can be taken as a standalone by students outside of STIS, but it is designed to examine ideas introduced in semester one courses in greater detail. As such, attendance of 'Science, Knowledge and Expertise' and 'Understanding Technology' is recommended (but not required).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||No
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 10,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|By the end of the course, student will:
* have a comprehensive understanding of the intellectual foundations of the Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge, as well as the Strong Programme's key work.
* understand the Performative Theory of Social Institutions, including its notions of 'bootstrapped induction' and 'finitism.'
* be competent in Foucault's performative theory of subjectivity and understand how it relates to science and technology.
* be familiar with ontological issues concerning technological artefacts, as well as the role played by scientific and technological knowledge in crafting our understanding of things.
* be familiar with current developments in the study of technology, including the Biography of Artefacts approach.
* have developed their abilities to convey complex ideas through written and oral means (particularly through essay writing and seminar presentations).
|Assessment will be on the basis of a 4,000 word essay.|
||1 Experience and underdetermination: Hume and Quine
2 The Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge
3 The Performative Theory of Social Institutions
5 Actor-Network Theory
7 Objects and ontology
8 The Biography of Artefacts
9 Rethinking 'design'
10 Science, engineering and epistemic species
||Quine, W.V.O. (1975). "On empirically equivalent systems of the world." Erkenntnis, 9: 313-328.
Bloor, D. (1976). Knowledge and social imagery. Chicago: Chicago UP, Chapters 1 and 2 (pp. 3-45).
Barnes, B. (1983). "Social life as bootstrapped induction." Sociology, 17(4): 524-545.
Bloor, D. (1997b). Wittgenstein, rules and institutions. London: Routledge, Chapters 2 and 3 (pp. 9-42).
Latour, B. (1992). "One more turn after the social turn..." In E. McMullin (Ed.), The social dimension of science (pp. 272-294). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Schyfter, P. (2009). "The bootstrapped artefact: A collectivist account of technological ontology, functions, and normativity." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 40: 102-111.
Foucault, M. (1982). "The subject and power." Critical Inquiry, 8(4): 777-795.
Hacking, I. (1999a). "Making up people." In M. Biagioli (Ed.), The science studies reader (pp. 161-171). London: Routledge.
Latour, B. (2009). "A cautious Prometheus? A few steps toward a philosophy of design (with special attention to Peter Sloterdijk)." In F. Hackney (Ed.), Networks of design (pp. 2-10). Boca Raton, FL: Universal.
Vincenti, W. (1990). What engineers know and how they know it. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, Chapter 5 (pp. 137-169).
|Course organiser||Dr Pablo Schyfter
Tel: (07880 874828)
|Course secretary||Miss Jodie Fleming
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 5:09 am