Knowledge, Science, and Technology
Modul: Viden, videnskab og teknologi
Teachers: Sabrina Ebbersmeyer, Dario Gonzales, Klemens Kappel
Part 1. New approaches to understanding science and nature: Methods, Mechanization and Men’s power over nature
In the first part, we focus on the so-called Scientific Revolution of the Early Modern period. One decisive event was the replacement (or transformation) of Aristotelian natural philosophy and the establishment of the new philosophy of nature. We will study this by revisiting the Aristotelian paradigm informed by an ideal of knowledge as contemplation, a general use of logic, a causal epistemology, and an approach to natural knowledge relying on direct and naïve observation. The new philosophy of nature radically redefined the concept of knowledge: Experiments and various empirical methods replaced theoretical speculation and mathematics became a central tool for the investigation of nature. Scientific knowledge was now directly linked to technical devices and the mechanicals arts gained more and more in significance. We will study this by reading, among others, Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620), René Descartes, Discourse on method (1637), Robert Boyle, The origin of forms and qualities (1666) and contemporary critics of this approach to nature, in particular Anne Conway, The principles of the most ancient and modern philosophy (1690).
Part 2. Science, technology, and the human.
In the second part of the course, we turn to the phenomenological tradition and its development in the twentieth century, by discussing two central and interrelated issues: a) the reconsideration of the role of philosophy in response to the advances of the particular sciences and technology, against the background of a critical interpretation of the naturalistic ontologies associated to the project of modernity; b) the need of a philosophical reflection on technology guided by questions concerning human reality and its historical constitution/transformation. On the one hand, we look at Edmund Husserl’s “Philosophy as a Rigorous Science” (1911) and excerpts from The Crisis of European Sciences (1936) to continue with Martin Heidegger’s texts “The Age of the World Picture” (1938), “The Question Concerning Technology” (1954), and “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” (1969). On the other hand, we read the section of Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958) devoted to “work” as a specific dimension of “active life”, and excerpts from the first volume of Bernard Stiegler’s book Technics and Time: The Fault of Epimetheus (1994).
Part 3. Scientism, atheism, and the science-religion conflicts
In the third part of the course, will focus on the conflicts between science and religion. One question will concern scientism, which is the view that science, and only science, can be trusted to tell us how every aspect of the world is. Scientism is clearly a commonly adopted position, both in intellectual life in general, in science and also in academic philosophy. Yet, it is clearly a philosophical position that needs articular and critical discussion. We will focus on this set of questions by reading a selection of papers from de Ridder, Jeroen, Rik Peels, and Rene van Woudenberg (eds), Scientism: Prospects and Problems (New York, 2018). Next, we will turn to the conflict between science and religion, and we will do so by first considering philosophical atheist positions, and we will do so by reading Oppy, Graham (2018). Atheism: The Basics. New York, NY, USA: Routledge and Aikin, Scott F. (2011). Reasonable atheism: a moral case for respectful disbelief. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Finally, we will discuss views about the potential conflict or harmony between science and religious belief.
Exams. In the 2022 Philosophy Curriculum, the second term involves portfolio exams. Below are explained the two ways in which such a portfolio exam can be passed: either as ordinary participation (A) or as a participation with a teaching or presentation assignment (B).
A. Ordinary course participation Part 1: Questions are asked in all three parts of the course, with the student answering questions in two different parts. The student submits two assignments of 3-4 standard pages answering questions asked in two of the three parts of the course. One of the assignments can be further developed and used in the final exam paper. The course responsible sets three deadlines for submission (the last one must be at least 14 days before the last class). If student meets these deadlines, he or she will receive written feedback on his or her assignments. It is not compulsory to hand in the assignments before the deadline, but it is compulsory to hand in and have both answers approved in order to pass the exam. Part 2: No later than 14 days before the last class, the student must submit a problem statement, a 1-2 synopsis (1-2 standard pages, in prose) and a syllabus for the final examination paper to the examiner. All must be approved by the examiner for the student to pass the exam. Part 3: The student may submit a preliminary version of the final written exam paper of maximum 8 standard pages for written or oral feedback from the examiner, according to agreement between the student and the examiner. This must be done at least 14 days before the deadline for the final submission. The student loses the right to feedback if the deadline is not met, but it is not compulsory to hand in the provisional version. Part 4: Final exam: The student submits the final written exam paper of 11-15 standard pages (excluding bibliography).
B. Course participation with teaching or dissemination assignment Part 1: A teaching assignment consists of 2-6 hours of teaching with an external partner; a dissemination assignment consists of 5-15 hours of work with an external partner. An external partner is, for example, a secondary school, a college, an NGO, a public or private company or organisation. If a teaching or dissemination assignment is carried out, a form must be used indicating the external partner and providing evidence that the assignment took place between 1 February and 20 May. The agreement with an external partner must be sent to the course responsible by 15 April (please use the form). Part 2: The student sends a debriefing to the course responsible at the latest in the last week of the course. In the case of a teaching assignment, a debrief consists of 1/2-1 page description of the teaching assignment, the literature or theory reviewed, and brief pedagogical reflection. In the case of a dissemination assignment, a debriefing consists of 1/2-1 page description of the dissemination task, as well as a short reflection on the competences used. Part 3: The student may submit a preliminary version of the final written exam paper of maximum 8 standard pages for written or oral feedback from the examiner, according to agreement between the student and the examiner. This must be done at least 14 days before the deadline for the final submission. The student loses the right to feedback if the deadline is not met, but it is not compulsory to hand in the provisional version.
Part 4: The student submits a written exam paper of 11-15 standard pages (excluding bibliography)
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- 15 ECTS
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- Study Board of Communication
- Department of Communication
- Faculty of Humanities
- Klemens Kappel (6-6e647373686f436b7870316e7831676e)
Klemens Kappel, Sabrina Ebbersmeyer, Dario Gonzalez
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