HISTORY 654 / 854: TOPICS IN HISTORY OF SCIENCE
"SCIENCE IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT."
In many respects, we still live with the legacy of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, a movement of intellectual and cultural renewal that bequeathed many patterns of thought to the modern world. In this course, we look at the Enlightenment in Europe as a cultural and social phenomenon and consider the crucial role played in it by new scientific ideas. We shall try to understand how a new model of the universe—the outcome of the seventeenth-century Scientific Revolution—came to be seen as having profound implications for human beings’ understandings of themselves, their relationship with God, their society, and their history. Along with the works of great thinkers such as Newton, Voltaire, and Diderot, we shall also be looking at the part played in the Enlightenment by ordinary men and women, and considering what the ferment of new ideas meant to them.
Instructor: Prof. Jan Golinski Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Classes: T R 3.40-5.00 Horton 304.
Office: Horton 301D Tel.: 862-3789
Office hours: T 2.00-3.00, R 11.00-12.00.
Required Books (available at UNH Bookstore and Durham Book Exchange):
1. I. Bernard Cohen and Richard S. Westfall (eds.), Newton (Norton, 1995) ISBN: 0393959023.
2. Jessica Riskin, Science in the Age of Sensibility (Chicago, 2002) ISBN: 0226720799.
3. Denis Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew / D’Alembert’s Dream (Penguin classics, 1966) ISBN: 0140441735.
4. Dorinda Outram, The Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press, 1995) ISBN: 0521425344.
5. Roger Smith, The Norton History of the Human Sciences (Norton, 1997) ISBN: 0393317331.
6. Bernard de Fontenelle, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds (trans. H. A. Hargreaves, California, 1990) ISBN: 0520071719.
There is also a REQUIRED READER, available at Durham Copy, Main Street, Durham.
Contents of the Reader:
1. Roy Porter, "The Enlightenment in England," in R. Porter and M. Teich, eds., The Enlightenment in National Context (Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 1-18.
2. Nicholas Phillipson, "The Scottish Enlightenment," in Enlightenment in National Context, pp. 19-40.
3. Norman Hampson, "The Enlightenment in France," in Enlightenment in National Context, pp. 41-53.
4. Henry May, The Enlightenment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), pp. 42-65.
5. David Hume, "Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences," in Hume, Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary ( Indianapolis, 1985), pp. 111-137.
6. Margaret C. Jacob, "Newtonianism and the Origins of the Enlightenment: A Reassessment," Eighteenth-Century Studies 11 (1977-78), 1-25.
7. Voltaire, Letters on England ( Penguin Books, 1980), pp. 62-80.
8. Dena Goodman, "Enlightenment Salons: The Convergence of Female and Philosophic Ambitions," Eighteenth-Century Studies.
9. Simon Schaffer, "Natural Philosophy and Public Spectacle in the Eighteenth Century," History of Science 21 (1983), 1-43.
10. Lisbet Koerner, "Carl Linnaeus in his Time and Place," in N. Jardine, J. Secord, and E. C. Spary, eds., Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 145-162.
11. Londa Schiebinger, "Gender and Natural History," in Cultures of Natural History, pp. 163-177.
12. Emma Spary, "Political, Natural and Bodily Economies," in Cultures of Natural History, pp. 178-196.
13. Jean d’Alembert, Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopédie, part II .
14. John Locke, extracts from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, in Isaiah Berlin, ed., The Age of Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 1956), pp. 30-67.
15. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, extracts from The Spirit of the Laws, in Peter Gay, ed., The Enlightenment: A Comprehensive Anthology (Simon and Schuster, 1973), pp. 489-520.
16. Londa Schiebinger, The Mind Has No Sex? (Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 214-244.
17. Ludmilla Jordanova, "Sex and Gender," in Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler, eds., Inventing Human Science: Eighteenth-Century Domains (University of California Press, 1996), pp. 152-183.
18. Hume, "Of Essay-Writing," in Essays, pp. 533-537.
19. David Philip Miller, "Joseph Banks, Empire, and ‘Centers of Calculation’ in late Hanoverian London," in Miller and Peter Hanns Reill, eds., Visions of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 21-37.
20. David Mackay, "Agents of Empire: The Banksian Collectors and Evaluation of New Lands," in Visions of Empire, pp. 38-57.
21. Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), pp. 3-45.
22. Jan Golinski, Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 153-218.
We will use a combination of lectures and discussions in this class. Every member of the class will be expected to be properly prepared and to participate in class discussions. Reports will be required on six of the assigned readings. These will be handed in for comments but not graded immediately. They will be revised and handed in later in the semester for grading, counting together for 30% of the grade. All students will write a final research paper, using sources beyond those assigned for the class. This will count for 30% of the grade. Students in 654 will take a mid-term exam (20%), and a final (20%), both of which will contain short-answer questions and an in-class essay. Students in 854 will write an essay review in place of the mid-term (20%), and will do a final (20%) that will comprise two in-class essays.
21 Jan Introduction to the course.
23 Jan The Enlightenment: its legacy and reputation.
Reading: Outram, Enlightenment, pp. 1-13.
28, 30 Jan National settings and patterns of communication.
Reading: Porter, Phillipson, Hampson, May, Hume, from the READER.
Report #1 due on Hume.
4, 6 Feb The Scientific Revolution and Newtonianism.
Reading: Jacob from the READER; Cohen and Westfall, Newton,
pp. 96-108, 274-281, 330-346.
Report #2 due on Newton.
11, 13 Feb Beginnings of the French Enlightenment.
Reading: Voltaire from the READER; Fontenelle, Conversations.
Report #3 due on Fontenelle.
18, 20 Feb Science in the public sphere.
Reading: Goodman, Schaffer from the READER; Outram, Enlightenment,
pp. 14-30; Riskin, Science, 69-103.
25, 27 Feb Natural history and encyclopedias.
Reading: Koerner, Schiebinger, Spary, D’Alembert from the READER.
4, 6, 11 Mar The sciences of human nature.
Reading: Smith, History, chaps. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Locke and Montesquieu from
Report #4 due on Locke or Montesquieu.
13 Mar MID-TERM TEST (654) / ESSAY REVIEW due (854).
25, 27 Mar Women and gender.
Reading: Outram, Enlightenment, pp. 80-95; Schiebinger, Jordanova,
Hume from the READER.
Report #5 due on Hume.
1 Apr INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS on final paper topics.
3 Apr Science and exploration.
Reading: Outram, Enlightenment, pp. 63-79; Miller, Mackay from
8, 10 Apr Materialism and morality.
Reading: Diderot, D’Alembert’s Dream, pp. 133-233.
Report #6 due on Diderot.
15, 17 Apr The crisis of Mesmerism.
Reading: Darnton from the READER; Riskin, Science, pp. 189-225.
Reports #1-6 due for grading.
22, 24 Apr Science in the age of revolutions.
Reading: Golinski from the READER; Riskin, Science, pp. 227-281.
29 Apr FINAL EXAM (654 and 854).
1 May Romanticism and the legacy of Enlightenment science.
Reading: Golinski, "The Literature of the New Sciences"
available online at: http://www.unh.edu/history/golinski/paper7.htm
(paper copies available on request).
6 May READING DAY
8 May Presentations of final papers.
FINAL PAPERS due.