Scientific Objectivity

History 280S.001

Spring 2009
Instructor: 
Mazzotti
Location: 
2231 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Thurs 12-2
CCN: 
39714
Units: 
Units

Scientific objectivity is a crucial notion in modern western societies, and one that has been associated with fairness, impartiality, disinterested decision-making, and democracy. In everyday parlance, science is objective when it describes things as they really are. Historical research, however, suggests that the very notion of scientific objectivity has gone through significant changes in the modern age, and it is best understood as the product of a historical process. In other words, judgments of objectivity depend upon local contexts of use. In this course, we shall read and discuss key texts from the history of science in order to explore the historical dimension of scientific objectivity and of other related epistemological notions such as truth and adequacy.

Notes: 

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