Middlebury
header image

PHIL0214

Science and Society

Science and Society
Scientific theories are not developed in a vacuum. Social circumstances influence the practice of science, and science, in turn, influences how we organize ourselves as a society. This course will investigate both directions of the relationship between science and society. We will ask such questions as: how do the values of society drive scientific research? What do we mean when we claim that science is 'objective' and what do we expect of an objective science? Can there be 'good' politically-motivated science, or does this conflict with the norms of 'good' science? How important is science as a way of bettering society? Do scientists bear an extra burden of responsibility when they generate scientific results of particular social significance (such as the development of the atomic bomb, or the development of techniques of cloning)? We will examine particular cases of socially significant scientific research, and we will consider larger philosophical questions concerning the status of science, given its interconnections with society. 3 hrs. lect.
Subject:
Philosophy
Department:
Philosophy
Division:
Humanities
Requirements Fulfilled:
PHL SOC
Equivalent Courses:

Sections

Fall 2013

PHIL0214A-F13 Lecture (Grasswick)

Fall 2012

PHIL0214A-F12 Lecture (Khalifa)

Fall 2011

PHIL0214A-F11 Lecture (Grasswick)

Spring 2010

PHIL0214A-S10 Lecture (Khalifa)

Fall 2008

PHIL0214A-F08 Lecture (Grasswick)

Spring 2007

PHIL0214A-S07 Lecture (Khalifa)

Spring 2004

PHIL0214A-S04 Lecture (Grasswick)