(Studies in the Scientific Revolution)

Assignment 13: Due the day of the Final Exam

This class (12/6) will be held on the day of the final, 12/13/07, starting at 6:00 pm. 

Translation: DonÕt show up for class on 12/6/07.

Everybody Read: 


This outlines several philosophies of science.


Sokal_Fashionable_NonSense_Lacan.pdf [2.0 MB]

This is just a part of a chapter. 

The editing is a bit clumsyÉ but the point he makes is quite clear.


Then select one group: A or B or C:


Group A: Questioning Acceptance and Positivism

Gregory_ProgressRationalityScience100.pdf [539 KB]



Baum_PopperKuhnLakatos100.pdf [1.1 MB]

AlrightÉ. prove it!


Hull_PlancksPrinciple100.pdf [1.3 MB]

This is outlined in the other Hull reading,

but this has the details and methods better explained.

DonÕt trust anybody over 30.




Group B: Radical Thoughts

Feyerabend_DefendAgainstScience.pdf [1.7 MB] 

Stick it to the man.


Brush1974_X-RatedScienceHist.pdf [695 KB]

What are we going to tell the children?




Group C: Sokal and the Hoax

Boghossian_SokalHoax.pdf [1.4 MB]


Alland_Rev_of_Sokal.pdf [170 KB]


Sokal_Transgressing...SocialTextHoax.pdf [764 KB]

This is the actual article that started the whole hub-ub. 

I donÕt expect you to actually read all of it, but find a section,

a few pages, and see what you can make of it. 


Write an essay.  This stuff is made for essay writing.  As usual, impress me by actually referring to the readings.  Show me that you read all of the required ones even if you focus on just one.  Be sure to summarize the gist of the author you are discussing.  For the Òsouped-upÓ essays, you may either just write more in depth on the readings assigned or use additional materials that you bring to the table.


AlsoÉ Get your 1 (or so) page web promotions of your topics to me.  For those with lots of graphics, make sure you write up some sort of something to explain what you are showing and try to put in a date or time period or similar in the text.  Who, what, when, where, why.    Here is what has been posted so far: Student Project Folders




Alland, Alexander. "Don't Cut the Pi Yet! (Review of Sokal and Bricmont's Fashionable Nonsense)." American Anthropologist 100, no. 4 (1998): 1026-1029.


Baum, Robert F. "Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos: A Crisis of Modern Intellect." In Science & Culture in the Western Tradition: Sources and Interpretations, ed. John G. Burke, pp. 274-279. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Gorsuch Scarisbrick, 1987.


Boghossian, Paul. "Chapter 26: The Sokal Hoax." In Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science, ed. Robert Klee, pp. 265-273. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.


Brush, Stephen G. "Should the History of Science Be Rated X?" Science 183, no. 4130 (1974): 1164-1172.


Feyerabend, Paul. "Chapter Viii: How to Defend Society against Science." In Scientific Revolutions, ed. Ian Hacking, pp. 156-167. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.


Gregory, Frederick. "Progress and the Rationality of Science." In Science & Culture in the Western Tradition: Sources and Interpretations, ed. John G. Burke, pp. 263-265. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Gorsuch Scarisbrick, 1987.


Hull, David L. "Planck's Principle." Science 202, no. 17 (1978): 717-723.


Hull, David L. "Studying the Study of Science Scientifically." Perspectives on Science 6, no. 3 (1998): 209-231.


Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. This is perhaps the most influential book in the philosophy of science of the last 100 years. We just donÕt have time to read it. 


Kuhn, Thomas S. "What Are Scientific Revolutions?" In The Probabilistic Revolution, ed. Lorenz KrŸger, Lorraine Daston and Michael Heidelberger, pp. 7-21. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987.


Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. Fashionable Nonsense : Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science. New York: Picador USA, 1998.


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SciRev Syllabus.