Sciences & Humanities
|Objective||Gaining insight in how the sciences and humanities differ in their research objectives, methods, and approaches to knowledge production, and understanding their distinct roles in modern societies.|
|Teacher(s)||Max van Duijn|
|Number of Classes||~6|
|Examination||Homework assignments and written exam|
Most people know Pythagoras, Copernicus, Darwin, Einstein, or Crick, and are probably able to indicate in a few words what their main discoveries are. But who can do the same for Panini, Scaliger, Whorf, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Propp, or Foucault? First, this course focuses on discoveries across both the humanities and sciences that have impacted on the way we see the world throughout the ages. What were the methods used by the great minds who made these discoveries, and what were their motives and drivers?
Next, the focus shifts to the current divide in the academic world between scientists and humanists. The “two cultures” will be investigated from a historical and science-philosophical perspective, as well as through hands-on experience. Students with a background in the sciences will engage in a small research project using methods and materials from the humanities, and students with a background in the humanities will take up a small scientific research project. The course concludes with a discussion of opportunities and challenges for “consilience” through multidisciplinary and topic-oriented scholarship.