History and Philosophy Of Science | Science and The Occult
X100 | 29125 | Sarah Smith

Science and The Occult

This course is designed to provide students with a historical survey
of the occult as it relates to the history of science. The course is
reading-intensive, with regular assignments that balance secondary
social and cultural historiography of the occult with primary text
readings.  We will begin with ancient Greece and Rome, and proceed
chronologically through Medieval and Renaissance Europe, Early
Modern Europe and America, the Enlightenment and the Scientific
Revolution, and conclude with the 20th century American occultism.
The goal of the course is to provide students with an understanding
of the different intellectual frameworks and social contexts which
governed scientific practice (and skepticism) of the occult during
different periods in Western history. In the first week of class,
students will be introduced to the philosophical problem of
demarcation, the historical problem of presentism, and to practical
strategies for objectivity and analysis =96 all of which should
facilitate productive engagement with primary texts in the history
of the occult for the rest of the semester.