History and Philosophy Of Science | Science and The Occult
X100 | 14351 | 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

2nd 8 weeks