The History of science (p) (2018/2019)

Course code
4S01268
Name of lecturer
Luca Ciancio
Coordinator
Luca Ciancio
Number of ECTS credits allocated
6
Academic sector
M-STO/05 - HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Language of instruction
Italian
Location
VERONA
Period
Sem. 2A dal Feb 18, 2019 al Mar 30, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

DISCIPLINARY CONTENT
1. To clarify the theorical differences between the Eighteenth-century transformism, especially Lamarck's theory of biological change, and Darwinian evolutionism.
2. To emphasize the implications of such debates for modern and contemporary ideas on the place of man in nature.
3. To show the interdisplinary relations with contemporary debates in philosophy and literature.

SKILLS:
1. To be able to present and explain coherently some relevant conceptual landscapes of the past
2. To identify the links between theoretical options and interest (political, economic) at stake.
3. To acquire a deeper sensitivity toward the nature of scientific culture as a tool indispensable to solve the collective challenges that humanity is facing.

Syllabus

The rise and evolution of evolutionism

Ancient biology
1. Plato and Aristotle
2. Lucretius
3. Biblical creationism
4. Metamorphosis and spontaneity of nature

Variation and stability of living beings in the Seventeenth century
5. John Ray and the idea of perfect adaptation
6. Robert Hooke and the revolutions of the globe

Variation of the species in the Eighteenth century
7. De Maillet, libertinism, eternalism
8. Preformation, animalculism, epigenesis
9. Buffon: the degeneration of the species
10. Maupertuis e Diderot
11. Linnaeus and the economy of nature

Pre-darwininian transformism
12. Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin
13. Cuvier vs. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Goethe

Charles Darwin
14. The origin of the ’Origin': finches, volcanoes and notebooks
15. The crisis of Natural Theology
16. Origin of the species, 1859
17. Human evolution: emotions and intelligence

The evolution in the Twenteeth century
18. The New Synthesis
19. Intelligent Design
20. Steven J. Gould

The lecture consists of two parts. During the first part, the general topic is introduced by the Professor using slides of texts and relevant images. In the second part, students are requested to analyse and discuss together a series of materials - historical sources and essays - provided in advance in Pdf format.

PREPARATION OF THE EXAM
Working on Barsanti's textbook, students should devote particolar attention to distinguishing between Lamarcks' and Darwin's views of the evolutionary mechanism. With regard to materials provide in PDF format, student is requested to choose and study one author per each of the six sections of the programme.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Barsanti, G. Una lunga pazienza cieca. Storia dell'evoluzionismo Einaudi 2005

Assessment methods and criteria

During the traditional oral interview the Professor will ask the student to discuss verbally two or more topics of the programme. He will assess the quality of the acquired information, the logic of the argumentation, the originality and autonomy of thought reached by the student.
International students are kindly requested to get in contact with the Professor as soon as possible.

STUDENT MODULE EVALUATION - 2017/2018