Darwin and the Rise of Naturalism

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Online: 
No
Course Number: 
PSPR 007 920
Instructor: 

CURRY, DEVIN S

Course Note: 
Special session: 07/11/2017 to 07/21/2017
Course Description: 

In this module, students will reenact meetings of the Royal Society in the 1860s, debating whether or to award Charles Darwin the prestigious Copley Medal. Over the course of these meetings, students will immerse themselves in 19th century controversies concerning the theory of evolution by natural selection, scientific methodology, the relationship between science and religion, mechanical and teleological conceptions of nature, the metaphysics of race, and the place of women in the academy. The module will center on Charles Darwin, the Copley Medal, and the Rise of Naturalism, 1862-1864, an installment in the Reacting to the Past series of role-playing games designed for use in college courses.The module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of Darwin’s historical context, the theory of evolution by natural selection, and several issues in the philosophy of science (including controversies about scientific methodology, the relationship between science and religion, tensions between mechanical and teleological conceptions of nature, and the metaphysics of race). As such, it will help prepare students for college coursework in biology, anthropology, paleontology, history, religious studies, and philosophy, among other disciplines. By reenacting meetings of the Royal Society, students will also become pithier speakers and speech writers.

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