Office hours - Tuesdays 12-1, Fridays 12-1.
This is an advanced course in history of science, and runs every second year. In subsequent years you may be interested in the following courses:
109 History of Science.
215 The Scientific Revolution.
326 The History of Astronomy and Cosmology.
Course Timetable and Background Reading 1. There is no one text which covers all the aspects of this course. The following readings are all fairly short, and you will find it very helpful to read them prior to the relevant lecture. All the readings suggested here can be found in the filing cabinets in the departmental library, and also in the teaching collection in the D.M.S. Watson library (ask for them by the teaching collection number).
1 - Introduction Fri. 16/01
2 - Science and the Nature of the Natural. Tues. 20/01
3 - Babylonian Medicine and Astrology.
S. Toulmin and J.Goodfield, Celestial Forecasting, in The Fabric of the Heavens- 3407
4 - The Greek Achievement.
A. Gregory, Eureka ! The Birth of Science, Ch. 1 & 2.
5 - Ancient Astrology.
A.G. Debus, Alchemy- 3941
6 - Ancient Alchemy.
D. Pingree, 'Hellenophilia vs. the History of Science', Isis 1992- 3951
7 - Anthropological Approaches to Magic and Science.
C. Levi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology, pp. 167-185, The Sorcerer and His Magic - 3938
8 - Chinese Science ? (1)
S.F. Mason, A History of the Sciences, pp. 73-88.
9 - Chinese Science ? (2)
N. Sivin, Why the Scientific Revolution did not take place in China - or didn't it ? Chinese Science V, 1982, pp. 45-66 – 4017
10 - Islamic Science ?
D.C Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science, pp. 160-182, Science in Islam – 3936
Sunday 15th Feb. - Sunday 22nd Feb. is reading week - no lectures.
P.M Rattansi, Newton and the Wisdom of the Ancients, in J. Fauvel (ed.), Let Newton Be !- 3910
20 - Review and Conclusions.
End of term Friday 26th March. Essays due for March 12th, if you want comments for a re-write. The essay is finally due on Friday March 22nd ! General Information 1.
Assessment Assessment for the course is by means of one essay and an exam. The essay is worth 40% of the overall mark, and the exam 60%.
Attendance. This course is taught by lectures. You are expected to attend all lectures. A record will be kept of your attendance. Failure to regularly attend lectures may result in you being withdrawn from the course, barred from the examination, or both. We must be able to certify to the College that you have seriously engaged the course content. The STS Undergraduate Tutor reserves the right to bar from examinations students not meeting attendance criteria specified in the UCL Student Handbook or by the Course Tutor at the start of term.
Lectures. The lectures will give you the backbone of the course material. You will find it very helpful to read the background reading material prior to the relevant lecture. Questions are encouraged during lectures.
I will also circulate some handouts and notes. Some of these are for your general interest and information, some are summaries of important topics or people, and should form an integral part of your essay writing and exam revision.
Everything I display as an overhead projection is in the notes. Do not feel that you need to copy down everything. Use these as suits you best. If you need to take detailed notes to keep attention, please do so. A common practice is to use a highlighter pen to bring out important aspects of the notes, or to underline and make extra comments on the notes.
Completion. All course work normally must be completed for a student to be eligible to sit the examination.
To complete the course, normally all course work must be completed and the student must sit the examination.
Feedback mechanisms You can comment on this course by - filling in course evaluation forms; talking to your course tutor; talking to your personal tutor; talking to your Undergraduate tutor; via the Student-Staff consultative committee; Web comment boxes; STS Web site
Extensions To apply for an extension on coursework, students must submit a completed a ‘request for extension of course work’ form, available in the departmental office. This request should be submitted, with documentation, to the course tutor in first instance. If confidential issues are involved, submission of the extension request and documentation may be made through a student’s personal tutor or the undergraduate tutor. Requests should be in advance of the set deadline; submission of a request is no guarantee of approval.
Tutorials and Office Hours. There is no official tutorial session for this course, but I will be glad to answer any questions, discuss or revise any topic after the lectures.
If you wish to see me on a one - to - one basis to discuss essay questions, or discuss anything you haven't understood or would like to go over again, or anything else in relation to the course, I will be pleased to see you during my office hours (or see me to arrange another time).
I am in room 3.3, 22 Gordon Square, and my office hours are Tuesdays 12-1 and Fridays 12-1.
General Information 2. Course Materials. There is no one text which covers the whole course, and there is no recommended text to buy.
There is a collection of photocopies in the departmental library, in the filing cabinets. There are all the background reading materials, arranged by lecture. There are all the main readings for the essays arranged by essay topics.
Many essay readings and all the background readings are in the teaching collection in the D.M.S. Watson library - ask at the issue desk quoting the teaching collection number.
There are two useful general overviews of the history of magic. One is the 8 volume History of Magic and Experimental Science by L. Thorndike, and the other is The History of Magic and the Occult by K. Seligmann, both of which can be found in the D.M.S. Watson library.
Another important tool which you should get used to using is the Dictionary of Scientific Biography. This is a multi-volume work with summaries of the lives and work and every important scientist from the ancient world to the present day. It can be found in the DMS Watson library opposite the issue desk.
I will also circulate handouts for each lecture. Some of these are for your general interest and information, some are summaries of important topics or people, and should form an integral part of your essay writing and exam revision.
Web Resources. This course will be using the new WebCT resources.
If you log on to this, you will find all of the lecture notes, the past papers and the course syllabus.
There will also be an on-line tutorial. I will post replies to any questions you ask via the WebCT system.
I will also post some questions for discussion and further thought for each lecture.
Course Aims. The most general aim of this course is to chart the relationship between science and magic from the beginnings of science up to the enlightenment. This involves examining a number of topics, both historically and as they arise now, notably;
Scientific and magical views of the nature of the universe.
The nature of rationality and its relation to science and to magic.
How science can be demarcated from non-science.
Science-like activities outside of the Western tradition.
Ultimately this course aims at producing a better and more sophisticated understanding of;
The history of science, and the changing relationship between magic and science.
What science is now, and what it considers the nature of the universe to be.
Of what alchemy, astrology and magic are and what their influence on science has been.
The current debates between science and mysticism.
The status of science relative to other activities.
Information on Exams. The exam is three hours long and you will have to answer three questions. All the exam questions will be covered during the course, and there will be questions on all parts of the course - compare essay list, lecture list and past papers.
Last year’s exam paper is included in this pack. Previous exam papers are available on the web at http://exam-papers.ucl.ac.uk/MAPS/SciTech/ or from Web CT
The exam is much more a test of understanding than memory. The questions are structured such that you will not be able to write down everything you know about the topic in one hour. The key skills in such exams are being able to orientate to what the question is asking you to do, and being able to select the most important information at your disposal in order to construct a good argument or discussion.
There will be sessions on exam technique early in the third term and I will distribute a handout on the nature of the exam and good practice in preparing for exams.
The course convenor, Dr. Gregory, is responsible for setting and marking the exam.
Some students require special dispensation for examinations (for example, anyone with dyslexia, other special medical conditions -- such as eye or back problems -- or who has suffered a bereavement). These dispensations can include additional time to complete an exam and use of a word processor, or alternative assessment. The UCL Examinations Section requires a lengthy application process for special consideration (including medical certification, if appropriate), and the application deadline is early in the academic year. If you think you qualify, discuss this with your personal tutor as soon as possible. Application to the College is necessary well before the examinations period.
Students achieving a final course mark below 28 normally have the right to make a re-entry at the next available opportunity. This involves repeating all assessed components of the course in which students will be expected to sit the examination and complete all other course work for the current offer of the course.
Students achieving a final course mark in the range 28 - 34 percent for an STS course may be allowed the option of referral, at the discretion of the sub-board of examiners. A referral normally involves written work set over summer. Successful completion of a referral earns the student a minimum passing mark of 35 E.
Students who have not taken 109 History of Science. Students who have not taken 109 History of Science are strongly advised to read A. Gregory Eureka ! The Birth of Science. This will give you a reasonable account of the ancient background. Also recommened is S.F. Mason, A History of the Sciences.
Gregory is available at Waterstones, or from amazon.co.uk.
Mason is available from amazon.co.uk (go via the departmental website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/udg/bstore.htm, and click on Mason) and is quite cheap. Do not believe any promise that Waterstones may make about this book, they are quite hopeless at getting it.
There are many copies of Gregory and of Mason in the library.
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
University College London
B.SC DEGREE 2002.
HPSCB325: Magic to Science. Total time allowed: three hours. Answer any THREE questions. All questions carry equal weight.
Did the Babylonians have the science of medicine, or merely a healing technology ?
How did the Greeks alter Babylonian astrology ?
Were Greek activities more scientific and more rational than those of their contemporaries ?
Was Ptolemaic astrology rational and scientific ?
How might one be able to make gold according to the theories of the ancient alchemists ?
How does the work of Levi-Strauss help us to understand tribal magical beliefs ?
What factors might help explain why the Scientific Revolution took place in Europe rather than China ?
Why was the early Christian church so concerned about magic and astrology ?
Assess Kepler's proposed reforms for astrology.
How did Christian views on the nature of evil, magic and women affect the nature of the witch hunt ?
Paracelsus: arrogant madman or important contributor to medical science ?
Distinguish between science, natural magic and supernatural magic. Into which of these categories would a cosmos based on a macrocosm/ microcosm relation belong ?
What influence did the natural magic tradition have on the scientific revolution ?
How and why did Bacon criticise the natural magic tradition ?
What were occult and scholastic qualities ? What happened to them in the scientific revolution ?
Is it possible to see Newton's alchemy, biblical studies and physics as part of one overall quest for knowledge ?
END OF PAPER
There are no syllabus changes for 2004.
325 Magic to Science - Essays. The essay should be around 3,000 words.
The final deadline is the last day of term.
If you give me a draft of the essay by around week 8, I will happily discuss the essay and give some comments on it before you hand in the final version.
Final versions of the essay will not be returned (they have to go for second marking and perusal by the external examiner) so please keep a copy of your essay.
Marks and comments will be sent to you by e-mail to your college e-mail address about a week into the Easter break.
STS students: The difference between a 1,500 word essay and a 3,000 word essay is not a longer introduction and more background material. Keep introductions short and to the point (no longer than for any other essays) and keep the background material to the minimum required to support the arguments you wish to make. Go into depth with your discussion of the topic, develop the arguments as fully as possible and give a substantial conclusion drawing together what you have said and saying something about the significance of the topic and what you have said about it.
Non STS students (especially scientists): You are very strongly advised to look at the STS guidelines for essays which can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/udg/essyguid.htm
Please pay particular attention to the material on referencing and follow those guidelines when you write your essay. Essays without referencing or without bibliography will not be marked until they have proper references and bibliography.
The difference between science papers/ reports and STS essays can roughly be expressed like this. In science papers you give a relatively long introduction and description, a relatively brief discussion and a short conclusion. In STS (as in many other humanities subjects) we want a very brief introduction, a relatively brief description, plenty of discussion and a much more substantial conclusion, which talks about the outcomes of the discussion and what their significance are. If there is a debate about a point, we want to hear about both sides of that debate, heir advantages and their disadvantages.
The essays are marked on the coherence of the arguments and their relation to the evidence cited, and the appreciation of the significance of the topic and the arguments given shown in the conclusion. Do not give biographies, however short, and steer away from giving a catalogue of events or a straight narrative description in favour of giving the basic facts required by the arguments you wish to put forward. Biographies earn no marks, catalogues very few. It is the debate, and your mastery of the arguments which is significant.
Resources: The first three readings under the essay titles in the syllabus document I consider vital for that essay - the other readings are interesting and useful if you wish to examine the subject further. The bold numbers in the left margin are the teaching collection numbers (copyright regulations prevent us putting everything in the teaching collection !). Ask for them at the DMS Watson issue desk. The first three readings for each essay can also be found in the common room at the Department of science and Technology Studies (22 Gordon Square, 3rd floor).
Coursework Information. You must do one essay of around 3,000 words.
All submitted course work must be accompanied by a signed ‘HPSC course work submission sheet’. No course work will be marked without an accompanying cover sheet. Copies are available in the department office and on-line.
The deadline for the essay is Friday 26th March.
The first group of readings under each essay title are usually primary readings (actually by the person in question) and I expect you to at least have looked at the relevant parts of these. The second group are essential reading for doing that essay. The third group are optional readings for you to explore topics in greater depth if you wish. I will be happy to indicate which are the most important things to read when you discuss an essay with me.
Departmental policy on late essays is that work submitted up to one week late will have 5 points deducted, up to two weeks late 11 points will be deducted, and essays will not be accepted or marked if they are more than two weeks late, and will score zero.
The essay may be re-written. If you give it in by the due date, I will mark it and comment on it. If you wish to re-write it in the light of the comments that I make, I will then re-mark it.
Please note that the final version of your essay cannot be returned to you (though comments on it will be) as it has to be available for internal second marking and for the external examiner. It is therefore wise to produce two copies or retain it on disc for future reference and exam revision.
Assessed materials are marked by the course tutor(s) or their assistant examiners. These marks will be distributed to students at the first opportunity. To ensure fairness, materials are subsequently scrutinised by a second examiner within the Department, and a consensus is reached on their evaluation. All assessed materials and the consensus marks are made available for scrutiny by an examiner external to UCL. Marks are considered final only after the sub-board of examiners for science and technology studies has approved them in their annual meeting near the close of Term 3.
The comments on your essays will give you feedback on the quality, strengths and weaknesses of the work submitted, with a clearly defined grade or class.
Students are strongly advised in the first instance to discuss and resolve any grievances over marks informally with the course tutor. If informal discussion fails to resolve the matter satisfactorily and there appears to be genuine and substantive grounds for appeal, the student should submit a written explanation of their grievance to the chair of the sub-board of examiners . A final formal written appeal can be made to the College Registrar.
All course work must be typed or word-processed rather than hand-written, with the obvious exception of invigilated examinations. However, as the College is unable to absolutely guarantee sufficient access to computing facilities, no student will be penalised if, in extremis, they find it impossible under reasonable circumstances to access appropriate facilities. In such circumstances, the Tutor must be informed, well in advance, of the circumstances necessitating hand-written submission. With hand-written course work, poor legibility may negatively affect assessment.
The UCL Student Handbook defines plagiarism as “the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words or artefacts or software as though they were [your] own”. Students are expected to know the College and Department policies in detail and to avoid even the appearance of inappropriate behaviour.
Essay Titles and Reading 1.
1. Is it correct to call the healing practices of the Babylonians ‘medicine’ ?
H.E. Sigerist, Primitive and Archaic Medicine, Ch. 4.
G.E.R. Lloyd, Magic, Reason and Experience, pp. 10-58.
S. Toulmin and J. Goodfield, The Fabric of the Heavens, pp. 27-58.
W.F.D. Wightman, The Emergence of Scientific Medicine.
C. Singer and E.A. Underwood, A Short History of Medicine Ch. 1 + 2.
O. Temkin, The Double Face of Janus, Ch. 8, Greek Medicine.
O. Neugebauer, The History of Ancient Astronomy, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 4, 1945.
O. Temkin, The Falling Sickness.
R. Olson, Science Deified and Science Defied, pp. 16-61.
2. Did the Greeks develop a distinctive rationality and science ?
G.E.R. Lloyd, Magic, Reason and Experience, esp. pp. 10-58.
G. Vlastos, Plato's Universe, Ch. 1, The Greeks Discover the Cosmos.
D. Pingree, 'Hellenophilia vs. the History of Science', pp. 554-563, Isis 83, 1992.
The following papers are all from Isis 83, 1992:
F. Rochberg, Introduction, pp. 547-553, , G.E.R Lloyd, Methods and Problems in Ancient Science pp. 564-577, H. Von Staden, Affinities and Elisions, pp. 578-595, M. Bernal, Origins of Western Science, pp. 596-607.
W. Jaeger, The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers, pp. 1-37.
J-P. Vernant. The Formation of Positivist Thought in Ancient Greece.
O. Temkin, The Falling Sickness.
3. Placed in the context of an Aristotelian cosmology, how plausible are Ptolemy’s arguments for astrology ?
Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, Ch. 1.
G.E.R. Lloyd, Aristotle the Growth and Structure of his Thought, Ch. 7 + 8.
A.D. Gregory, Ptolemy and Astrology.
A. A. Long, Astrology: Arguments Pro and Contra, Science and Speculation, ed. J. Barnes.
The Dictionary of Scientific Biography on Ptolemy.
R. Porter, Man Masters Nature, Ch. 2 Ptolemy.
L. Katsoff, Ptolemy and Scientific Method, Isis 38, 1947, pp. 18-22.
4. Placed in the context of ancient theories of matter, how reasonable were the aims of the early alchemists ?
G.E.R. Lloyd, Aristotle the Growth and Structure of his Thought, Ch. 7 + 8.
S. Toulmin and J. Goodfield, The Architecture of Matter, Ch. 5 + 6.
R.P. Multhauf, The Science of Matter, in D.C Lindberg (ed.), Science in the Middle Ages, pp. 369-390.
H.M. Leicester, The Historical Background of Chemistry, pp. 33-52, Hellenistic Culture and the Rise of Alchemy.
E.J. Holmyard, Alchemy.
K. Seligmann, The History Of Magic And The Occult, pp. 79-130.
Essay Titles and Reading 2.
5. What has anthropology contributed to our understanding of the relationship between magic and science ?
C. Levi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology, pp. 167-185, The Sorcerer and His Magic.
R. Horton, African Traditional Thought and Western Science, in B.R Wilson (ed.), Rationality, pp. 131-171.
R. Horton, Tradition and Modernity Revisited, in M. Hollis and S. Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism, pp. 200-259.
C. Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind, pp. 1-33, The Science of the Concrete.
M. Douglas, Purity and Danger, Ch. 1.
W.B. Canon, Voodoo Death, in American Anthropologist XLIV, 1942.
T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
6. Explain why Chinese science has been said to be dominated by ‘correlative’ thought in contrast to the ‘causal’ thinking more characteristic of the West.
N. Sivin, Why the Scientific Revolution did not take place in China - or didn't it ? Chinese Science V, 1982, pp. 45-66.
J. Needham, Poverties and Triumphs of the Chinese Scientific Tradition, in The Grand Titration, Science and Society in East and West.
H.F. Cohen, The Scientific Revolution, the Nonemergence of Early Modern Science Outside Western Europe, China.
A.C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao, pp. 313-370.
J. Needham, Mathematics and Science in China and the West, in B. Barnes (ed.), Sociology of Science.
S.F. Mason, A History of the Sciences, pp. 73-88.
A.C. Graham, China, Europe, and the Origins of Modern Science: Needham’s Grand Titration, in S. Nakayama and N. Sivin (eds.) Chinese Science, Explorations of an Ancient Tradition.
S. Nakayama and N. Sivin (eds.) Chinese Science, Explorations of an Ancient Tradition, preface.
C.A. Ronan, The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China.
7. Discuss Duhem’s assertion that ‘There is no Arabian Science. The Wise men of Mohameddanism were always more or less faithful disciples of the Greeks, but were themselves destitute of all originality.’
D.C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science, pp. 160-182, Science in Islam.
H.M. Leicester, The Historical Background of Chemistry, pp. 62-73, Islamic Alchemy.
H.F. Cohen, The Scientific Revolution, the Nonemergence of Early Modern Science Outside Western Europe, Islam.
S.F. Mason, A History of the Sciences, pp. 95-102.
K. Seligmann, The History Of Magic And The Occult, pp. 130-149.