PHIL 2786: Logic, Science & Society (Perspectives)

Many math and science students are surprised to learn that math and science have a history at all; so far as they know, math and science have simply been handed down in textbooks. To discover that science has been accomplished by different kinds of people, for different kinds of reasons, in different kinds of places, can be truly mind-boggling, and, for many students, illuminating. Science is not just a matter of finding out the predetermined right answer! While some students are irked or even frightened by this discovery, others find it liberating.

Perspectives has several interlocking purposes:

  • It is intended to help future math and science teachers learn how to think about math and science “from the outside”—to ask questions about what scientists and mathematicians do and why, about where science and technology came from and how they got to be so important in the world today, and about what kinds of questions scientists and mathematicians have tried to answer and why. 
  • It is designed to teach students skills of the liberal arts, including sophisticated research and information analysis, fluent writing, and substantive argument.
  • It requires students to put to work all the perspectives and skills they have learned in science and math pedagogy.