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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Philosophy

PHIL2191: History, Science and Medicine

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • At least one 'Year 1' module in Philosophy.

Corequisites

  • At least one other 'Year 2' module in Philosophy.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To provide students with a critical acquaintance with the key historiographical themes used by historians of science and medicine.
  • To provide students with a critical acquaintance with the main forms of historical evidence (primary sources) used by historians of science and medicine.
  • To provide students with a familiarity with the general historical connections shared by science, medicine and philosophy

Content

  • For the history of science:
  • The historiographical themes typically covered relate to the history of scientific objectivity, testimony and observation.
  • The forms of historical evidence (primary sources) typically covered are scientific, medical and philosophical texts.
  • For the history of medicine:
  • The historiographical themes usually covered are ethics, evidence, cases, experience, and discourses.
  • The forms of historical evidence (primary sources) typically covered are medical, ethical, and scientific texts.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have knowledge and understanding of:
  • Some of the most important historiographical themes used by historians of science and medicine.
  • Some of main kinds of primary sources used by historians of science and medicine.
  • The main ways in which history of the science and medicine are relevant to the history of philosophy.
  • Some problems in interpreting historical sources and evidence.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To grasp, analyse, evaluate and deploy subject-specific concepts and arguments
  • To locate, understand, assess and utilise pertinent historical (and, where appropriate, philosophical) sources.
  • To interpret and criticise the historiographical and evidentiary themes in relevant texts.
Key Skills:
  • To express themselves clearly and succinctly in writing
  • To comprehend complex ideas, propositions and theories
  • To defend their opinions by reasoned argument
  • To seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information
  • To tackle problems in a clear-sighted and logical fashion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Seminars will provide the opportunity for students to present their own work in progress, to receive oral feedback on it, to test their understanding of the course material, and defend and debate different opinions on theories and questions presented in that material.
  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students exercise and extend their abilities to make use of available learning resources.
  • The summative essays will test knowledge and understanding of:
  • The historiographical methods used within the history of science and medicine
  • The primary sources relevant to the history of science and medicine
  • The kinds of arguments that can be used to critically discuss and appraise historiographic methods and primary sources used within the history of science and medicine.
  • Problems in the interpretation of historical sources and evidence.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 22 weekly 90 minutes 33
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essays Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 3000 words 50%
Esasy 2 3000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

none


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



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