The module aims to provide further training in Anglo-Saxon philosophy and an introduction to the history of ideas by discussing classical topics concerning the nature of modern science and politics as they emerged in the Late Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. The first half of the course focuses on the Scientific Revolution, the conceptual, methodological, technological and institutional change that took place in Europe from the publication of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in 1543 to that of Newton’s Principia in 1687. The primary aim of this part is to understand the essential features that gave rise to modern science and to provide some insights into its method and development in view of the mostinfluentialinterpretationsputforwardin20th centuryhistoryandphilosophyofscience. The second half of the course examines the emergence of modern political thinking in the sociocultural context of the same 150 years. After a brief reconstruction of the most influential contemporary ideas of politics and morality, the class will examine the birth of the social contract theorist tradition by discussing the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. The primary aim of this part is to clarify the intimate relations that Early Modern thinkers started see between science and politics, and understand how this observation keeps shaping debates in and about politics even today. By illuminating the roots of modern science and politics in Early Modern ideas of these subjects, the module invites students to find and develop a substantive research topic to be explored for the purpose of preparing them for subsequent study at university in the fields of philosophy, politics, IR, economics, science, engineering and history.
Module Leader:Zsolt Novák