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Unifying Life Sciences: Biological Cultures and Meanings of Life
SISP 361
Fall 2008 not offered
Crosslisting: PHIL 361

What does it mean to integrate or unify sciences? Scientists and philosophers have often advocated the unity of science, but for much of the 20th century, unification has been contested within the life sciences. None of the multiple programs for the unification of biology have comfortably integrated all of the life science disciplines, and they have differed substantially over the autonomy of the life sciences from chemistry and physics. This course will briefly address philosophical conceptions of the unity or disunity of science and then will examine four programs for unifying biology: the neo-Darwinian synthesis, molecular biology, artificial life, and developmental systems theory. The focus of this examination will be the relation between scientific practice (the concrete research activities undertaken on behalf of the program) and the cultural meanings of life associated with it. The course is an upper-level seminar in the Science in Society Program and the Philosophy Department and is also intended to provide philosophical, historical, and cultural background for the Integrated Genomic Sciences initiative.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS SISP
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: [SISP202 or PHIL287] OR [SISP205 or PHIL288] OR [BIOL182 or MB&B182]
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on DEC-13-2017
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