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ERIC Number: ED332748
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Scientific Ideas: An Honors Course.
Capps, Joan; Schueler, Paul
At Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in New Jersey, an honors philosophy course was developed which taught mathematics and science concepts independent of computational skill. The course required that students complete a weekly writing assignment designed as a continuous refinement of logical reasoning development. This refinement was facilitated by peer-written responses to the essays by each member of the class. Readings for the class, including T. S. Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" and J. W. Knedler, Jr.'s "Masterworks of Science," facilitated an examination of the art form present in high-order scientific thought as evidenced in a sample of original works by Newton, Einstein, Galileo, and other prominent scientists. Topics addressed in the course included the following: (1) the contributions of the ancients to scientific and mathematical thought; (2) the concept that mathematical truth can be called time-dependent; (3) Plato's conviction that the study of mathematics is essential in the cultivation of philosophers; (4) Aristotle's contributions as the systematizer of deductive logic and as a writer on physical subjects; (5) Euclid's "Elements" as the "Bible of Mathematics"; (6) ideas of space under Euclidean, non-Euclidean, and relativistic theory; (7) inductive reasoning as a necessary component of the thought processes used by mathematicians; (8) Leibniz's and Newton's contributions to calculus; (9) the computer revolution of the 20th century; (10) theories of light, electricity, geocentricity, and relativity; and (11) chemistry, alchemy, biology, physics, and DNA. The underlying premise of the course was that logical principles and analogical reasoning, regulated by doubt and the scientific method of formulation and testing of hypotheses, broadened students' knowledge and understanding of science. (JMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A