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Office: Building 200 Room 33
Mail Code: 94305-2024
Phone: 650-725-0714
Email: rrogers@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://HPS.stanford.edu

Courses offered by the Program in History and Philosophy of Science are listed under the subject code HPS on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Program in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) teaches students to examine the sciences, medicine and technology from a number of  perspectives, conceptual, historical and social. The community of scholars includes core faculty and students in History and Philosophy and affiliated members in Classics, Anthropology, English, Political Science, Communication, and other disciplines. Together, they draw upon the multiple methods of their disciplines to study the development, functioning, applications, and social and cultural engagements of the sciences.

Stanford's Program in History and Philosophy of Science is a collaborative enterprise of the departments of History and Philosophy. Each department has its own undergraduate and graduate degree programs in this area, but these overlap and interact through the structure of requirements, advising, team-taught courses, an active graduate student community and a shared colloquium series.

The program's courses span from antiquity to the late 20th century, with emphasis on:

  • ancient science
  • Renaissance science
  • the Scientific Revolution
  • Enlightenment and transatlantic science
  • history of medicine and the body
  • history and philosophy of biology
  • history and philosophy of modern physics
  • history of the philosophy of science from the early modern period to the present
  • central issues in contemporary philosophy of science
  • gender, science, and technology

Undergraduate Degrees

HPS offers undergraduates the opportunity to study science, medicine and technology by combining scientific and humanistic perspectives in a single program.  Students can pursue HPS through the two departments (History and Philosophy) that coordinate this interdisciplinary program.  The HPS Program offers students an in-depth understanding of the nature and evolution of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions; their contemporary significance to intellectual life; and their material transformation of the modern world.

The Department of History offers an interdisciplinary track in History of Science, and Medicine.  This track is especially well suited to students who wish to combine history and science, or who are interested in studying the history of science and medicine in combination with premed science requirements in preparation for a future career in medicine and public health.

The Department of Philosophy offers a special program in History and Philosophy of Science.  This program is especially well suited to students who want to combine their concentration in Philosophy with the study of science and its history. 

Students interested in HPS  should contact the faculty advisors (in 2017-18 Paula Findlen for History and Michael Friedman for Philosophy) to discuss the undergraduate program.

Graduate Degrees

Graduate students in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science can pursue a Ph.D. either in History, through its Ph.D. concentration in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, or in Philosophy, through its Ph.D. subplan in History and Philosophy of Science. Diplomas will be issued by the respective departments, but the HPS study will not be noted on the transcript nor on the diploma.  Ph.D. students completing the requirements of the HPS program will receive a certificate issued by the Program. 

Graduate students in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science that wish to pursue a  Ph.D. in Philosophy must fulfill Departmental degree requirements and the following requirements:

1.  HPS colloquium series attendance
2.  One of the following graduate level Philosophy of Science courses:  263, 264, 264A, 265, 265C, 266, 267A or 267B
3.  One elective seminar in the history of science
4.  One elective seminar (in addition to the course satisfying requirement 2) in philosophy of science

Philosophy Ph.D. students declaring the HPS subplan in Axess will have it appear on the official transcript but is not printed on the diploma.

The Program in History and Philosophy of Science degree requirements for the Ph.D. in History of Science, Medicine and Technology, in addition to the general History Department Ph.D. degree requirements, are:

1.  HPS colloquium series attendance
2.  the History Department core seminar in History of Science, Medicine and Technology
3.  Four other courses in the history of science, technology and/or medicine
4.  One course in the philosophy of science
5.  Four additional courses in a given geographical or national field of research, one of which must be a core course

The courses described above must include two research seminars, at least one of which must be in the history of science, technology and/or medicine. Students are expected to write papers on substantially different topics for each seminar. You should also aim to present your research at the annual meeting of a professional society associated with the history of science, technology and/or medicine sometime during your third or fourth year.  For more information, see the program's web site. 

Bachelor of Arts Programs

HPS offers undergraduates the opportunity to study science, medicine and technology by combining scientific and humanistic perspectives in a single program.  Students can pursue HPS through the two departments (History and Philosophy) that coordinate this interdisciplinary program.  The HPS Program offers students an in-depth understanding of the nature and evolution of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions; their contemporary significance to intellectual life; and their material transformation of the modern world.

The Department of History offers an interdisciplinary track in History of Science, and Medicine.  This track is especially well suited to students who wish to combine history and science, or who are interested in studying the history of science and medicine in combination with premed science requirements in preparation for a future career in medicine and public health.

The Department of Philosophy offers a special program in History and Philosophy of Science.  This program is especially well suited to students who want to combine their concentration in Philosophy with the study of science and its history. 

Students interested in HPS  should contact the faculty advisers (in 2017-18 Jessica Riskin for History and Michael Friedman for Philosophy) to discuss the undergraduate program.

Course Sequences

The following courses are offered in 2017-18 in the area of History and Philosophy of Science.

Introductory

Units
HPS/PHIL 60Introduction to Philosophy of Science5
HPS 61Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution5

Science in History

This sequence is designed to introduce students to the history of Science from antiquity to the 20th century. Students are advised to take most or all of this sequence as a core foundation.

Units
HISTORY 40/140World History of Science3
HISTORY 44Women and Gender in Science, Medicine and Engineering3
HISTORY 103EThe International History of Nuclear Weapons5
HISTORY 105A3-5
HISTORY 140World History of Science5
HISTORY 140AThe Scientific Revolution5
MATH 163The Greek Invention of Mathematics3-5
HISTORY 203C/303CHistory of Ignorance5
HISTORY 240/340The History of Evolution4-5
HISTORY 240GScience and Empire, 1500-19005
HISTORY 342Darwin in the History of Life4-5
HISTORY 431Early Modern Things4-5

Medicine in History

This sequence is designed to introduce students to the history of medicine from antiquity to the 20th century.

Units
AMSTUD 41QMadwomen: The History of Women and Mental Illness in the U.S.3
HISTORY 242FMedicine in an Age of Empires4-5
HISTORY 243G/343GTobacco and Health in World History4-5
HISTORY 244CThe History of the Body in Science, Medicine, and Culture4-5

Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Medicine, and Technology

This sequence is designed to introduce students to the philosophy of science. Students are advised to take HPS 60 Introduction to Philosophy of Science above as a starting point, and combine a number of the electives listed below in conjunction with courses in the other concentrations that address their specific interests.

Units
PHIL 162Philosophy of Mathematics4
PHIL 164/264Central Topics in the Philosophy of Science: Theory and Evidence4
PHIL 165/265Philosophy of Physics: Philosophical Issues in Quantum Mechanics4
PHIL 167A/267APhilosophy of Biology4
PHIL 167B/267BPhilosophy, Biology, and Behavior4
PHIL 224Kant's Philosophy of Physical Science2-4
PHIL 224AMathematics in Kant's Philosophy4
PHIL 263Significant Figures in Philosophy of Science: Einstein4
PHIL 265CPhilosophy of Physics: Probability and Relativity4
PHIL 266Probability: Ten Great Ideas About Chance4
PHIL 324Kant's System of Nature and Freedom4
PHIL 326Kant's Transcendental Deduction4
PHIL 361Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge4
PHIL 362Grad Seminar on Philosophy of Science4
PHIL 365Seminar in Philosophy of Physics2-4
PHIL 374FScience, Religion, and Democracy4

Advanced Course Sequences

Contemporary Perspectives on Science, Medicine and Technology

The following courses focus on contemporary cultural and social science approaches to science, technology, and medicine.

Units
HPS 199Directed Reading1-15
HPS 299Graduate Individual Work1-15
ANTHRO 180Science, Technology, and Gender3-5
HISTORY 204DAdvanced Topics in Agnotology4-5
HISTORY 243S/443AHuman Origins: History, Evidence, and Controversy4-5
HISTORY 444Graduate Research Seminar: Gender in Science, Medicine, and Engineering5

Graduate Degrees

Graduate students in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science can pursue a Ph.D. either in History, through its Ph.D. concentration in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, or in Philosophy, through its Ph.D. subplan in History and Philosophy of Science. Diplomas will be issued by the respective departments, but the HPS study will not be noted on the transcript nor on the diploma.  Ph.D. students completing the requirements of the HPS program will receive a certificate issued by the Program. 

Graduate students in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science that wish to pursue a  Ph.D. in Philosophy must fulfill Departmental degree requirements and the following requirements:

1.  HPS colloquium series attendance
2.  One of the following graduate level Philosophy of Science courses:  263, 264, 264A, or 266
3.  One elective seminar in the history of science
4.  One elective seminar (in addition to the course satisfying requirement 2) in philosophy of science

Philosophy Ph.D. students declaring the HPS subplan via the Declaration or Change to a Field of Study form will have it appear on the official transcript but is not printed on the diploma.

The Program in History and Philosophy of Science degree requirements for the Ph.D. in History of Science, Medicine and Technology, in addition to the general History Department Ph.D. degree requirements, are:

1.  HPS colloquium series attendance
2.  the History Department core seminar in History of Science, Medicine and Technology
3.  Four other courses in the history of science, technology and/or medicine
4.  One course in the philosophy of science
5.  Four additional courses in a given geographical or national field of research, one of which must be a core course

The courses described above must include two research seminars, at least one of which must be in the history of science, technology and/or medicine. Students are expected to write papers on substantially different topics for each seminar. You should also aim to present your research at the annual meeting of a professional society associated with the history of science, technology and/or medicine sometime during your third or fourth year.  For more information, see the program's web site.

Course Sequences

See the Bachelors tab for all History and Philosophy of Science courses offered in 2017-2018.

Co-chairs: Paula Findlen (History), Michael Friedman (Philosophy)

Committee-in-Charge: Paula Findlen (History), Michael Friedman (Philosophy), Helen Longino (Philosophy), Reviel Netz (Classics), Robert Proctor (History), Jessica Riskin (History), Thomas Ryckman (Philosophy)

Program Committee: Paula Findlen (History), Michael Friedman (Philosophy), Helen Longino (Philosophy), Tom Mullaney (History), Reviel Netz (Classics), Robert Proctor (History), Jessica Riskin (History), Thomas Ryckman (Philosophy), Londa Schiebinger (History)

Professors: Keith Baker (History), Paula Findlen (History), Michael Friedman (Philosophy), Gabrielle Hecht (CISAC, History), David Holloway (History, Institute for International Studies, Political Science), Helen Longino (Philosophy), Reviel Netz (Classics), Robert Proctor (History), Jessica Riskin (History), Londa Schiebinger (History), Fred Turner (Communication), Richard White (History), Caroline Winterer (History)

Associate Professors: Thomas Mullaney (History), Sarah Jain (Anthropology), Priya Satia (History)

Professor (Teaching): Thomas Ryckman (Philosophy)

Professor (Research): Rega Wood (Philosophy, emerita)

Senior Lecturer:  Paul Edwards (STS)

Other Affiliation: Henry Lowood (Stanford University Libraries), Larry Lagerstrom (UAR)

Visiting Scholar: Adrienne Mayor (Classics), Alessandra Celati

Overseas Studies Courses in History and Philosophy of Science

The Bing Overseas Studies Program manages Stanford study abroad programs for Stanford undergraduates. Students should consult their department or program's student services office for applicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.

The Bing Overseas Studies course search site displays courses, locations, and quarters relevant to specific majors.

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses or Bing Overseas Studies.


Units
explorecourses:OSPhps

Courses

HPS 60. Introduction to Philosophy of Science. 5 Units.

This course introduces students to tools for the philosophical analysis of science. We will cover issues in observation, experiment, and reasoning, questions about the aims of science, scientific change, and the relations between science and values.
Same as: PHIL 60

HPS 61. Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution. 5 Units.

Galileo's defense of the Copernican world-system that initiated the scientific revolution of the 17th century, led to conflict between science and religion, and influenced the development of modern philosophy. Readings focus on Galileo and Descartes.
Same as: PHIL 61

HPS 199. Directed Reading. 1-15 Unit.

May be repeated for credit.

HPS 299. Graduate Individual Work. 1-15 Unit.

May be repeated for credit.