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Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science


  • Adrian Johns


  • Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, History
  • Lorraine Daston, Social Thought
  • Arnold Davidson, Philosophy
  • James A. Evans, Sociology
  • Jan Goldstein, History
  • Adrian Johns, History
  • Karin Knorr Cetina, Sociology and Anthropology
  • Joseph Masco, Anthropology
  • Karl Matlin, Department of Surgery
  • Salikoko Mufwene, Linguistics
  • Robert J. Richards, History
  • Michael Rossi, History
  • James T. Sparrow, History
  • Stephen M. Stigler, Statistics

Emeritus Faculty

  • Judith B. Farquhar, Anthropology
  • Robert Perlman, Pediatrics
  • William C. Wimsatt, Philosophy

The Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS) is an interdisciplinary graduate program dedicated to advancing social, historical, and philosophical perspectives on science. Its areas of interest are broad, extending across the sciences and from the ancient world to the present day. Its faculty derive from many departments in the University, but particularly from History, Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy. We currently have major strengths in the study of evolutionary biology, psychology, and medicine, and in issues of the social activity of science, such as those relating to scientific authority, credibility, communication, and intellectual property. Students in the Ph.D. program have an opportunity to investigate such aspects of the scientific enterprise in depth, within its many rich historical, social, and philosophical contexts. They are also encouraged to grapple with the practices and approaches of science itself.

A brief description of the Committee’s degree requirements is provided below, along with a representative list of courses that have been taught in recent years. For more complete information, you are encouraged to consult the website at This site contains an up to date description of faculty research interests, a complete statement of degree requirements, descriptions of individual courses being taught this year, a calendar of events (including meetings of the Committee’s regular Workshop in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science), a list of students who have received Ph.D.s from the Committee with the titles of their dissertations, and more.

Those with questions about the Committee should write to the Administrative Assistant, The Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, The University of Chicago, 1126 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 (


New students are admitted to the Committee through the Division of the Social Sciences. Applicants will be expected to submit undergraduate transcripts, scores from the general Graduate Record Examination, three letters of recommendation, short descriptions of their interests and/or reasons for wanting to study in CHSS, and a writing sample.

The application process for admission and financial aid for all Social Sciences graduate programs is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at:  Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-8415.

Our application process is now entirely online (paperless). All supporting material - including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and writing samples (if required by a specific department) - must be submitted electronically through the online application.

More information about applying to programs in the University of Chicago's Division of the Social Sciences can be found at

Degree Requirements

Every new student in CHSS is assigned an advisor, with whom he or she designs an individual program of study. Because the interests of students within CHSS vary widely, so too do these programs. Yet all students are expected to fulfill certain common requirements. Full and up to date details are given on the website, but the main elements are described here.

Students choose one of the following options:

  1. SCIENCE OPTION: The student may earn a master’s degree in a science (here understood to include mathematics, statistics, and social science).
  2. PHILOSOPHY OPTION: The student may earn a master’s degree in philosophy.
  3. HISTORY OPTION: The student may earn a master’s degree in history.

All students must complete a total of at least eighteen courses at the University for a grade of B or better, including at least seven CHSS courses. They must maintain at least a B+ average every quarter. Students must take a coherent series of six courses in a scientific area at the University, approved by the Committee, at a level appropriate to their preparation and of an appropriately advanced nature. (The term science here includes social sciences as represented in the University's Division of the Social Sciences.) This will normally mean that students must take at least some portion of their science work at a graduate level. Note that if a student enters the program with a master’s degree in an appropriate area, the committee determines what level of credit is given for it.

The expected timetable is that students entering with a master’s degree will complete coursework by the end of the second year, and those entering without will complete it by the end of year three (see the website for this and other details of the expected timetable).

Among the coursework of the first two years, students should take three courses offered by the committee: Philosophy of Science, History of Science, and Introduction to Science Studies.

Students must then pass two oral examinations. Each student has the option of taking the exams in history of science, philosophy of science, sociology of science, or anthropology of science; but at least one of the exams must be in either history of science or philosophy of science. These exams are, in part, designed by the students themselves.

At this point the student writes a dissertation proposal, and defends it at a hearing before his or her dissertation committee. He or she is then considered to have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, and proceeds to write the dissertation itself.


The department website offers descriptions of representative courses offered in recent years:

Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science Courses

CHSS 30924. Science, Modernity, and Anti-Modernity. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): HIST 44905, SCTH 30924

CHSS 30925. The Humanities as a Way of Knowing. 100 Units.

Despite intertwined histories and many shared practices, the contemporary humanities and sciences stand in relationships of contrast and opposition to one another. The perceived fissure between the "Two Cultures" has been deepened by the fact that the bulk of all history and philosophy of science has been devoted to the natural sciences. This seminar addresses the history and epistemology of what in the nineteenth century came to be called the "sciences" and the "humanities" since the Renaissance from an integrated perspective. The historical sources will focus on shared practices in, among others, philology, natural history, astronomy, and history. The philosophical source will develop an epistemology of the humanities: how humanists know what they know.

Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 30925, HIST 29517, CLAS 37316, HIST 39517, KNOW 40303, PHIL 30925, PHIL 20925

CHSS 30927. Knowledge as a Platter: Comparative Perspectives on Knowledge Texts in the Ancient World. 100 Units.

In various ancient cultures, sages created the new ways of systematizing what was known in fields as diverse as medicine, politics, sex, dreams, and mathematics. These texts did more than present what was known; they exemplified what it means to know - and also why reflective, systematic knowledge should be valued more highly than the knowledge gained from common sense or experience. Drawing on texts from Ancient India, Greece, Rome, and the Near East, this course will explore these early templates for the highest form of knowledge and compare their ways of creating fields of inquiry: the first disciplines. Texts include the Arthashastra, the Hippocratic corpus, Deuteronomy, the Kama Sutra, and Aristotle's Parva naturalia.

Equivalent Course(s): SALC 30927, SCTH 30927, KNOW 31415, HREL 30927

CHSS 30928. Thinking the Present through the Past: Classic Works of History since 1750. 100 Units.

As proudly empirical as the sciences, as interpretive as the humanities, and as analytical as the social sciences, history as the pursuit of knowledge about the past resists classification. Because all history is written through the lens of the present, most works of history cease to be read after a generation, especially during the modern period, as the pace of change accelerated. In this seminar we will read some of the exceptions, including works by Kant, Tocqueville, Michelet, cCassirer, Huizinga, Lovejoy, and Frances Yates, to understand how powerful vision of the past can transcend its own present.

Instructor(s): Lorraine Daston     Terms Offered: Spring. This course will be taught spring 2019.
Prerequisite(s): Seminar - primarily graduate students; all students require the permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 30928

CHSS 31202. Goethe: Literature, Science, Philosophy. 100 Units.

This lecture-discussion course will examine Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's intellectual development, from the time he wrote Sorrows of Young Werther through the final states of Faust. Along the way, we will read a selection of Goethe's plays, poetry, and travel literature. We will also examine his scientific work, especially his theory of color and his morphological theories. On the philosophical side, we will discuss Goethe's coming to terms with Kant (especially the latter's third Critique) and his adoption of Schelling's transcendental idealism. The theme uniting the exploration of the various works of Goethe will be unity of the artistic and scientific understanding of nature, especially as he exemplified that unity in "the eternal feminine."

Instructor(s): R. Richards     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): German is not required, but helpful.
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 25304, HIST 35304, PHIL 20610, HIST 25304, HIPS 26701, GRMN 35304, PHIL 30610

CHSS 31413. Sex and Enlightenment Science. 100 Units.

What do a lifelike wax woman, a birthing dummy, and a hermaphrodite have in common? This interdisciplinary course seeks answers to this question by exploring how eighteenth-century scientific and medical ideas, technologies, and practices interacted with and influenced contemporary notions of sex, sexuality, and gender. In our course, the terms "sex," "Enlightenment," and "science" will be problematized in their historic contexts using a variety of primary and secondary sources. Through these texts, as well as images and objects, we will see how emerging scientific theories about sex, sexuality, and gender contributed to new understandings of the human, especially female, body. We will also see how the liberating potential of Enlightenment thought gave way to sexual and racial theories that insisted on fundamental human difference. Topics to be covered include theories of generation, childbirth, homosexuality, monstrosities, race and procreation, and hermaphrodites and questions about the "sex" of the enlightened scientist and the gendering of scientific practices.

Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 21413, KNOW 21413, GNSE 21413, HIST 22218

CHSS 31502. Sciences of Memory in the Twentieth Century. 100 Units.

This course will examine a series of episodes in the history of the understanding of autobiographical memory, beginning with the emergence of academic psychology, and also psychoanalysis in the late nineteenth century and ending with the "memory wars" of the 1980s and '90s. The course will include an examination of the yoked history of beliefs about individual and "collective" memory: the impact of memory therapies during the First and Second World Wars, the impact of innovations in brain surgery on beliefs about the physiological memory record and the neurophysiology of remembering, and the impact of the rise of forensic psychology on the popular, scientific, and legal understanding of memory.

Instructor(s): A. Winter     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35505, HIPS 28002, HIST 25510

CHSS 32000. Introduction to Science Studies. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology. During the twentieth century, sociologists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists raised original, interesting, and consequential questions about the sciences. Often their work drew on and responded to each other, and, taken together, their various approaches came to constitute a field, "science studies." The course furnishes an initial guide to this field. Students will not only encounter some of its principal concepts, approaches and findings, but will also get a chance to apply science-studies perspectives themselves by performing a fieldwork project. Among the topics we may examine are: the sociology of scientific knowledge and its applications; actor-network theories of science; constructivism and the history of science; and efforts to apply science studies approaches beyond the sciences themselves.

Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 32305, HIPS 22001, SOCI 40137, KNOW 31408, HIST 56800

CHSS 32708. Planetary Britain, 1600-1900. 100 Units.

What were the causes behind Britain's Industrial Revolution? In the vast scholarship on this problem, one particularly heated debate has focused on the imperial origins of industrialization. How much did colonial resources and markets contribute to economic growth and technological innovation in the metropole? The second part of the course will consider the global effects of British industrialization. To what extent can we trace anthropogenic climate change and other planetary crises back to the environmental transformation wrought by the British Empire? Topics include ecological imperialism, metabolic rift, the sugar revolution, the slave trade, naval construction and forestry, the East India Company, free trade and agriculture, energy use and climate change.

Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 22708, ENST 22708, HIST 22708, KNOW 22708, HIST 32708, KNOW 32808

CHSS 32800. Experiencing Madness: Empathic Methods in Cultural Psychiatry. 100 Units.

This course provides students with an introduction to the phenomenological approach in cultural psychiatry, focusing on the problem of "how to represent mental illness" as a thematic anchor. Students will examine the theoretical and methodological groundings of cultural psychiatry, examining how scholars working in the phenomenological tradition have tried to describe the lived experiences of various forms of "psychopathology" or "madness." By the end of the course, students will have learned how to describe and analyze the social dimension of a mental health experience, using a phenomenologically-grounded anthropological approach, and by adopting a technical vocabulary for understanding the lived experiences of mental illness (for instance, phenomena, life-world, being-in-the-world, intentionality, epoché, embodiment, madness, psychopathology, melancholia/depression, schizophrenia, etc). In addition, given the ongoing problematic of "how to represent mental illness," students will also have the opportunity to think through the different ways of presenting their analysis, both in the form of weekly blog entries and during a final-week mock-workshop, where they will showcase their work in a creative medium appropriate to that analysis.

Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24355, CHDV 32822, MAPS 32800, HIPS 22800, ANTH 35135

CHSS 32900. History of Statistics. 100 Units.

This course covers topics in the history of statistics, from the eleventh century to the middle of the twentieth century. We focus on the period from 1650 to 1950, with an emphasis on the mathematical developments in the theory of probability and how they came to be used in the sciences. Our goals are both to quantify uncertainty in observational data and to develop a conceptual framework for scientific theories. This course includes broad views of the development of the subject and closer looks at specific people and investigations, including reanalyses of historical data.

Instructor(s): S. Stigler     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Prior statistics course
Equivalent Course(s): STAT 26700, STAT 36700, HIPS 25600

CHSS 33300. Intro: Philosophy of Science. 100 Units.

We will begin by trying to explicate the manner in which science is a rational response to observational facts. This will involve a discussion of inductivism, Popper's deductivism, Lakatos and Kuhn. After this, we will briefly survey some other important topics in the philosophy of science, including underdetermination, theories of evidence, Bayesianism, the problem of induction, explanation, and laws of nature. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): K. Davey     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25109, HIPS 22000, PHIL 32000, HIST 35109, PHIL 22000

CHSS 33500. Elementary Logic. 100 Units.

An introduction to the concepts and principles of symbolic logic. We learn the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order quantificational logic, and apply the resultant conceptual framework to the analysis of valid and invalid arguments, the structure of formal languages, and logical relations among sentences of ordinary discourse. Occasionally we will venture into topics in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but our primary focus is on acquiring a facility with symbolic logic as such.

Instructor(s): K. Davey     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Course not for field credit.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 30000, PHIL 20100, HIPS 20700

CHSS 33600. Intermediate Logic. 100 Units.

In this course, we will prove the soundness and completeness of deductive systems for both sentential and first-order predicate logic. We will also establish related results in elementary model theory, such as the compactness theorem for first-order logic, the Lӧwenheim-Skolem theorem and Lindstrӧm's theorem. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): A. Vasudevan     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 29400, HIPS 20500, PHIL 39600

CHSS 34903. Victorian Science. 100 Units.

This course examines how Victorians sought to understand the natural world, and how their scientific work helped develop modern intellectual conventions, social relations, and institutions. We will study a wide range of topics from the 1830s through the beginning of the twentieth century in order to develop a kind of panorama of scientific life and to determine when key features of modern science came into being.

Instructor(s): A. Winter     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 34913, HIPS 24913, HIST 24913

CHSS 35010. Central Problems in the Philosophy of Biology. 100 Units.

The course will address central issues in philosophy of biology. We will begin by discussing the nature of evolutionary theory, focusing on issues of adaptation, selection vs. drift, units of selection and the concept of species. We shall then look into some central ideas in the philosophy of science-such as reduction and laws-and examine their application in biology. Last, we will discuss causal concepts such as mechanism, function and teleology. The format of the course will be short lectures followed by presentations by students and discussion. (B)

Instructor(s): C. Bloch     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 32705, HIST 35010, HIPS 22711, HIST 25010, PHIL 22705

CHSS 35014. Introduction to Environmental History. 100 Units.

How have humans interacted with the environment over time? This course introduces students to the methods and topics of environmental history by way of classic and recent works in the field: Crosby, Cronon, Worster, Russell, and McNeill et al. Major topics of investigation include preservationism, ecological imperialism, evolutionary history, forest conservation, organic and industrial agriculture, labor history, the commons and land reform, energy consumption, and climate change. Our scope covers the whole period from 1492 with case studies from European, American and British imperial history.

Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 25014, HIST 25014, HIST 35014, ENST 25014

CHSS 35110. Philosophy of History: Narrative & Explanation. 100 Units.

This lecture-discussion course will trace different theories of explanation in history from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine the ideas of Humboldt, Ranke, Dilthey, Collingwood, Braudel, Hempel, Danto, and White. The considerations will encompass such topics as the nature of the past such that one can explain its features, the role of laws in historical explanation, the use of Verstehen history as a science, the character of narrative explanation, the structure of historical versus other kinds of explanation, and the function of the footnote.

Instructor(s): R. Richards     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 20506, HIST 35110, HIPS 25110, PHIL 30506, HIST 25110

CHSS 35121. The Brazil-Argentina Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and Thermoelectric Transition in Brazil. 100 Units.

In this course we present a history of Brazil-Argentina nuclear cooperation and how Brazil is planning the transition of its electric matrix from predominantly hydraulic towards a mix with increased share of nuclear power. Proliferation risks are a main concern of international community when nuclear programs expansion is considered. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, created in 1991, has been fundamental in assuring the international community (via the International Atomic Energy Agency) that the nuclear materials and facilities of both countries are being used for peaceful purposes. Domestically, the debate has been environmental in nature, and concerns topics ranging from mining to power generation, and from radioactive materials disposal to radiation effects in living organisms and major accidents. These diplomatic, environmental, social and political issues are in turn dependent on technical details of the thermoelectric generating process, and this nexus of issues provides the topics for the course.

Instructor(s): Ramos, Alexandre     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Tinker Visiting Professor Autumn 2018
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35121, PPHA 39921, HIPS 25121, LACS 25121

CHSS 35208. Motion Pictures in the Human Sciences. 100 Units.

This course will examine the relationship between moving images, particularly motion-picture films, and the human sciences, broadly construed, from the early days of cinema to the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It will use primary source documents alongside screenings to allow students to study what the moving image meant to researchers wishing to develop knowledge of mind and behavior, and what they thought film could do that still photography and unmediated human observation could not. The kinds of motion pictures we will study will vary widely, from infant development studies to psychiatric films, from documentaries to research films, and from films made by scientists or clinicians as part of their laboratory or therapeutic work to experimental films made by seasoned filmmakers. We will explore how people used the recordings they made in their own studies, in communications with other scientists, and for didactic and other purposes. We will also discuss how researchers' claims about mental processes-perception, memory, consciousness, and interpersonal influence-drew on their understandings of particular technologies.

Instructor(s): A. Winter     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 25208, HIST 25208, HIST 35208, CMST 29002, CMST 39002

CHSS 35307. History and Historiography of Science. 100 Units.

Science poses particular problems of historical understanding because it claims to reveal truths independent of human culture and historical change. Yet scholars have argued for decades that both the enterprise of science and, indeed, scientific knowledge itself can be accounted for historically. Since World War II a thriving discipline has arisen to pursue this objective. It has transformed our understanding of such central topics as the practice of experiment, the social meaning of nature, and the constitution of scientific authority. History and Historiography of Science offers an opportunity to see how historians of science have achieved this. We will read both canonical works and new research, in order to understand how they practice their craft of bringing history to bear on what seems the most unhistorical of subjects.

Instructor(s): A. Johns     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 25307, HIST 25307, HIST 35307

CHSS 35308. Lab, Field, and Clinic: History and Anthropology of Medicine and the Life Sciences. 100 Units.

In this course we will examine the ways in which different groups of people--in different times and places--have understood the nature of life and living things, bodies and bodily processes, and health and disease, among other notions. We will address these issues principally, though not exclusively, through the lens of the changing sets of methods and practices commonly recognizable as science and medicine. We will also pay close attention to the methods through which scholars in history and anthropology have written about these topics, and how current scientific and medical practices affect historical and anthropological studies of science and medicine.

Instructor(s): M. Rossi     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW core seminar requirement. PhD students should register for KNOW 40202 to be eligible to apply for the SIFK dissertation fellowship.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24307, HIST 35308, HIPS 25808, HIST 25308, KNOW 25308, ANTH 34307, KNOW 40202

CHSS 35309. History of Perception. 100 Units.

Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.

Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 25309, ANTH 24308, ANTH 34308, KNOW 21404, HIST 25309, KNOW 31404, HIST 35309

CHSS 35408. The History of Suggestion. 100 Units.

This course examines the history of studies of the nature of what has commonly become known as suggestion--subtle influences over personal and group behavior that are thought to affect us outside our conscious awareness or control. The idea of an unconscious influence of this kind has deep roots, but it was only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that it became a major focus of research, controversy and reflection. The course will examine the development and significance of characterizations of suggestion and related concepts of subtle influence in medicine, advertising, and various fields in the sciences. Course materials will include primary sources in those areas, literary materials, and film.

Instructor(s): A. Winter     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35408, HIPS 25408, HIST 25408

CHSS 35421. Censorship from the Inquisition to the Present. 100 Units.

Collaborative research seminar on the history of censorship and information control, with a focus on the history of books and information technologies. The class will meet in Special Collections, and students will work with the professor to prepare an exhibit, The History of Censorship, to be held in the Special Collections exhibit space in the spring. Students will work with rare books and archival materials, design exhibit cases, write exhibit labels, and contribute to the exhibit catalog. Half the course will focus on censorship in early modern Europe, including the Inquisition, the spread of the printing press, and clandestine literature in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Special focus on the effects of censorship on classical literature, both newly rediscovered works like Lucretius and lost books of Plato, and authors like Pliny the Elder and Seneca who had been available in the Middle Ages but became newly controversial in the Renaissance. The other half of the course will look at modern and contemporary censorship issues, from wartime censorship, to the censorship of comic books, to digital-rights management, to free speech on our own campus. Students may choose whether to focus their own research and exhibit cases on classical, early modern, modern, or contemporary censorship. This course is part of the College Course Cluster, The Renaissance.

Equivalent Course(s): RLST 22121, HIST 25421, HIST 35421, KNOW 21403, HREL 34309, CLCV 25417, HIPS 25421, SIGN 26010, CLAS 35417, KNOW 31403

CHSS 35425. Censorship, Info Control, & Revolutions in Info Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet. 100 Units.

The digital revolution is triggering a wave of new information control efforts and censorship attempts, ranging from monopolistic copyright laws to the "Great Firewall" of China. The print revolution after 1450 was a moment like our own, when the explosive dissemination of a new information technology triggered a wave of information control efforts. Many of today's attempts at information control closely parallel early responses to the printing press, so the premodern case gives us centuries of data showing how diverse attempts to control or censors information variously incentivized, discouraged, curated, silenced, commodified, or nurtured art, thought, and science. This unique course is part of a collaborative research project funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and is co-organized with digital information expert Cory Doctorow. The course will bring pairs of experts working on the print and digital revolutions to campus to discuss parallels between their research with the class. Classes will be open to the public, filmed, and shared on the Internet to create an international public conversation. This is also a Department of History "Making History" course: rather than writing traditional papers, students will create web resources and publications (print and digital) to contribute to the ongoing collaborative research project.

Instructor(s): A. Johns & A. Palmer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Making History courses forgo traditional paper assignments for innovative projects that develop new skills with professional applications in the working world. Open to students at all levels, but especially recommended for 3rd- and 4th-yr students. This course fulfills part of the KNOW core seminar requirement. PhD students should register for KNOW 40103 to be eligible to apply for the SIFK dissertation fellowship.
Equivalent Course(s): SIGN 26035, KNOW 40103, HREL 35425, MAAD 15425, HIST 35425, HIPS 25425, KNOW 25425, HIST 25425, BPRO 25425

CHSS 37502. Energy and Energy Policy. 100 Units.

This course shows how scientific constraints affect economic and other policy decisions regarding energy, what energy-based issues confront our society, how we may address them through both policy and scientific study, and how the policy and scientific aspects can and should interact. We address specific technologies, both those now in use and those under development, and the policy questions associated with each, as well as with more overarching aspects of energy policy that may affect several, perhaps many, technologies.

Instructor(s): S. Berry, G. Tolley     Terms Offered: TBD. May be offered 2018-2019
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing. For ECON majors who want ECON credit for this course (ECON 26800): PQ is ECON 20100.
Equivalent Course(s): BPRO 29000, PSMS 39000, ENST 29000, PPHA 39201, ECON 26800, PBPL 29000

CHSS 37860. History of Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. 100 Units.

This course will consist in lectures and discussion sessions about the historical and conceptual foundations of evolutionary behavioral sciences (evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary psychology, ethology, comparative behavioral biology), covering the period from the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species up to the present day. Topics will include new theoretical developments, controversies, interdisciplinary expansions, and the relationships between evolutionary behavioral sciences and other disciplines in the sciences and the humanities.

Instructor(s): D. Maestripieri     Terms Offered: Autumn 2018
Prerequisite(s): N/A
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 37860, KNOW 27860, HIPS 27860, CHDV 27860

CHSS 37901. Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. 100 Units.

This will be a careful reading of what is widely regarded as the greatest work of modern philosophy, Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Our principal aims will be to understand the problems Kant seeks to address and the significance of his famous doctrine of "transcendental idealism". Topics will include: the role of mind in the constitution of experience; the nature of space and time; the relation between self-knowledge and knowledge of objects; how causal claims can be justified by experience; whether free will is possible; the relation between appearance and reality; the possibility of metaphysics. (B) (V)

Instructor(s): J. Conant     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 27500, FNDL 27800, PHIL 37500, HIPS 25001

CHSS 38900. Philosophy of Mind and Science Fiction. 100 Units.

Could computers be conscious? Might they be affected by changes in size or time scale, hardware, development, social, cultural, or ecological factors? Does our form of life constrain our ability to visualize or detect alternative forms of order, life, or mentality, or to interpret them correctly? How do assumptions of consciousness affect how we study and relate to other beings? This course examines issues in philosophy of mind raised by recent progress in biology, psychology, and simulations of life and intelligence, with readings from philosophy, the relevant sciences, and science fiction. (B)

Instructor(s): W. Wimsatt     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 33400, HIPS 25400, PHIL 23400

CHSS 39405. Advanced Logic. 100 Units.

Since Russell's discovery of the inconsistency of Frege's foundation for mathematics, much of logic has resolved around the question of to what extent we can or cannot prove the consistency of the basic principles with which we reason. This course will explore two main efforts in this direction. We will first look at proof-theoretic efforts towards demonstrating the consistency of various foundational systems, discussing the virtues and limitations of this approach. We will then closely examine Godel's theorems, which are famous for demonstrating limits on the extent to which we can formulate consistency proofs. Much has been written on the implications of Godel's theorems, and we will spend some time trying to carefully separate what they really entail from what they do not entail. Assessment will be by regular homework sets. Intermediate logic or prior equivalent required. (II) and (B).

Instructor(s): K. Davey     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Elementary Logic or equivalent
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 39405, PHIL 29405, HIPS 20905

CHSS 40196. Cultural Evolution. 100 Units.

This course explores the nature of process of cultural evolution. After establishing a background on the characteristics of biological evolution, we consider topics in cultural evolution that explore similarities and differences between processes of biological and cultural evolution, and theoretical and conceptual innovations necessary to deal with the latter, using a variety of approaches and methodologies, including agent-based modeling, "big data" approaches, and case studies. These will include topics like: the nature of inheritance, the limits of 'memes', the role of cognitive development, the coevolution of cognition and lithic technology, the scaffolding and evolution of social support, institutions, organizations and firms, the structure of scientific communities, entrenchment and the emergence of conventions and standards, the role of technology, horizontal vs. vertical transmission, multichannel inheritance, economic markets, the nature of innovation, and the role of history.

Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 40196, EVOL 30196, PHIL 52805

CHSS 40200. Case Studies on the Formation of Knowledge-I. 100 Units.

The KNOW core seminars for graduate students are offered by the faculty of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. This two-quarter sequence provides a general introduction, followed by specific case studies, to the study of the formation of knowledge. Each course will explore 2-3 case study topics, and each case study will be team-taught within a "module." A short research paper is required at the end of each quarter. Graduate students from every field are welcome. Those who take both quarters are eligible to apply for a SIFK 6th-year graduate fellowship. For more information, please email your questions to Module 1 : Approaches to Knowledge Shadi Bartsch, Jack Gilbert The goal of this module is to identify central issues or debates in the theory of knowledge over the past century. Students will be introduced to basic issues in the sociology of knowledge, to the arguments for and against constructivist perspectives on knowledge, and to 21st century scientific standards for knowledge production. The course should provide students with a vocabulary and conceptual tools with which they argue about these issues and reflect upon the very conceptual tools they are using. Module 2: Democratic Knowledge Shadi Bartsch, Will Howell This module offers a variation on studies of the epistemic powers of democracy. Instead of asking questions such as how effective democracies are at gathering the knowledge they need to function, the module looks at

Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 40201, HIST 40200, PLSC 40202, SCTH 40200, MAPH 40200, SOCI 40209, CMLT 41802, KNOW 40200

CHSS 40201. Religion and Reason. 100 Units.

The quarrel between reason and faith has a long history. The birth of Christianity was in the crucible of rationality. The ancient Greeks privileged this human capacity above all others, finding in reason the quality wherein man was closest to the gods, while the early Christians found this viewpoint antithetical to religious humility. As religion and its place in society have evolved throughout history, so have the standing of, and philosophical justification for, non-belief on rational grounds. This course will examine the intellectual and cultural history of arguments against religion in Western thought from antiquity to the present. Along the way, of course, we will also examine the assumptions bound up in the binary terms "religion" and "reason."

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 43011, CLAS 46616, HIST 66606, KNOW 40201, DVPR 46616

CHSS 40203. Biopolitics & Posthumanism. 100 Units.

Much has been written about the possibility (or impossibility) of creating an integrated political schema that incorporates living status, not species boundary, as the salient distinction between person and thing. In this course, we will explore how biopolitical and posthumanistic scholars like Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Jane Bennett, Cary Wolfe, and Donna Haraway have acknowledged (and advocated transcending) the anthropocentric ümwelt, to borrow Jakob von Üexküll's influential term. In parallel with our theoretical readings, we will explore how actual legal systems have incorporated the nonhuman, with a particular focus on Anglo-American and transnational law. Our goal is to develop our own sense of an applied biopolitics-whether to our own research, to future legislation and jurisprudence, or both.

Instructor(s): Nicolette I. Bruner     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. No instructor consent is required, but registration is not final until after the 1st week in order to give Ph.D. students priority.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 40203, ENGL 40203, KNOW 40203

CHSS 40300. Case Studies on the Formation of Knowledge II. 100 Units.

The KNOW core seminars for graduate students are offered by the faculty of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. This two-quarter sequence provides a general introduction, followed by specific case studies, to the study of the formation of knowledge. Each course will explore 2-3 case study topics, and each case study will be team-taught within a "module." A short research paper is required at the end of each quarter. Graduate students from every field are welcome. Those who take both quarters are eligible to apply for a SIFK 6th-year graduate fellowship. For more information, please email your questions to Module 1 : Foundations of Psychology in Linguistics and Biology Robert Richards, John Goldsmith This module will examine the ways several established disciplines, particularly linguistics and biology, came together in the mid-19th century to establish the science of psychology. Both linguistics and biology offered empirical and theoretical avenues into the study of mind. Researchers in each advanced their considerations either in complementary or oppositional fashion. Module 2 : Origins of the Social Construction of Knowledge Robert Richards, Alison Winter This module will trace the development of the idea of the social construction of knowledge and its relation to philosophy and history of science. The development lit a spark, then created a conflagration, and yet still smolders. Module 3 : The Politics of Philosophical Knowledge

Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40300, SCTH 40300, CMLT 41803, MAPH 40300, EALC 50300, MAPS 40301, HIST 64901, SOCI 40210

CHSS 40304. Between Nature and Artifice: The Formation of Scientific Knowledge. 100 Units.

This course critically examines concepts of "nature" and "artifice" in the formation of scientific knowledge, from the Babylonians to the Romantics, and the ways that this history has been written and problematized by both canonical and less canonical works in the history of science from the twentieth century to the present. Our course is guided by three overarching questions, approached with historical texts and historiography, that correspond to three modules of investigation: 1) Nature, 2) Artifice, and 3) Liminal: Neither Natural nor Artificial.

Instructor(s): Margaret Carlyle, Eduardo Escobar, Jennifer P. Daly     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. Ph.D. students must register with the KNOW 40304 course number in order for this course to meet the requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 40304, KNOW 40304, CRES 40304, HIPS 40304, HIST 34920

CHSS 40305. The Archive of Early English Literature: Manuscripts, Books, and Canon. 100 Units.

This course will introduce students to early English literature through manuscript studies and book history. Throughout the course we will reflect on archival research as a critical practice: how do the material histories of early texts invite us to rethink the fundamental categories that organize literary history, like authorship or canonicity? The course will be both a practicum (teaching the basics of paleography, codicology, and textual editing) and an ongoing conversation about the archives of literary history, as sites of interpretation, memory, and erasure. We will meet in the Special Collections Research Center, and use the collections of the University of Chicago. We will first focus on the archives of Chicago's Chaucer Research Project and its principals, John Matthews Manly and Edith Rickert, who tried to establish an authoritative text of the Canterbury Tales in the early twentieth century. The second half of the course will focus on print culture and reading practice, with a focus on Chicago's collection of early modern commonplace books. Students will propose and pursue a research project in the U of C or Newberry Library collections, on a topic of their choosing. Students will produce a piece of scholarship that reflects both careful research in those collections and thoughtfulness about the place of that research in critical practice.

Instructor(s): J. Stadolnik     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. No instructor consent is required, but registration is not final until after the 1st week in order to give Ph.D. students priority.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 40305, KNOW 40305

CHSS 40306. Race, Land, and Empire: History, Intersectionality, and the Meanings of America. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the making and meaning of the United States at the intersections of race, land, and empire. It considers a set of profound historical transformations that shape American and global life today: the conquest and colonization of the vast North American continent; the expansion of slavery and, with it, a system of global capitalism; the growth of opposition to that system of labor, culminating in the Civil War; the origins, as a result of that war, of a modern American nation-state; the ethnic cleansing and resettlement of the West; and the ascension of the United States of America to global eminence as a military power. Rather than framing these events within a national narrative about the idea of Manifest Destiny or an epic struggle toward the ideal of democracy-an approach that ignores most of the continent, divides the West from the North and South, and frames history itself as progress-this course makes use of a global lens to analyze the borders between and border crossings by American communities. Our foci will be the interrelations between regions and peoples; the processes that led to alteration; and the evolution of structures that redistributed social power

Instructor(s): Isaiah Lorado Wilner     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. No instructor consent is required, but registration is not final until after the 1st week in order to give Ph.D. students priority.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 40306, HIST 37013

CHSS 42300. Scientific/Technological Change. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 30300, PHIL 20300, HIPS 20300

CHSS 47000. Reading And Research: CHSS. 100 Units.

Readings and Research for working on their PhD

CHSS 49404. Colloquium: Historical Time and the Anthropocene. 100 Units.

The course will review debates in the social sciences and the humanities on the idea of a new geological age of the humans, the so-called Anthropocene, and discuss their implications for historiography and historical thinking.

Instructor(s): D. Chakrabarty     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergraduates by consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 49404, HIST 49404

CHSS 53709. Conceptual Change and the a-priori. 100 Units.

(II) and (III)

Instructor(s): K. Davey     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 53709

CHSS 55100. The Development of Whitehead's Philosophy of Nature. 100 Units.

Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy has seen a resurgence of academic interest in recent years via a line of influence passing through Deleuze and Latour. Meanwhile, Whitehead's Process and Reality (1929) has gained a reputation, not undeserved, as possibly the most challenging English language text in the philosophical canon; it is seldom read in a department of philosophy. This is a pity, since the striking originality and creative potential of the philosophy contained within is unmatched. This course offers an opportunity for a gradual approach to understanding the "philosophy of organism" of Process and Reality by first taking in the foothills of earlier and less obtuse Whitehead texts Concept of Nature and Science and the Modern World. We will supplement these readings with newly discovered notes from Whitehead's Harvard lectures (published just last year). These documents reveal Whitehead in meditative mood, thinking through in real time his philosophical concerns. With their help, this course will explore the striking continuity of his earlier natural philosophy with the mature philosophy of Process and Reality and so provide a more gentle ascent to the heady realms of "actual entities", "concrescence" and "conceptual feelings" described therein. (II)

Instructor(s): T. Pashby     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 55100, KNOW 55100

CHSS 55978. AdvRdgs in Technoscience. 100 Units.

Advanced Readings

Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 55973

CHSS 57000. -/+: Molding, Casting, and the Shaping of Knowledge. 100 Units.

Of all technologies of reproduction and resemblance, those of molding and casting are perhaps the most intimate. An object, a sculpture, a creature, a person is slathered in plaster (or some other form-hugging material), and the resulting "negative" image is rendered into a "positive" replica. This course explores the various historically and culturally contingent meanings that have been attached to these technical procedures-despite their ostensibly "styleless" or "anachronistic" character-from the ancient world to the present day. Used in practices ranging from funerary rituals to fine art, natural history to medicine, anthropology to forensics, molding and casting constitute forms of knowledge production that capture at once the real and the enduring, the ephemeral and fleeting, and the authentic and affective. Featuring a diverse set of readings by authors such as Pliny the Elder, Charles Sanders Peirce, Walter Benjamin, Oswald Spengler, Gilbert Simondon, and others, the colloquium will address theoretical and methodological questions pertaining to concepts of materiality, indexicality, tactility, scalability, and seriality. Besides plaster, the objects of our analysis will comprise a diverse range of media including but not limited to wax, metal, photography and film, synthetic polymers, and digital media.

Instructor(s): P. Crowley and M. Rossi     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 57000, ANTH 54835, ARTH 47300, KNOW 57000

CHSS 57400. Freud Wars: Hist & Philo Rdgs. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): HIST 57400

CHSS 58108. The Philosophy of Howard Stein. 100 Units.

Howard Stein's impressive body of work is notable for its tight integration of history of science with philosophy of science. Topics include: theories of spacetime structure (Newtonian and relativistic), the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the methodology of science in general and the character of scientific knowledge, and the history of physics and mathematics. Readings by Stein will be supplemented by primary historical texts and secondary philosophical literature, including selections from a forthcoming edited collection on Stein. (II)

Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 58108

CHSS 70000. Advanced Study: Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science. 300.00 Units.

Advanced Study: Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science