STS 501: Proseminar in Science and Technology Studies

Instructors: Adam FrankĀ and Alan Richardson
Section: 001

Term: 1
Meets: Wednesdays 2:00-5:00pm


This proseminar introduces students to methods, core readings, and topics in Science and Technology Studies. This year we will primarily be concened with science and the question of subjectivity. We will begin with the early modern staging of this question in the work of Francis Bacon whose “idols of the mind” characterized the various epistmological shortcomings of subjectivity, and whose experimental protocols established contraints on mechanical philosophy. We will then read the seminal work of Thomas Kuhn, especially on the notion of paradigm, exploring its uptakes and critiques in the history and philosophy of science. We will try to understand the place and role of subjectivity in the work of Bruno Latour and Andrew Pickering, two major figures in science studies, before turning to the ermergence of sciences of subjectivity (psychology and psychoanalysis) in the early twentieth-century. Finally we will turn to feminist science studies and its attempts to revalue subjectivity’s role in scientific practice.