"Who Won the Scientific Revolution?"
2008 Summer Seminar Plan and Schedule

The Summer Seminar ran from Monday afternoon, June 9th, through Friday afternoon, June 13th. The schedule of lectures, discussions, events, and related readings were as follows. Sessions were held in MIT room 1-371.

 

 

Monday

3:00-3:30pm

Preliminary Discussion (tea).

3:30-4:30pm

Welcome and Introduction by Mark Ryland:

Plan and Purpose of the Summer Seminar

Outline of Mark's overview talk [zipped PowerPoint format].

Readings:

  1. Alexander Koyre, "The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis,"  Newtonian Studies, Chapter 1 [4.6MB PDF].

  2. (optional) Hans Jonas, "On the Practical Uses of Theory," The Phenomenon of Life, essay 8, 188-210 [PDF]

4:30-5:00pm

Break

5:00-6:20pm

Session 1, Seminar led by Lee Perlman:

What is Nature in Aristotle?

Reading: Aristotle, Physics II.1-3 [PDF].

7:00pm

Dinner gathering for fellowship and discussion in location TBA.

Tuesday

9:00-10:20am

Session 2, Lecture by Lee Perlman:

Greek Mathematics and Plato's Conception of Knowledge

Reading: Plato, Theaetetus 142a-148c, 196d-end [PDF].

10:20-10:40am

Break

10:40-12:00n

Session 3, Seminar led by Michael Augros:

What is a Cause? What is an Explanation?

Reading: Aristotle, brief selections and Physics II.3 [PDF].

12:00n-3:00pm

Lunch and study break.

3:00-3:40pm

Pre-session discussion (tea).

3:40-5:00pm

Session 4, Seminar led by Bernhardt Trout:

How Do Bacon and Descartes Conceive Nature?

Readings:

  1. Bacon, selections from The Great Instauration [PDF].

  2. Descartes, Discourse on Method, part 6 [PDF].

5:00-7:30pm

Dinner break and unstructured discussions.

Wednesday

9:00-10:20am

Session 5, Seminar by Lee Perlman:

How Do Galileo and Newton Depict Motion?

Reading: selections from Newton, Principia [PDF].

10:20-10:40am

Break

10:40-12:00n

Session 6, Lecture by Michael Augros:

The Science of Common Experience:
Limits and Perennial Truths within Classical Thought

Reading: Decartes, Heraclitus, Aristotle [PDF].

12:00n-3:00pm

Lunch and study break.

3:00-3:40pm

Pre-session discussion (tea).

3:40-5:00pm

Session 7, Lecture by James Barham:

Whispers of Aristotle: Emergentism from Physics to Biology

Reading: Margaret Morrison, "Emergence, Reduction, and Theoretical Principles: Rethinking Fundamentalism," Philosophy of Science, 73 (December 2006): 876887 [PDF and zipped PDF versions].

5:00-7:30pm

Dinner break and unstructured discussions.

Thursday

9:00-10:20am

Session 8, Lecture by Mark Ryland:

Standard Neo-Darwinism and Intelligent Design Theory:
A Thoroughly Modern Debate

Reading: Hans Jonas, "Philosophical Aspects of Darwinism," The Phenomenon of Life, essay 2, 38-63 [PDF].

10:20-10:40am

Break

10:40-12:00n

Session 9, Lecture by Joseph Audie:

Natural Specified Complexity: The Curious Case of Nylonase

Readings:

  1. Thwaites, "New Proteins without God's Help," Creation/Evolution 5:2 (Summer 1985), 1-3 [PDF].

  2. Batten, "The Adaptation of Bacteria to Feeding on Nylon Waste," TJ 17:3 (December 2003), 3-5 [PDF].

  3. Negoro, "Biodegradation of Nylon Oligomers (Review)," Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2000 Oct;54(4):461-6. [PDF].

  4. Negoro, et al. "X-ray Crystallographic Analysis of 6-Aminohexanoate-Dimer Hydrolase: Molecular Basis for the Birth of a Nylon Oligomer-Degrading Enzyme," Journal of Biological Chemistry 280:47 (November 25, 2005), 3964439652 [PDF].

  5. Prijambada, et al. "Emergence of Nylon Oligomer Degradation Enzymes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO through Experimental Evolution," Applied and Environment Microbiology 61:5 (May 1995), 20202022 [PDF].

12:00n-3:00pm

Lunch and study break.

3:00-3:40pm

Pre-session discussion (tea).

3:40-5:00pm

Session 10, Lecture by James Barham:

Lessons from Slijper's Goat:
On the Convergence of Classical and Modern Biology

Reading: West-Eberhard, "Phenotypic Accommodation: Adaptive Innovation Due to Developmental Plasticity," Journal of Experimental Zoology (2005) [PDF].

6:30-9:30pm

Group dinner at local restaurant.

Friday

9:00-10:20am

Session 11, Lecture by Mark Ryland:

Do Laws of Nature Really Govern Material Reality?

Readings: Cartwright, selections

  1. "Introduction," How the Laws of Physics Lie (1983) [PDF],

  2. "Essay 2: The Truth Doesn't Explain Much," How the Laws of Physics Lie (1983) [PDF].

  3. (optional) "No God, No Laws" (unpublished draft) [PDF]

10:20-10:40am

Break

10:40-12:00n

Session 12, Lecture by Joseph Audie:

Prediction and Explanation in Science: A Scientist's View

Readings:

  1. Grygiel, (2001) "Quantum Mechanics: A Dialectical Approach to Reality," The Thomist 65 (2): 223-238 [PDF].

  2. Brody, (1972) "Towards an Aristotelean Theory of Scientific Explanation," Philosophy of Science 39 (1): 20-31 [PDF].

12:00n-1:30pm

Lunch and discussion break.

1:30-2:50pm

Concluding Session led by ISN Staff

Closing Remarks and Discussion

Summer Conference

The Summer Conference follows the Summer Seminar at 3:30pm on Friday, June 13th, continuing through Saturday, June 14th (schedule).

 

This page last updated on July 2, 2008