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Part III and MPhil

Part III students' guide

MPhil student's guide

Part III Managers: Anna Alexandrova (Michaelmas & Lent Terms), Richard Staley (Easter Term)
MPhil Managers: Jacob Stegenga, Mary Brazelton

Part III and MPhil Lectures 2017–18

The Department's MPhil and Part III students must attend these lectures, which are held on Wednesdays at 3pm. They are not open to anyone else.

The purpose of the lectures is to introduce research topics, methods and approaches adopted by the Department's teaching officers. Normally the lecture will last for 45 minutes with another 45 minutes left for questions and answers, although the precise format may depend on the session. Following (or in some cases preceding) each session the lecturer will canvass interest and announce the schedule for a small group seminar that explores the topics of the corresponding lecture in more depth. All MPhil and Part III students should attend each lecture, but they can choose which subsequent seminars to follow. Each student must follow at least one seminar in Michaelmas and one in Lent.

Lectures and seminars are held in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science unless otherwise indicated.

Michaelmas Term

Week 1 (11 October)
Anna Alexandrova: The relation between history of science and philosophy of science

  • Chang, Hasok, 'Beyond Case-Studies: History as Philosophy', in Seymour Mauskopf and Tad Schmaltz (eds), Integrating History and Philosophy of Science (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), pp. 109–124

Week 2 (18 October)
Mary Brazelton: Sinicizing the history of science and medicine

Week 3 (25 October)
Jacob Stegenga: Medical nihilism

  • Stegenga, Jacob, Medical Nihilism, Introduction and §11.4, 11.5, 11.6, and Appendix 1 and 5 (see Moodle for manuscript)

Week 4 (1 November)
Simon Schaffer and Richard Staley (with others): Materiality and scientific instruments

Note special location: Whipple Museum

Week 5 (8 November)
Nick Hopwood: Icons of knowledge

Week 6 (15 November)
Stephen John: Is, can or should science be 'value-free'?

Week 7 (22 November)
Richard Staley and Simon Schaffer (with others): Climate science and modelling

Note special location: Scott Polar Museum

Week 8 (29 November)
Matt Farr: The direction of causation

  • Price, Huw, and Brad Weslake, 'The Time-Asymmetry of Causation', in Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock and Peter Menzies (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Causation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 414–443

Lent Term

Week 1 (24 January)
Lauren Kassell: Medical records and the history of medicine

Week 2 (31 January)
Jim Secord: Knowledge in transit

Week 3 (7 February)
Liba Taub and Dániel Margócsy: What is a scientific instrument?

Note special location: Whipple Museum

Week 4 (14 February)
Agnes Bolinska: Scientific representation

Week 5 (21 February)
Joseph Martin: Contingency, counterfactuals and causation

Week 6 (28 February)
Discussion: How to research and write a dissertation

Week 7 (7 March)
Discussion: TBC

Week 8 (14 March)
Drop-in office hours with MPhil and Part III Managers