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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Part III students' guide

MPhil students' guide

Part III Manager: Helen Curry
MPhil Managers: Marta Halina and Staffan Müller-Wille


Part III and MPhil Lectures and Seminars 2021–22

The HPSM MPhil/HPS Part III Lectures, which are mandatory for all students enrolled on these courses, will be held on Wednesdays from 3.00–4.30pm in the Hopkinson Lecture Theatre. Any lecture-based portion of these meetings will be recorded for students who cannot attend; discussion or Q&A will not be.

Students from other courses who wish to attend one of these lectures should obtain permission in advance from the lecturer.

Each lecturer will offer at least one follow-up discussion on their topic, for students who wish to discuss the subject in-depth with a smaller group. This discussion session will typically be held on Monday from 10.00–11.30am in HPS Seminar Room 1. It will be capped at 14 participants; students must sign up for this session in advance on Moodle.

If more than 14 students wish to attend the follow-up discussion, the lecturer will make a second session available when possible, typically on Wednesday from 10.00–11.30am.


Michaelmas Term

Week 1 (13 October)

Helen Anne Curry: Histories of extinction

Week 2 (20 October)

Marta Halina: Kinds of minds

Week 3 (27 October)

Tim Lewens and Stephen John: Is, can or should science be 'value-free'?

Week 4 (3 November)

Simon Schaffer and Josh Nall: Instruments and empires

Week 5 (10 November)

Staffan Müller-Wille: Race and history

Week 6 (17 November)

Hasok Chang: Realism, relativism and pluralism

Week 7 (24 November)

Salim Al-Gailani: COVID-19 and the history of medicine

Week 8 (1 December)

Jacob Stegenga: The sciences of sexual desire


    Lent Term

    Week 1 (26 January)

    Anna Alexandrova: Evidence-based policy and its discontents

    Week 2 (2 February)

    Richard Staley: Defining climatic periods and making climate history

    Week 3 (9 February)

    Mary Brazelton: Histories of global health

    Week 4 (16 February)

    Liba Taub and Dániel Margócsy: What is a scientific instrument?

    Week 5 (23 February)

    Matt Farr: Does time have a direction?

    Week 7 (9 March)

    Marta Halina: How to think about the dissertation – philosophy

    Week 8 (16 March)

    Staffan Müller-Wille and Helen Anne Curry: How to think about the dissertation – history