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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 Seminars 2021–22

The Department's Part III and HPSM MPhil students must attend these seminars. They are not open to anyone else.


Michaelmas Term

Weeks 1 and 2

Marta Halina: Kinds of minds

  • Dennett, Daniel, Kinds of Minds (Basic Books, 1996), chapters 1–4

Helen Anne Curry: Histories of extinction

  • Qureshi, Sadiah, 'Dying Americans: Race, Extinction and Conservation in the New World', in A. Swenson and P. Mandler (eds), From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire, c. 1800–1940, Proceedings of the British Academy 187 (2013), 267–286
  • Sepkoski, David, 'Extinction, Diversity and Endangerment', in F. Vidal and N. Dias (eds), Endangerment, Biodiversity and Culture (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 62–86
  • TallBear, Kim, 'Genomic Articulations of Indigeneity', Social Studies of Science 43 (2013), 509–533

Weeks 3 and 4

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

Simon Schaffer and Josh Nall: Instruments and empires

Weeks 5 and 6

Staffan Müller-Wille: Race and history

  • Doron, Claude-Olivier, 'Race and Genealogy. Buffon and the Formation of the Concept of "Race"', HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (2012), 75–109
  • López Beltrán, Carlos, 'Hippocratic bodies, temperament and castas in Spanish America (1570–1820)', Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 8 (2007), 253–289
  • Seth, Suman, 'Materialism, Slavery, and the History of Jamaica', Isis 105 (2014), 764–772

Hasok Chang: Realism, relativism and pluralism

  • Chang, Hasok, 'Relativism, Perspectivism and Pluralism', in Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism (London and New York: Routledge, 2020), pp. 398–406
  • Chang, Hasok, 'Pragmatism, Perspectivism, and the Historicity of Science', in Michela Massimi and Casey D. McCoy (eds), Understanding Perspectivism: Scientific Challenges and Methodological Prospects (New York and London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 10–27

Weeks 7 and 8

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

Lauren Kassell: Medical records and digital humanities


Lent Term

Weeks 1 and 2

Anna Alexandrova: Evidence-based policy and its discontents

Richard Staley: Defining climatic periods and making climate history

Weeks 3 and 4

Mary Brazelton: Decolonization and the history of science

Jacob Stegenga: The sciences of sexual desire

Weeks 5 and 6

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

Another seminar TBC

Weeks 7 and 8

Dissertation information sessions