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Part III and MPhil

Part III students' guide

MPhil student's guide

Part III Manager: Agnes Bolinska
MPhil Managers: Anna Alexandrova and Joseph Martin

Part III and MPhil Lectures 2018–19

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 (10 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 (17 October)
Nick Hopwood: Icons of knowledge

Week 3 (24 October)
Mary Brazelton: Global health histories

  • Petryna, Adriana, Life Exposed (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), introduction and ch. 5–6

Week 4 (31 October)
Tim Lewens and Stephen John: Is, can or should science be 'value-free'?

Week 5 (7 November)
Agnes Bolinska: Scientific representation

Week 6 (14 November)
Simon Schaffer and Richard Staley: Materiality and scientific instruments

Week 7 (21 November)
Joseph Martin: Contingency, counterfactuals and causation

Week 8 (28 November)
Richard Staley and Simon Schaffer (with others): Climate science and modelling

Note special location: Scott Polar Museum

Lent Term

Week 1 (23 January)
Jim Secord: Knowledge in transit

Week 2 (30 January)
Riana Betzler: Classifying people

  • Hacking, Ian, 'The Looping Effects of Human Kinds', in Dan Sperber, David Premack and Anne James Premack (eds), Causal Cognition: A Multi-Disciplinary Debate (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 351–383

Week 3 (6 February)
Liba Taub and Dániel Margócsy: What is a scientific instrument?

Note special location: Whipple Museum

Week 4 (13 February)
Matt Farr: The direction of time

  • 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