The History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Research Group is a small but dedicated group of historians, philosophers, scientists, and other interested individuals who meet monthly to discuss their ongoing research in the areas of history and philosophy of science and technology.
Faculty / Departments
- Stephen Blackwell, Ph.D., Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures (MFLL)-Russian
- Heather Douglas, Ph.D., Philosophy
- Millie Gimmel, Ph.D., MFLL-Spanish
- Jeff Kovac, Ph.D., Chemistry
- Bruce MacLennan, Ph.D., Computer Science
- Richard Pagni, Ph.D., Chemistry, emeritus
- Denise Phillips, Ph.D., History
- Ted Richards, Ph.D., Philosophy
History and Mission
In the fall of 2004, a small but dedicated group of historians, philosophers, scientists and other interested individuals began to meet monthly to discuss their ongoing research in the areas of history and philosophy of science and technology. While the core members of the group have remained relatively stable, the group has also welcomed many graduated students and faculty members who participate only occasionally. In 2005, we became a colloquy under the auspices of University Studies, and for the 2007–08 academic year we functioned as a formal research seminar under the Humanities Initiative, bringing in two notable historians of science for public lectures and small group discussions. During the fall 2009 semester, we hosted a seminar on the intersection of science and literature that brought four highly regarded international figures to campus for cross-disciplinary dialogue with the UTK community.
Core members work in such diverse areas as cognitive science; early modern European and indigenous science and medicine; nineteenth-century Germany; contemporary ethics; science in public policy; values in science, aesthetics, science, and literature; and physical chemistry. In spite of the diversity of our interests, we have similar backgrounds in the history and philosophy of science and have found that presenting our works in progress is a valuable step in readying a project for publication in venues within our respective disciplines and in interdisciplinary journals. Numerous articles read by the group have either been published in peer-reviewed journals or are under review at such journals. We have also read chapters from book manuscripts that our members have since successfully published. Our forum has allowed us to prepare works for presentation at conferences and to help graduate students revise chapters of their dissertations either before their defense or for publication afterward.
This research group is unique, not only in that it is interdisciplinary but also in that it crosses the boundaries between science and the humanities. Our discussions are rich because of the breadth of our collective knowledge, and we look forward to including others who might find participation in such a group fruitful.
Selected Recent Publications
Blackwell, Steven. The Quill and the Scalpel: Nabokov’s Art and the Worlds of Science. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, forthcoming September, 2009.
Douglas, Heather. Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal. University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming May 2009.
Gimmel, Millie. “Reading Medicine in the Codex de la Cruz Badiano.” Journal of the History of Ideas. 69.2 (2008), 169–192.
Kovac, Jeff. “Moral Rules, Moral Ideals and Use-Inspired Research,” Science and Engineering Ethics. 13 (2007). 159–169.
MacLennan, B. J. “Designing the Virtual: Software Engineering,” section 5 of “Aesthetic Values in Technology and Engineering Design,” Technological Sciences, vol. 9 part VI.7 of Handbook of the Philosophy of Science (16 vols.), ed. Dov Gabbay, Paul Thagard, & John Woods. Elsevier Science. In press.
Pagni, R. M. “The Origin and Development of the Acidity Function.” Foundation of Chemistry. In press.
Phillips, Denise. “Science, Myth and Eastern Souls: J. S. C. Schweigger and the Society for the Spread of Natural Knowledge and Higher Truth,” East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine. 2007.
Richards, Ted. “Killing One to Save Five: A Test of Two Hartman-style Value Calculuses,” Journal of Formal Axiology. 1, 187–205 (2008).
Millie Gimmel, Ph.D.
Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
The University of Tennessee
701 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0470
Posted: Dec. 21, 2009 | Modified: Apr. 03, 2013 | Category: Humanities
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