We currently live in a “post truth” era where it is often difficult to discern fact from “fake news”. How can we use science to respond to the criticisms of those in power that might disagree with our fundamental assumptions about the reliability of scientific facts? Anticipating and addressing these challenges requires an understanding of the fundamental connections between the three disciplines of this 360: Biology, Philosophy, and Political Science.
Science, Power, and Truth Courses:
Biology 332: Global Change Biology
Global changes to our environment present omnipresent environmental challenges. We are only beginning to understand the complex interactions between organisms and the rapidly changing environment. In this course, taught by Tom Mozdzer, students explore the effects of global change on ecosystems by analyzing the primary literature and the latest IPCC report, giving them the opportunity to consider ways field experts and others write and share observations about their work.
Philosophy 211: Theory of Knowledge
Varieties of realism and relativism address questions about what sorts of things exist and the constraints on our knowledge of them. The aim of this course, taught by Collin Rice, is to develop a sense of how these theories interrelate, and to instill philosophical skills in the critical evaluation of them. Discussions are based on contemporary readings.
Political Science 290: Power and Resistance
What more is there to politics than power? What is the force of the “political” for specifying power as a practice or institutional form? What distinguishes power from authority, violence, coercion, and domination? How is power embedded in and generated by cultural practices, institutional arrangements, and processes of normalization? This course seeks to address questions of power and politics in the context of domination, oppression, and the arts of resistance. General topics include authority, the moralization of politics, the dimensions of power, the politics of violence (and the violence of politics), language, sovereignty, emancipation, revolution, domination, normalization, governmentality, genealogy, and democratic power. Taught by Joel Schlosser.