Evolution across Disciplines

Course Requirement Areas: 
Metaphysics and Epistemology
Course Description: 

In this course, students will get an in-depth knowledge about evolution as a historically changing and philosophically relevant concept that plays multiple roles in contemporary sciences, be it in biology itself, cognitive sciences, in sociology and anthropology, in economics, or in the humanities. The ultimate goal of the course is to enable students to appreciate and also to critically reflect the use of such a ubiquitous concept across disciplines. The course has Research and Publish Lab sessions attached to it. Students will have the opportunity to train three kinds of know-how related to research and its publication: (a) know-how to write different formats of texts, (b) know-how to use professional databases for research, and (c) know-how to publish one’s research results. The course-cum-lab setup will allow in-depth reflection and practice of the targeted know-how in relation to actual study assignments connected with the course.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will:

  • understand the history and contemporary philosophical and scientific issues about evolutionary thinking.
  • understand the impact of evolution on related issues in the philosophy of science such as explanation, agency, individuals, species.
  • understand major critiques of evolutionary thinking across disciplines.
  • acquire the three kinds of know-how mentioned in the course description.

1/4 participation in class and group activities, 3/4 written assignments.

Written assignments (graded, replace term paper):

  • Book review (1000 words)
  • Literature report on your topic of choice (500 words)
  • Argumentative piece on your topic of choice (3000 words) (Final submission deadline of your argumentative piece: standard departmental deadline)
  • Peer review (250 words)

Activities: In addition to the Lab activities, each student has to do provide two presentations: a presentation on material related to the book we read and a presentation on research literature with respect to the research focus the student chooses during the course.

Students are required to share their drafts with other students via the e-learning course site.

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