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Grant number like: FW-50429-11

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Daniel Jeremy Selcer
Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0001)

Teaching Development Fellowships
Research Programs

$21,000 (approved)
$21,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 10/31/2011

Atomic Thought: Early Modern Philosophy and the History of Matter

The project involves research to revise an Early Modern Philosophy course to reflect the connection between philosophical thought and scientific practice in the seventeenth century, with a focus on the re-emergence of the Greek and Roman classical atomist tradition. The revision will involve both intensive work with primary philosophical and scientific texts, and development of an experimental pedagogy introducing students to the investigative methods and technical instruments used by early modern philosopher-scientists. The course revision is therefore intended to bring the history of scientific inquiry firmly within the purview of the humanities while also demonstrating that the history of humanistic inquiry is inextricably bound up with the scientific endeavor. This combination of philosophical inquiry with the experimental practices and tools of seventeenth century natural philosophy will bridge the gap between theory and practice and provide an enriched learning experience.