Workshop with Adrian Currie "Science & the Deep Past"
Based on his book Rock, Bone and Ruin: An Optimist’s Guide to the Historical Sciences (MIT Press 2018)
Time: 18-21 March 2019
Venue: Jakobi 2-114 (Philosophicum – all seminars and public lectures) and Vanemuise 46 (University of Tartu Natural History Museum), Tartu, Estonia
Target group: students and young scholars of philosophy and natural sciences (incl archaeology)
Credit points and assessment (optional): 3 ECTS, non-differentiated
Maximum number of participants: 25
A limited number of travel bursaries is available for foreign participants.
To obtain credit points, the participant must write an essay of 4-6 pages on some topic of the workshop, to be submitted two weeks after the workshop ends.
More detailed information: The deep past is a surprising place. Enormous glaciers cover the globe, alien creatures roam, and unique cultural traditions thrive. Palaeontologists, geologists and archaeologists (as well as cosmologists, evolutionary biologists and others) attempt to uncover and understand the deep past: events occurring thousands, millions or even billions of years ago. Such a task is challenging: the remnants of the deep past are often scattered and incomplete and the idiosyncrasy and scale of such events stymies experimentation. On the face of it the gold standards of science, good, repeatable data generated through experimental intervention is denied to us. Yet, our knowledge of the deep past progresses at pace: becoming richer, more sophisticated. What explains the success of these sciences in the face of such challenges? Is there anything distinctive about historical sciences compared to other sciences? What do such sciences teach us about the nature of history? Are there lessons to be drawn about knowledge generally from our knowledge of the past?
The course consists of lectures and seminars, and includes practical work and visit to a local museum.
Participants must read through the book underlying the workshop before the beginning of the workshop.
There is no participation fee and there are a limited number of travel bursaries available for graduate students from abroad.
Adrian Currie is a philosophy lecturer at the University of Exeter. He did his post-doctoral internships in Calgary and Cambridge. His main research interests are in the philosophy of historical sciences, scientific practice, scientific methodologies. His personal website.
Additional information: Ave Mets avemets [ät] ut.ee
This event is supported by the University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA (European Regional Development Fund).