UNIT 2 PROMPT 1 DUE SUNDAY 9/16 AT 5:00 PM
Here is the prompt for your first post of this unit.
This unit’s artifact is the geocentric model of the universe.
(Optional exercise: figure out what the Latin means in this image.) It comes in different versions and goes by various names, including the “two-sphere universe” in Tuesday’s reading, as well as the “Aristotelian” and “Ptolemaic” models.
Whatever one calls it, our artifact is an example of what Kuhn calls a “conceptual scheme”, a central notion in Kuhn’s philosophy of science and in epistemology generally. Your reading sometimes uses the alternative term “cosmology”, but I will usually favor “conceptual scheme”, as it’s the more generic term, applying to sciences outside of astronomy, and perhaps even to the humanities.
In your post, address ONE of the following three topics:
1. What exactly is a conceptual scheme? See if you can define it in your own words, illustrating one or two of the functions of a conceptual scheme using an example from a science other than astronomy. (One place to look for an example would be our reading and lecture from last week. You might also think about the social sciences, which include history and psychology.)
2. Are there conceptual schemes in the humanities? If so, give an example. If not, explain why not. To focus your answer, you could think about a specific reading in the humanities, either in this class or another. For example, are any of the readings for Unit 1 guided by a conceptual scheme? If so, what does that scheme look like? Can it be pictured? Are the graphs you generated for Sept 4 indicative of a conceptual scheme at work? Explain.
3. Think back to the debate between Baldwin and Buckley. (You might want to review Baldwin’s opening remarks.) Compare what Baldwin calls a “sense of reality” or “system of reality” to what Kuhn calls a “conceptual scheme”. How are they similar? What are some of the important differences? Do you think Baldwin would welcome the comparison? Why or why not?
Aim for about 200 words total.
— Prof. Robb
Post before Sunday at 5:00. (If there are any changes to this deadline due to storm conditions, you will hear from Prof. Denham.)