Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

PHI 4333. Philosophy of Science.
Study of the nature, methods, and principles of modern science. Treatment of topics such as the nature of facts, laws, and theories; the role of mathematics in science; explanation, description, and proof; the philosophical presuppositions of realism and other approaches to nature; rationality of scientific change; philosophic problems posed by relativity and evolution.

HIS 4350. Scientific Revolutions.
A contextual intellectual history of critical episodes in the development of modern natural science, exploring the boundaries between the sciences as autonomous disciplines and the historical circumstances in which they have developed. Beginning with overviews of ancient and medieval natural philosophy and of the Scientific Revolution, it then proceeds to a range of more modern topics, including: the chemical revolution; the discovery of deep, especially geological, time; electromagnetism, relativity and quantum physics; the molecular revolution in biology.

BIO 2317. Disease and Society.
The history of infectious disease and mankind are remarkably intertwined. From diseases that date back to antiquity, such as tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria, to emerging pathogens such as West Nile and SARS, this course will explore the history of infectious disease and its impact on modern civilization. Students will explore how continuously changing technology, ecological conditions, and social practices have impacted the spread of infection. The course will examine the role of our public health institutions in disease control and prevention, including eradication and vaccination efforts. Additionally, students will study contemporary issues such as the rise in autoimmunity and antibiotic resistance.

BIO 2148. Darwin.
Investigations of the life and discoveries of Charles Darwin. Beginning with pre-Darwinian ideas on transmutation. Darwin's life is outlined from the voyage of the Beagle to the publication of the theory of natural selections and its subsequent reception by scientific and nonscientific community. Commentary from critics and supporters of Darwin's work aid in understanding the current status of the theory of natural selection and its influence.

ECO 4325. History of Economic Thought.
The development of economic philosophy from its origins in ancient Greece to current developments in modern microeconomic theory and macroeconomic theory. Emphasis on original texts by Aristotle, Aquinas, Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes, and Hayek et al. The historical, cultural and social context within which economic theory developed, and how real economic and philosophical currents influence inquiry and innovation in economic science and practice.

HUSC 3331: Foundations of the Human Sciences.
An investigation into the historical emergence and durable legacy of the modern disciplines that aim to scientifically understand human societies and cultures. The course will include the reading of authors central to fields like anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and social psychology. Topics such as the significance of the concepts 'society' and 'culture', debates about the scientific character of social and human sciences, the differentiation of the various fields of the human sciences and their relations to other disciplines, the fundamental interdisciplinarity of the human sciences, and future prospects for the social, behavioral, and human sciences

MAT 3322. History and Philosophy of Mathematics.
The history of the development of mathematics, the lives and ideas of noted mathematicians.

PSY 3330. History of Psychology.
Study of the history and genealogy of psychology, as a science in the broad sense, as a set of practices, and as institutions in the modern world. The relationships between these contemporary disciplines and earlier ways of grasping human nature are developed, without assuming that what we call psychology existed in the past. Focus on the pivotal period from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Emphasis on the multiple traditions in psychology.

HUSC 3312: Science, Technology, and Society.
A study of the characteristics and growth of the modern sciences, their effects on society and culture, and the emergence of technological civilization. Topics such as the nature of scientific research and the application of sciences, big science vs. little science, the limits of scientific and technical knowledge, the political and economic power of science and technology, effects on individual and social ways of life, the rise of technicized industry and mass media, the relations between science, technology, and religion, and ethics in science and technology

PHI 4334. Bioethics.
Analysis of contemporary moral issues in the biomedical sciences and biotechnology from the viewpoints of major philosophical traditions. Treatment of topics such as moral theories and scientific knowing; ethical questions and principles; stages of moral development and the law of reason; realists, relativists, determinists, emotivists; moral dilemmas; axiology; obligations in the healing relationship; ethical "work-up" procedures.

THE 4346. Faith and Science.
An examination of the apparent tension between the method and discoveries of modern science and the Christian faith's theological approach to nature and the human person. The resources developed by the Christian tradition for approaching secular learning are used as a foundation for examining and critiquing the theories of contemporary authors on the relation between science and faith, focusing on central issues such as the origin of the universe and the evolution of the human species. Includes discussion of key historical episodes such as the Galileo controversy and debates over evolution.

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