Browse All Undergraduate Courses

HPS100H1 - Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Staff  (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

An investigation of some pivotal periods in the history of science with an emphasis on the influences of philosophy on the scientists of the period, and the philosophical and social implications of the scientific knowledge, theory and methodology that emerged.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS110H1 - The Science of Human Nature

Marga Vicedo and Mark Solovey  (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

Why do we do what we do? What factors play a role in shaping our personality? What biological and social elements help configure a person’s moral and emotional character? In this course, we examine landmark studies that shook standard beliefs about human nature in their time. We analyze those studies in their historical context and discuss their relevance to social, ethical, and policy debates. The studies may include research on mother love, obedience, conformity, bystander intervention in emergencies, deception, race and gender stereotypes.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS120H1 - How to Think About Science

Denis Walsh (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course addresses the nature of science and its importance to our understanding of ourselves. Questions include: What is a science? Is science objective? What is scientific reasoning? Has our conception of science changed through history? How does science shape our moral image? Does science reveal our natures as humans?

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS200H1 - Science and Values

Staff (24 Lectures)

An introduction to issues at the interface of science and society. Including the reciprocal influence of science and social norms, the relation of science and religion, dissemination of scientific knowledge, science and policy. Issues may include: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons; Genetic Engineering; The Human Genome Project; Climate Change.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS202H1 - Technology in the Modern World

Rebecca Woods (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course examines the reciprocal relationship between technology and society since 1800 from the perspectives of race, class, and gender. From the role of European imperial expansion in 19th-century industrialization and mechanization to the development of nuclear technology, smartphones, and digital computers in the 20th century, we consider cultural responses to new technologies, and the ways in which technology operates as an historical force in the history of the modern world.

Recommended Preparation: HPS201H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS203H1 - Making Sense of Uncertainty

Chen-Pang Yeang  (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course examines issues of uncertainty in various contexts of science, technology, and society since the 19th century. Topics may include randomized controlled trials, statistical identification of normal and pathological, biopolitics, philosophical interpretations of probability, Brownian motions, uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, cybernetic mind, and chance in avant-garde arts.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS205H1 - Science, Technology, and Empire

Elise Burton (24 Lectures, 6 Tutorials)

This gateway course introduces the emergence of the modern science and technology and the rise of European mercantile and colonial empires as closely intertwined processes. Beginning with the European discovery of the Americas, this course provides a broad thematic overview of the transformation of scientific practices in imperial contexts, including but not limited to geography and cartography; medical botany and plantation agriculture; biogeography and evolutionary biology; ecology and environmentalism; and race science and anthropology. The course primarily focuses on British and French colonial contexts in South Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas, but also considers Iberian, Russian, Dutch, and other imperial formations.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS206H1 - Science and State: Science and the Forming of Modern Nations

Wen-Ching Sung (24 Lectures, 12 Tutorials)

In this course, we will learn about the complicated relations between science and state in the modern world.  The state is often the main patronage to scientists.  Science and technology have played crucial parts in political, economic, social, and cultural development. For poor countries, science has been a solution to catch up with rich countries.  Yet the risk of science and technologies often unequally falls on the developing world.  Drawing from anthropological, social, and historical studies of science, we will examine, among other topics, science and nation-building from ethnicity, population control, internet, big data, technocracy, scientists’ self-fashioning and global capitalism.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS210H1 - Scientific Revolutions I

Brian Baigrie (24 Lectures)

Case studies in the history of science from antiquity to 1800, including the revolutionary work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Linnaeus, Lavoisier, and Herschel. The course is designed to be accessible to science students and non-scientists alike.

Exclusion: HPS200Y1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS211H1 - Scientific Revolutions II

Brian Baigrie (24 Lectures)

Case studies in the history of science from 1800 to 2000, including Volta, Lyell, Darwin, Mendel, Einstein, Schrödinger, Watson, and Crick. The course is designed to be accessible to science students and non-scientists alike.

Exclusion: HPS200Y1, HPS300Y0
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS222H1 - Science, Paradoxes, and Knowledge

Joseph Berkovitz (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

The course will focus on the bearings that philosophical views had on science in different periods in history. We shall consider philosophical conceptions of space, time, and matter in Ancient Greece, the Early Modern Period and the 20th century; the influence of religious views on science in the 17th and 18th centuries; the analysis of scientific knowledge in the 17th  and 18th centuries; and 20th century views of the nature of science and its history.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS240H1 - The Influence of the Eugenics Movement on Contemporary Society

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course explores present-day topics such as reproductive issues (including “designer babies” and genetic counselling), gender, racism/colonialism, disability and euthanasia through the lens of the history of eugenics.  A “scientific” movement which became popular around the world in the early twentieth century, eugenics was based on the principle that certain undesirable human characteristics were hereditary and could be eliminated by controlled reproduction.  It resulted in the enactment of laws in numerous places, including Canada, authorizing coerced reproductive sterilization of certain individuals, and other measures intended to “improve” humanity. Today, we see its influences woven through contemporary debates, a number of which we will consider.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS245H1 - Visions of Society and Progress

Mark Solovey (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course explores influential visions of society and progress found in the history of the human sciences. It addresses questions such as: Are human beings naturally selfish or cooperative? Is society in harmony with the individual or opposed to the individual? It explores the significance of race, class, population growth, capitalism, and gender in debates about the good society.

Recommended preparation: One half course in any of the following: HPS, history, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, or another field that intersects with the social sciences such as criminology.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS250H1 - Introductory Philosophy of Science

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course introduces and explores central issues in the philosophy of science, including scientific inference, method, and explanation. Topics may include underdetermination, realism and empiricism, and laws of nature.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS255H1 - History and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course introduces students to the historical and philosophical issues around artificial intelligence (AI). We will cover the geopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts from which the field of AI emerged, as well as the troubled history of the scientific concept of intelligence and how that has influenced the development of AI. The course will also introduce students to foundational and normative questions, such as how we should define and measure AI, how to evaluate the accomplishments of AI systems, and what the benefits and risks of relying on such systems might be.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS260H1- Biology and the Future: Science and Science Fiction

Nikolai Krementsov (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This lecture course explores the fantastic visions of humanity’s future inspired by the advance of the biological sciences during the twentieth century. Biology provided the scientific underpinning for societal hopes and fears embodied in such cultural icons as robots, aliens, “brains in a vat,” and super-humans.

Exclusion: HMB444H1
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS270H1 - Science and Literature

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course will focus on the interplay between science and literature from ancient Greece to the present day. We’ll examine the impact of major scientific paradigm shifts on the literature of their time, and situate literary texts within the context of contemporary scientific discoveries and technological innovations.

Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS272H1 - Science against Religion? A Complex History

Yiftach Fehige (12 Lectures)

This course introduces to the central topics arising from the encounter between modern science and religion. It aims to integrate historical and philosophical perspectives about science and religion. Did modern science arise because of Christianity or despite of it? Are science and religion necessarily in conflict? Have they factually always been in conflict throughout history? Are proofs of God’s existence obsolete? Has science secularized society? What role should religions play in liberal democracies?

Exclusions: HPS326H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS280H1- History of Science

Humanities and Social Science elective
This course surveys the development of science from Antiquity to the modern times. We focus on a number of selected topics, ranging from the mechanical worldview to particle physics, from the classification of species to molecular biology, from the introduction of laboratory to the interaction between war and science. Our aim is to explore how and why science came to its current form and status by addressing crucial discoveries and conceptual breakthroughs, conditions and standards indispensable to scientific research, and principal mutual influences between science and society.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS283H1 - The Engineer in History (Engineering Course)

The emphasis in this course will be more on the history of engineers as workers, members of professional groups, and managers rather than engineering proper, although obviously engineering cannot be ignored when we talk about engineers’ work.  The aim of the course is to give an understanding of the heritage of engineers as participants in the economy and society.

 

HPS300H1 - Topics in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology: The Limits of Machine Intelligence

Karina Vold (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

At a time when headline-making AI breakthroughs are an almost daily occurrence, it might seem that we are on the cusp of living with artificial systems that match or exceed human intelligence. But there are longstanding philosophical challenges around the definition of intelligence, how we measure it, and what machines could really be capable of, that still need addressing. For example, could a machine ever be conscious, or creative, or have common-sense? What do AI researchers and developers mean by “intelligence” and how does this compare to how the term is used in other branches of cognitive science? How close are we to building human-level AI and what do we need to get us there? This course addresses these questions head on.

Exclusion: HPS211H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS300Y0 - Britain and the Rise of Modern Science

Brian Baigrie  (48 Lectures, 24 Practical)

Offered through Summer Abroad Program.

A Historical exploration of Britain’s role in the rise of modern science, from the Renaissance to the double helix. Students will be introduced to the work of Hooke, Newton, Cavendish, Davy, Faraday, Maxwell, Rutherford, and others.

Exclusion: HPS211H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS301H1 - Topics in the History of Science 

This course can concern topics of special interest in the history of science from Antiquity until present. Topics may focus on specific-time periods, fields of inquiry, individuals, scientific institutions, or geographic locations.

Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1) 

HPS302H1 - Topics in Philosophy of Science

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course can concern topics of special interest in the philosophy of science from Antiquity until present. Topics may include scientific change, rationality, method, evidence, progress, reduction, scientific laws, models, representation etc. The course may also focus on specific-time periods, fields of inquiry, individuals, scientific institutions, geographic locations, etc.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS304H1 - A History Lab: Biomedical Sciences, Past and Present

Nikolai Krementsov (36 Seminars)

Offers a hands-on introduction to historical research. Through a close examination of classic scholarly texts, archival materials, and recent media publications, this advanced seminar explores the sources, methods, and approaches in historical studies of biomedical twentieth century-sciences.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS307H1 - History of Energy

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

The history of human control of various sources of energy, including technical developments, scientific theories, and impact on culture and society. Recent debates on fossil fuel and nuclear power examined in historical context. (offered irregularly)

Recommended Preparation:: HPS201H1/HPS202H1 or any HIS course
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS309H1 - Worldviews 1: Aristotelian-Medieval Worldview

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course reconstructs the Aristotelian-medieval mosaic of theories including physics, cosmology, theology, astronomy/astrology, optics, and physiology/medicine. We analyze the role of metaphysics in medieval science, including determinism/indeterminism, plenism/vacuism, finitism/infinitism, theism/deism, and teleology/mechanism. Finally, we explicate the Aristotelian-medieval method, by focusing on the notions of demonstrative truth, intuition, and deduction.

Recommended Preparation: HPS100H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JPH 311H1 - From Universal Gravity to Quantum Information: The Making of Modern Physics

Chen-Pang Yeang (24 Lectures)

Topics in the history of physics from antiquity to the 20th century, including Aristotelian physics, Galileo, Descartes, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, relativity, quantum physics, and particle physics. The development of theories in their intellectual and cultural contexts.

Prerequisite: At least one-half PHY course at university level
Exclusion: HPS311H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5)

HPS313H1 - Two Hundred Years of Electricity

Chen-Pang Yeang (24 Seminars)

A history of the science and technology of electricity in the 19th and 20th centuries in its social, economic, and cultural context.

Recommended Preparation: Any half course in CSC/PHY or Electrical Engineering (ECE).
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities or Science
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS316H1 - Environment, Technology, and Nature

Rebecca Woods (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course examines the intersection of technology and environment in the modern world. Whether simple or complex, whether designed for recreation, work, or warfare, our tools and how we use them filter our perceptions of, and engagements with, non-human nature. Emphasis is on case studies from 1800 to the present.

Prerequisite: 0.5 FCE in HPS or History
Recommended Preparation: HPS202H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS318H1 - History of Medicine I

Lucia Dacome (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course explores how medicine was practiced, taught and theorized from ancient Greece to the early modern period. It focuses on the historical development of western medicine in relation to societies, politics and culture, and considers topics such as the creation of medical traditions, the tranmission and communication of medical knowledge, the pluralistic world of healers, the role of religion, magic and natural philosophy, the cultural meaning of disease, and the emergence of institutions such as the hospital.

Prerequisite: First year students must have instructors approval
Exclusion: HPS314Y1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS319H1 - History of Medicine II

(24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course examines the development of medicine from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. It focuses on the historical development of western medicine in relation to societies, politics and culture and considers topics such as changing views of the body, the development of medical institutions such as hospitals, asylums and laboratories, the diversifies world of healing and the place of visual and material culture in the production and dissemination of medical knowledge.

Prerequisite: First year students must have instructors approval
Exclusion: HPS314Y1; HPS315H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS321H1 - Understanding Engineering Practice: From Design to Entrepreneurship

Chen-Pang Yeang (24 Seminars)

This course seeks to understand the nature of engineering practice, which comprises complex social, intellectual, and technical actions at various stages from design to entrepreneurship. Building upon the history and social studies of technology, philosophy of engineering, business history, and management science, we introduce ways to analyze such complex actions.

Prerequisite: Three courses with any combination of engineering, natural sciences, medical sciences, or commerce
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS322H1 - Complexity, Order, and Emergence

Denis Walsh (24 Seminars, 10 Tutorials)

A survey of the history of and recent developments in the scientific study of complex systems and emergent order. There will be particular emphasis on the biological and cognitive sciences. Topics covered may include: mechanism and teleology in the history of science, 19th and 20th century emergentism, complex systems dynamics, order and adaptiveness, self-organisation in biology and congitive development.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS324H1 - Natural Science & Social Issues

Yiftach Fehige (24 Lectures)

Historical examination of the interactions of science (both as body of knowledge and as enterprise) with ideological, political and social issues. The impact of science; attacks on and critiques of scientific expertise as background to contemporary conflicts. Subjects may vary according to students interests. (offered irregularly)

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS325H1 - Modern Science and Holy Texts

Yiftach Fehige (24 Lectures)

This course explores interdisciplinary topics related to the encounter between modern science and texts accepted as holy by religious communities, such as the Bible in Christianity. What role did holy texts play in the emergence of modern science? Did modern science change the way religious communities interpret their holy texts? What to do with claims such as that the Quran contains quantum physics? Does modern science exhibit the same kind of rationality that we find in rabbinical Judaism? Do holy texts only exist to assist humanity’s attempts at understanding the meaning of the world, while modern science actually explains the world? What role do texts play in modern science compared to holy texts in religious communities? And, what has modern science to say about the very idea of holy texts?

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS326H1 - History of Science and Religion

(24 Lectures)

From its origins in the Renaissance, modern science has developed in the context of European religious beliefs and institutions. Although cases of conflict like Galileo or the Monkey Trial are famous, more common are cases of scientists like Newton or Faraday whose religious convictions were crucial to their scientific success.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS333H1 - Famous Debates in Science

Joseph Berkovitz (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

The course focuses on famous debates in science, such as the Leibniz-Clarke debate on the nature of space, time and God, the Huxley-Wilberforce debate on evolution and the Bohr-Einstein debate on the nature of the quantum reality. The main aim is to explore the philosophical ideas involved in these debates in their historical context.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS345H1 - Quantifying the World: on the Ethical and Epistemic Implications of AI and Automation

Staff (24 Lectures)

The effects of automation, computing, and information technology have had a great impact on our society.  The rise of automation and computing the almost cult-like trust in mechanization have transformed our society both at the material and the epistemological level. This course will examine the epistemological and ethical debates that AI and automation have produced in all sectors of society. It will consider a variety of media and instruments from data visualization and mapping, to the use of AI and robotics, contextualizing them within popular and hotly contested examples in the military field and in cybersecurity, in medical diagnostics and epidemiology, in the automotive industry, and in the personal realm.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS346H1 - Modifying and Optimizing Life: on the Peculiar Alliance between AI, Biology, and Engineering

Staff (24 Lectures, 12 Tutorials)

Taking cue from the entanglements that historically have pervaded the relation between biology and information technology since the early 20C century, this course interrogates the sociocultural and technological conjuncture that has brought computer science, biology and engineering together into peculiar, ingenious, and often controversial alliances. What do AI, synthetic biology, and biotechnology have in common? How have they come to be associated? What are the debates and ethics emerging from such associations? The course will focus on topics such as: geoengineering and bioremediation; GMO and Robotic insects; the use of expert systems and machine learning to optimize synthetic biology; the flourishing and marketing of precision and personalized medicine/immunotherapy; and the ethics behind CRISPR babies.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS351H1 - Life Sciences and Society

Elise Burton (24 Lectures, 12 Tutorials)

This course examines how the contemporary life sciences intersect with global geopolitics through an introduction to the field of science and technology studies (STS). Using interdisciplinary methodologies and global perspectives, the course addresses key questions including: Who benefits from the development of new biotechnologies, and who is exploited in the process? Who sets the international norms of bioethics and medical market regulation? How are biologists and medical practitioners redefining life for different societies and their diverse constituencies? The course predominantly focuses on humans, but also introduces new scholarship on animal studies and synthetic life forms. It has significant coverage of the Middle East, Africa, and East and South Asia.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

JHE353H1 - History of Evolutionary Biology

Staff  (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

An examination of major ideas about biological evolution from the 18th century to the 1930’s and of their impact on scientific and social thought. Topics include the diversity of life and its classification, the adaptation of organisms to their environment, Wallace’s and Darwin’s views on evolution by natural selection, sexual selection, inheritance from Mendel to T.H. Morgan, eugenics, and the implications of evolution for religion, gender roles, and the organization of society.

Prerequisite: 6 full courses or equivalent
Exclusions: EEB353H1, HPS323H1, HPS353H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities and Science course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions

HPS354H1 - History of Medicine and Public Health in the Middle East

Elise Burton (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

This course provides a broad thematic overview of the history of medicine and public health in the Middle East. Focusing on the modern period, the course highlights the region as a contact zone of medical traditions and a key site in the emergence of colonial medicine and international public health. Students examine the social and cultural effects of new developments in medical thought and practice, including ideas about contagion and disease prevention; the notion of public health and hygiene; eugenics and forensic medicine; and the construction of colonial and postcolonial medical schools and hospitals.

Prerequisites: A minimum of 4.0 course credit or instructor’s approval
Recommended Preparation: A prior course in HPS, History, or NMC
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS356H1 - Child Science: Knowing and Caring for Children in Modern World

Wen-Ching Sung (24 Lectures, 12 Tutorials)

‘Childhood’ associates with diverse meanings throughout human history.  In a western industrial society, the responsibility of childcare mainly falls upon parents’ shoulders, with help from various professionals. Also, knowing and caring for children have evolved into distinct fields across life sciences, humanities, and social science.  The child science ranges from education, developmental psychology, and child and adolescent psychology, etc.  The development of these disciplines further shapes our views of children and modify parenting practices. In this course, we will draw on empirical studies to examine how the science of children and childcare penetrates families and schools to structure the daily life of children in the modern world.

Prerequisite: a minimum of 4.0 FCE’s or instructor’s approval
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a humanities and social science course
Depth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

JHE355H1 - History and Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

An examination of the place of the organism in evolutionary theory from the early 1900s to the present. Biology is the science of living things, and yet, paradoxically, living things – organisms – have been comprehensively left out of the Modern Synthesis theory of evolution that developed in the twentieth century. This course surveys the reasons–historical, philosophical and empirical–for the marginalization of organisms from evolutionary theory. It examines the ways in which evolutionary developmental biology attempts to restore the organisms to a central in evolutionary biology.

Prerequisite: 6 full courses, including two half-courses or one full-year course in any one or more of EEB, BIO or HPS
Exclusion: EEB355H1/HPS333H1/HPS355H1
Recommended Preparation: JHE353H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS360H1 - History of Modern Cosmology

Craig Fraser (24 Lectures)

Conceptions of the universe since 1800 with attention to observational sources of changing ideas. History of large telescopes, stellar spectroscopy and radio astronomy. Relativistic conceptions of space and time, models of stellar evolution, discovery of extra-galactic nebulae, Hubble red-shift and microwave background radiation. Philosophical and religious implications are examined.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS370H1 - Philosophy of Medicine

Staff (24 Lectures)

This course introduces students to philosophical issues in the study of medicine. The course will cover foundational questions, such as what constitutes evidence that a therapy is effective, how do we define health and disease, and information derived from research is used to support clinical practice. Students will be introduced to different movements in contemporary clinical medicine, such as Evidence-based Medicine, Person-Centered Healthcare, and Precision Medicine.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 FCE
Recommended preparation: HPS250H1

HPS371H1 - COVID-19: Epistemology and Societal Implications

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in our daily lives. This course will examine the pandemic and the public response through a philosophy of science lens. In particular, students will explore philosophical issues about how the healthcare community generates knowledge and how that knowledge is used to inform responses to a major public health crisis. The course will also provide a brief history of pandemics and examine Coronavirus in a historical context. Epistemological issues regarding pandemic modelling and epidemiology, clinical research and generalizability of findings, diagnostic testing, public health response (e.g. border closures, protective masks, social distancing, isolation, testing and tracking), and economic and social impact will be covered. Portrayals of the pandemic by media, government, and scientists will also be examined. Readings will be drawn from a variety of academic disciplines and popular sources. Assignments will consist of written reflections on course material and a term paper.

Prerequisite: At least 4.0 FCE
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS390H1 - The Story of Number: Mathematics from the Babylonians to the Scientific Revolution

Craig Fraser  (36 Lectures)

A survey of ancient, medieval, and early modern mathematics with emphasis on historical issues. (Offered in alternate years)

Prerequisite: At least one full course equivalent at the 200+level from CSC/MAT/STA
Exclusion: HPS310Y1; MAT220Y1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS391H1 - Rebels who Count: The History of Mathematics from 1700 to the present

Staff (24 Lectures, 10 Practical)

A survey of the development of mathematics from 1700 to the present with emphasis on historical issues. (Offered in alternate years)

Prerequisite: At least one full course equivalent at the 200+level from CSC/MAT/STA
Exclusion: HPS310Y1; MAT220Y1, MAT391H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities or Science course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS395Y1 - Science, Development, and Innovation in Contemporary China

Wen-Ching Sung (48 Lectures, 24 Practical)

Offered through Summer Abroad Program.

Science and technology not only are vehicles to build a modern state, but also serve impetus for economic development in many countries. In China, the development of science has intertwined with the transformation from self reliance to an integrated node of global economy, and from planned to market economy. We will use science and technology as a lens to analyze China’s resent social changes from Mao era to post Mao years. Utilizing interdisciplinary research, we will critically exam the concepts and practices of development, innovation, and science and technology. The course design also includes field trips to key sites of innovations in China, including museums for Chinese medicine, IT and biotech companies, and makers’ lab in Shenzhen.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities and Social Sciences course
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1), Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS401H1 - Scientific Artifacts

Staff (24 Seminars, 12 Tutorials)

This course explores the history of science through direct engagement with local scientific artifacts within the University of Toronto Scientific Instrument Collection (UTSIC.org). Each student will undertake a research project focused on a single artifact within the collection in order to explore both the local history of science and the methodology of material culture research as it relates to science.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS402H1 -  Beyond the Human: Animals in the Histories of Science and Technology

Rebecca Woods (24 Seminars)

Nonhuman animals are central to the production of scientific facts and artifacts. They also exhibit little innate respect for anthropogenic political boundaries, making their study an effective way into transnational histories of science and technology. This advanced seminar will revisit classic themes in the history of science and technology—the rise of the laboratory; the development of natural history; experimental systems; categories of race, gender, and sex—from the perspective of nonhuman animals. Doing so will allow us to examine what technoscientific practice looks like when mice, monkeys, and Drosophila flies take center stage; and to bring nonwestern species, knowledges, practices, and places into existing narratives about the history of science and technology in the “West.”

Prerequisite: Any 300-level HPS course or permission of the instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS410H1 - History of Mathematics

Craig Fraser  (24 Seminars)

Cross-listed course: HPS2000H

An historical survey from pre-Greek to the present. Various themes are emphasized year to year, to show mathematics as changing and evolving. A student could expect to gain an historical overview as well as a sense of the unity of the mathematical sciences.

Prerequisite: HPS309Y1/HPS310Y1/HPS390H1/HPS391H1/MAT220Y1 and permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS411H1 - Conceptual Foundations of Mathematics

Craig Fraser (24 Seminars)

An examination of foundational and conceptual aspects of mathematics such as: the nature of mathematical objects, logicism, Church’s elementalistic mathematics, Gödel’s theorem and formal systems, postulational methods, mathematics and reality, the cardinal, ordinal and abstract approaches to numbers, infinity, and Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Prerequisite: PHL245H1/HPS390H1 or HPS391H1 or HPS410H1 or permission of the instructor
Exclusion: PHL346H1
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities or Science
Breadth Requirement: The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5)

HPS412H1 - History of the Biological Sciences

Marga Vicedo (24 Seminars)

Advanced level survey of biological science from ancient Greece to the 20th century emphasizing primary sources analyses.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS413H1 - Reading and Writing about Physics

Chen-Pang Yeang (24 Seminars)

Cross-listed course: HPS2001H

Historians, philosophers, and sociologists have produced a wealth of literature on the analysis and examination of physics from the early modern period to the present. In this seminar, we read and discuss in depth a collection of recent classics and cutting-edge works on the historical studies of physics. Students also conduct research based on this literature. We aim to use physics as a lens to understanding key themes in the making of modern science, from incommensurability, epistemic cultures, and historical ontology, to materiality, social construction, pedagogy, and countercultures.

Prerequisite: At least one HPS course
Recommended preparation: Develop the ability to read scholarly books and conduct research in history of science
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS430H1 - History of Technology I

Rebecca Woods (24 Seminars)

An advanced survey of the history of technology from Antiquity to the Industrial Revolution. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: HPS201H1/HPS202H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS431H1 - History of Technology II

Rebecca Woods (24 Seminars)

Cross-listed course: HPS2006H

An advanced survey of the history of technology from the Industrial Revolution to modern times. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: HPS201H1/HPS202H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS440H1 - Topics in the History of Medicine: Health, Medicine, and Society: Stories and Histories

Elise Burton (24 Seminars)

Formerly HPS303H1

This course offers a focused discussion of several aspects of the history of medicine. Various themes are examined in depth year to year so as to familiarize students with different topics and methodological approaches.

Prerequisite: HPS318H and/or HPS319H, or at least 2 HPS courses with a focus on the history of science at the 200-level or higher
Exclusions: HPS303H1
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society & Its Institutions (3)

HPS442H1 - Sciences of Whiteness in the Middle East & Its Diasporas

Elise Burton (24 Seminars)

This research seminar traces the historical response of Middle Eastern societies and diasporas to Western scientific discourses of race and ethnicity from the 19th century to the present. We examine notions of racial classification and hierarchy as they emerged in Islamicate and European imperial contexts and their scientific application to Middle Eastern populations. We further investigate how the nationalist ideologies of modern Middle Eastern nation-states relied on and perpetuated race science. Finally, we consider the experience of Middle Eastern migrants to Europe and North America and their engagement with scientific definitions of Aryan, Caucasian and white racial identity.

Prerequisites: A minimum of 4.0 course credit or instructor’s approval
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 credit in HPS, History, Philosophy, NMC, Anthropology, Sociology or related humanities fields
Depth Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS444H1 - Health, Medicine, and Society in the Mediterranean World

Lucia Dacome (24 Seminars)

This course examines healing practices and medical knowledge in the Mediterranean world, focusing on the early modern period. We will address topics such as the interplay between medicine and religion, the relationship between patients and practitioners, and the role of women as both healers and patients and across Mediterranean shores. We will also consider how individuals in different Mediterranean regions experienced the relationship between health and the environment, explore the bearings that medical pursuits had on the creation and consolidation of notions of sex and gender, and examine how medical knowledge shaped views of the body and informed health policies.

Prerequisites: A minimum of 8.0 credits or the instructor’s approval
Recommended preparation: This course presupposes having some background in the history of medicine and/or history of science and having engaged in historical research projects. It is highly recommended that students have taken one or more courses in History of Medicine (or History of Science and/or Technology). Ideally, students will have taken HPS318H or HPS319H, or at least one-half course in HPS or HIS with a focus on the history of science at the 200-level or higher.
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS455H1 - Well-being and Policy Analysis

Joseph Berkovitz (24 Lectures)

The research seminar will consider some central questions in the philosophy of economics and political philosophy and their intersection with, and relevance for questions concerning social justice, the environment, well-being, and policy analysis. The aim is to provide some background and analytical tools for policy analysis concerning issues related to well-being, distributive justice, poverty, disability, and environmental sustainability.

Prerequisites: A minimum of 8.0 credits or the instructor’s approval
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 credit in HPS, Philosophy, or related humanities fields
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities and a Social Sciences course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS450H1 - Revolution in Science

Denis Walsh (24 Seminars)

A detailed investigation into a highly celebrated and important philosophical idea concerning the development of scientific knowledge: the notion of scientific revolutions. We will consider the process of theory change, whether theory choice is rational, and whether theoretical terms, such as light and space preserve their meanings across revolutions. In addition to classic work by Kuhn, we shall consider approaches that were inspired by Kuhn’s work. In particular, we will consider the approaches of sociologists of scientific knowledge. The course is taught as a seminar in which the students play an active role in presenting and discussing the readings.

Prerequisite: HPS250H1 or permission of the instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

Research Opportunity Program

The purpose of the Research Opportunity Program is to provide an opportunity for degree students in their second-year to become involved in original research. For details and application process, visit the Faculty of Arts & Science website.

HPS299Y1 / HPS399Y1 / HPS499Y1

Advanced Courses

The following advanced courses are only available by special permission of the instructor. Students participate in graduate seminars for undergraduate credit for graduate courses that have an undergraduate cross-listed course. There are forms to fill out for the HPS48XH1 and HPS49XH1 courses, which are available through the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

HPS481H1 - Special Research Opportunity in History of Medicine

Staff

This course offers advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake original research into the history of medicine, under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: Preparation with instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS482H1 - Special Research Opportunity in History of Science

Staff

This course offers advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake original research into the history of the natural or physical sciences, under the guidance of a faculty seminar leader and a graduate student mentor. Students are required to initiate and pursue a research project, culminating in a research paper.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: Preparation with instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS483H1 - Special Research Opportunity in History of Technology

Staff

This course offers advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake original research into the history of the natural or physical sciences, under the guidance of a faculty seminar leader and a graduate student mentor. Students are required to initiate and pursue a research project, culminating in a research paper.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: Preparation with instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS484H1 - Special Research Opportunity in Philosophy of Science I

Staff

This course offers advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake original research into the history of the natural or physical sciences, under the guidance of a faculty seminar leader and a graduate student mentor. Students are required to initiate and pursue a research project, culminating in a research paper.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: Preparation with instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS485H1 - Special Research Opportunity in Philosophy of Science II

Staff

This course offers advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake original research into the history of the natural or physical sciences, under the guidance of a faculty seminar leader and a graduate student mentor. Students are required to initiate and pursue a research project, culminating in a research paper.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: Preparation with instructor
Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS495Y1 - Individual Studies

Staff

A reading and research project in some aspect of the social, cultural or intellectual history of science and technology, supervised by a faculty member.

Prerequisite: Two HPS courses
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities or Science
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS496H1 - Individual Studies

Staff

A reading and research project in some aspect of the social, cultural or intellectual history of science and technology, supervised by a faculty member.

Prerequisite: Two HPS courses
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities or Science
Breadth Requirement: None 

HPS497H1 - Individual Studies

Staff

A reading and research project in some aspect of the social, cultural or intellectual history of science and technology, supervised by a faculty member.

Prerequisite: Two HPS courses
Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities or Science
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS498H1 - Digital Humanities in History and Philosophy of Science

Staff

This course examines how digital technologies transform the way historians and philosophers of science conduct research and present their work. It combines traditional reading assignments with hands-on collaborative application of computational tools and methodologies to the history and philosophy of science. The students will apply and critically evaluate diverse digital techniques such as data extraction, semantic text analysis, belief visualization, and epistemic network analysis.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: None

HPS499Y1 - Individual Studies

Staff

In this research project, we will seek solutions to topical issues in the general descriptive theory of scientific change. The research may focus on a theoretical, metatheoretical, or historical issue.

Prerequisite: Two HPS courses
Distribution Requirements: Humanities