Questions for Monday’s Class Discussion 11/2

Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Questions for discussion

1. Get into pairs and discuss one selection from Dr. Watts’ list and one of the selections you found on your own to prepare to discuss with the class. Try to relate these selections to what we’ve discussed in previous classes about France in the eighteenth century.

2. “Social Uses of Science” discusses Newtonian principles and the religious significance of new science.  Shapin argues that Newtonian principles were a “crucial cultural resource for legitimating the moral authority of those groups that claimed to interpret God’s way to man, and to exercise their delegated right to sanction behavior” (135). This suggests that religious significance was more important that scientific accuracy. Discuss this idea and the how the argument made by Shapin relates to the selections from Voltaire and the encyclopedia. Good places to start include Chaîne des êtres créés: Great chain of being,  Idée: Idea, and  Liberté de pensée: Freedom of thought.

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