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Next lectures in the series are: Lecture 7 Kant Restores Certainty Immanuel Kant invented a philosophical system that guaranteed universal, necessary, and certain knowledge, but at a price. We could have knowledge of experience, but not of the world as it "really" is, beyond experience. Lecture 8 Science, Society, and the Age of Reason The role that scientific knowledge plays in society today is the realization of the 18th-century Enlightenment vision linking social reform and the idea of progress to reason by way of science. In this 24 half-hour lecture series on the Great Courses on DVD taught by Dr. Steven L. Goldman, Science Wars explores the history of competing conceptions of scientific knowledge and their implications for science and society from the onset of the Scientific Revolution in the 1600s to the present. Choose one: (A) Science gives us objective knowledge of an independently existing reality. (B) Scientific knowledge is always provisional and tells us nothing that is universal, necessary, or certain about the world. Welcome to the science wars—a long-running battle over the status of scientific knowledge that began in ancient Greece, raged furiously among scientists, social scientists, and humanists during the 1990s, and has re-emerged in today's conflict between science and religion over issues such as evolution. We view 2 lectures per meeting with discussion after each. Hosts for Educational SIG: David Burks and Cheryl Bene'. June 2 Lecture 9 Science Comes of Age in the 19th Century In spite of science's growing applicability to the real world through technology, scientists began to question the relationship between theories and reality, influenced by such startling ideas as non-Euclidean geometry. Lecture 10 Theories Need Not Explain Joseph Fourier and others showed that a theory can provide prediction and control without describing realities behind experience. But then as now, the dominant view was that scientific theories reveal what is really out there. July 7 Lecture 11 Knowledge as a Product of the Active Mind William Whewell invented the term "scientist" and tried to demonstrate that creative activity by the mind is a fundamental factor in scientific reasoning, and that the history of science is crucial in understanding this process. Lecture 12 Trading Reality for Experience This lecture looks at thinkers as diverse as Ernst Mach, Pierre Duhem, and Heinrich Hertz, who argued from three different perspectives that theories were non-unique interpretations of experience, not descriptions of reality. August 4 Lecture 13 Scientific Truth in the Early 20th Century Ironically, just as science increasingly mattered to the general public, and for that reason scientific knowledge was accepted as true, the 19th-century scientific theories responsible for this perception were being discarded! Lecture 14 Two New Theories of Scientific Knowledge The most proscience philosophies in the first half of the 20th century were logical positivism, which embraced the primacy of scientific knowledge, and pragmatism, a homegrown American philosophy that rejected it.
Summary: 10 am - DuVal Auditorium - Project Blitz and the Separation of Church and State, by Joe Blankenship Project Blitz is an aggressive legislative effort by the Christian Right to target all fifty state legislatures with “centrally manufactured legislation” that support their religious agenda. They say that it will do for Christian Nationalism what the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does for big business. Joe’s talk illustrates some of the proclamations and proposed legislation from Project Blitz, and puts it in the context of today’s social and moral attitudes and beliefs. He also provides insight into how the Christian Right’s discriminatory proposals can be mitigated by proper governmental legislation and ordinances at the local, state and national level. Joe has been a Board Member of Secular Coalition for Arizona and Secular Communities (the 501(3)c) affiliate of Secular Coalition for nearly three years. He had a successful career as a business professional with responsibilities for Strategic Planning for two Fortune 500 companies. He was CFO of a subsidiary of one of the Fortune 500 companies. He was also the President and CEO of a public company that addressed recycling and recovery of household and commercial waste. With Secular Coalition he has recruited speakers for the successful Secular Studies program presented at the Arizona Legislature. Joe writes on public policy issues and presents his conclusions to interested audiences. Current topics of interest are Quality Education and Separation of Church and State. Freethought Arizona public events are held in the DuVal Auditorium at the Banner-University Medical Center, 1501 North Campbell Avenue, unless stated otherwise. They are FREE to all, but donations are appreciated. 8am – Freethought Forum – In the Banner-University DuVal foyer. You are invited to a lively discussion of issues dealing with the intersection of religion, politics and culture. Jerry Karches will moderate. 12 Noon - Freethought Forum 2 – In the Banner-University cafeteria. You are invited to a lively discussion of issues dealing with the intersection of religion, politics and culture.