Course: HUMA 620. Science and Magic (3)
In this course, the focus of the humanities lens is on the putative divisions between what is defined as “science” and what is seen as “magic” in studies of human inquiry and discovery. The present course foregrounds the old and continuing tensions between ideas referred to as magical on the one hand and scientific on the other and of how such divisions originate and operate both within and across cultures. At stake is our understanding of the question of how epistemic authority creates these categories–whether or not it favors such binary oppositions in general and why–and of how such boundaries shift both in individual and cultural realms. Because each contributes to the shaping of our inquiries and understanding about the world(s) around us, it seems critical to examine how the very categories themselves develop and what the function of such divisions are, within and across cultures.