Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0498 (AF:357485 AR:188622)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
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The course will prepare students to analyze texts related to medieval natural philosophy, medicine, and technology in Western Europe by placing them in their philosophical, social, and cultural contexts.
The formal objectives of the course include understanding the methods of the history of science and using these methods to interpret the development of ideas and practices regarding the natural world during this period.
1. Understanding to the primary features of medieval natural philosophy.
Knowledge of terminology related to medieval natural philosophy.
Understanding of how natural philosophy changed and developed during this period.
Understanding of how society and culture interacted with theories about nature.
2. The ability to analyze natural philosophical texts written in this time period.
The ability to place writings about nature in their social and cultural contexts.
3. The ability to create historical narratives based on medieval texts.
The ability to formulate reasoned arguments regarding the history of medieval natural philosophy and science.
4. The ability to communicate ideas about the history of medieval natural philosophy and medicine in written exams.
5. The ability to critique modern interpretations of medieval science.
There are no prerequisites for the course.
The course covers the history of medieval thought about nature and its applications, including natural philosophy, medicine, alchemy, magic, and astronomy. These subjects will be studied in light of their social, religious, and cultural contexts.
Edward Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Nancy Siraisi, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine, University of Chicago Press 1990.

Selections from Faith Wallis, ed., Medieval Medicine: A Reader, University of Toronto Press, 2010, pp. 5-22, 135-90, 205-41, 317-31, 414-30.

Selections from Edward Grant, ed., A Source Book in Medieval Science, Harvard University Press, 1974, pp. 3-58, 442-64, 488-493, 569-614.

The final exam will be an oral exam designed to evaluate the student's ability to interpret medieval texts regarding the history of science.
The course will be based on lectures.
Ca' Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services: disabilita@unive.it.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 10/09/2021