Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0456 (AF:357947 AR:189959)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This course will prepare students to understand the development of early modern history of science in relation to its institutional, social, religious, and intellectual contexts. To do this the course will examine the transformation of understandings of nature during this period, which in past scholarship has been referred to as the Scientific Revolution. In particular, the course will focus on the transformations of the field of meteorology and its connections to philosophy. The formal objectives include applying the methods of the history of science to build a deeper understanding of early modern science and natural philosophy.
1. Understanding methods of the history of science.
Understanding major themes in early modern thought about the natural world.
Understanding the context of natural history, climatology, and meteorology in early modern Europe.
Understanding the historiography related to these themes.
2. The ability to analyze ancient and early modern meteorological and natural philosophical writings and place these writings in their social, intellectual, and institutional contexts.
3. The ability to communicate ideas about the history of science in oral presentations, written exercises, and oral exams.
4. The ability to participate in and contribute group discussions on the history of science in seminars.
5. The ability to understanding developments in the historiography of early modern science.
There are no prerequisites for attending students.
Non-attending students are required to have taken a class in the history of science either at the bachelor's or master's level.
The course covers meteorology as practiced as part of natural philosophy in early modern Europe and its connections to ancient meteorology. In particular the course will exam how ancient theories about climate, weather, and meteorological phenomena were altered and transformed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It will consider these practices in relation to transformations of European exploration of the world, new methods proposed by Francis Bacon, and the philosophy of René Descartes. Special attention will be given to the intellectual and philosophical contexts of these transformations.
Aristotle, Meteorology.

Seneca, Natural Questions.

José de Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the Indies.

Francis Bacon, History of Winds.

René Descartes, Les Météores.

Readings and class schedule with specific page numbers will be placed on Moodle.

Non-attending students will also be responsible for Martin, Renaissance Meteorology, 2011.

The course will be based on seminars.
Oral exam based on readings for course.
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: 20/06/2021