Santa Clara University

Paradigm Shifts & the Nature of Human Knowing

Facilitator: Phil Kesten, Physics

At some time or another, many – perhaps all – disciplines have experienced a sea change in thought, when one or more scholars have pushed beyond the limits of the field's traditional approaches, assumptions, and understandings.Such dramatic, often rapid, changes that result in a shift away from previously accepted ways of thinking about a discipline can provide the opportunity for you to explore how people learn and how we think.In addition, understanding the sometimes wildly different ways knowledge is constructed and evidence interpreted in different disciplines can help you reflect more insightfully on your own education.This pathway includes courses that address ways of thinking within a discipline that are departures from the accepted norms and courses that include the usual ways of knowing and understanding in a discipline.

Exploring the pathway…

Look for the ways in which the topics in your Paradigm Shifts & the Nature of Human Knowing pathway courses are connected to the themes of the pathway.You might find it helpful to explore questions such as these:

·What are the ways that knowledge, approaches, and assumptions are identified?

·How can you apply this understanding to gaining insight into how you yourself come to know and understand?Can you tie this insight to an understanding of your past and future educational choices?Can you tie this insight to an understanding of your vocational choices?

·Identify specific examples of a paradigm shift in your pathway courses.In what ways did a departure from the accepted norms in a discipline come about?What similarities and differences can you find between the ways departures from previously accepted ways of thinking occur in different disciplines?

·Can you identify the emergence of an issue associated with the themes of this pathway in more than one of your pathway courses, that is, can you find a thread that is common to a number of these disciplines?

·Can you identify either overlapping or opposing approaches to the way we know and understand, based on your pathway courses?

·Can you identify connections between the themes of this pathway and topics you have studied in your major?

You may discover that some of your instructors in courses in the Paradigm Shifts & the Nature of Human Knowing pathway don't directly mention a paradigm shift or directly address the nature of knowing.That's okay – it's up to you to find the connections and common threads in these courses.By reflecting on and synthesizing that understanding across a number of courses for yourself, rather than having your instructors make the connections for you, you will learn more deeply in a way that can complement other aspects of your Santa Clara education.

Associated Courses

Foundations Courses
(Please note that only the specific Foundation course topics qualify for the Pathway requirements,
and only one Foundations course may be applied to a Pathway)

ENGL            2H            Paradigms of Knowledge
ENGL            2A            Paradigms of Knowledge
ENGL            2A            Science, Technology, and Self

Art History
ARTH            22             Introduction to the Arts of Early Modern Europe
ARTH            23             Introduction the Arts of Later Modern West
ARTH            120           15th Century Florentine Art

*BIOL          108           Genetics
*BIOL          110           Genetics L&L
*BIOL          122           Neurobiology L&L
*BIOL          173           Evolution L&L
*BIOL          175           Molecular Biology L&L
*BIOL          178           Bioinformatics

CHEM           32             Organic Chemistry II
*CHEM        151            Spectroscopy

Computer Engineering
COEN            19             Discrete Mathematics  (cross-listed with MATH 51)
*COEN         179            Theory of Algorithms (cross-listed with CSCI 163)

Electrical Engineering
*ELEN          160           Chaos Theory, Metamathematics and the Limits of Science:
An Engineering Perspective on Religion (cross-listed with ELEN 217)
*ELEN          217           Chaos Theory, Metamathematics and the Limits of Science:
An Engineering Perspective on Religion (cross-listed with ELEN 160)

*FNCE          116            Mathematical Finance (cross-listed with MATH 125)

HIST              84             Women in American Society (cross-listed with WGST 57)
HIST              137           The Soviet Experiment
HIST              177           Gays and Lesbians in United States History (cross-listed with WGST 138)
HIST              188S         The Making of Modern America:  The Progressive Era (formerly HIST 188)
Mathematics and Computer Science
*CSCI           10              Introduction to Computer Science
*CSCI           161            Theory of Automata and Languages I
*CSCI           162            Theory of Automata & Languages II
*CSCI           163            Theory of Algorithms (cross-listed with COEN 179)
*CSCI           164            Computer Simulation
*MATH         14              Calculus & Analytic Geometry IV
MATH            51             Discrete Mathematics (cross-listed with COEN 19)
MATH            101           Survey of Geometry
*MATH         113            Topology
*MATH         122            Probability & Statistics I
*MATH         123            Probability & Statistics II
*MATH         125            Mathematical Finance (cross-listed with FNCE 116)
*MATH         170            Development of Math

*MUSC         156            Improvisation

PHIL              80             Science, Technology, and Society
*PHIL           135            Existentialism
*PHIL           140            Philosophy of Science
*PHIL           142            Theory of Knowledge
*PHIL           145            Wittgenstein

The normal  prerequisite for all Philosophy upper division courses is  upper division standing.

*PHYS          34              Physics for Scientists & Engineers IV
*PHYS          121            Quantum Mechanics I

PSYC             50             Ways of Knowing

Religious Studies
*RSOC          91              Native Spiritual Traditions
*SCTR          35              Science vs. The Bible: The Genesis Debates
*SCTR          128            Human Suffering and Hope
*SCTR          165R         RSS: Gender & Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation (cross-listed with WGST 148)
*SCTR          170            Darwin & God
*SCTR          170R         RSS: Darwin & God
TESP             2               Magicians, Athletes and God: Fantasy Literature and Christian Theology
*TESP           50             Catholic Theology: Foundations
*TESP           58             Theology of Vatican II
*TESP           124           Theology of Marriage
*TESP           127           Theology of Family
*TESP           176           Nature, Humanity, Spirituality

SOCI              117          Sociology’s Analytical Frameworks and Conceptual Approaches
*SOCI           119           Sociological Theory

Women's and Gender Studies
WGST            57            Women in American Society (cross-listed with HIST 84)
WGST            138          Gays and Lesbians in United States History (cross-listed with HIST 177)
*WGST          148          RSS: Gender & Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation (cross-listed with SCTR 165R)

* Indicates Course Has Prerequisites