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Humans have long been curious about Nature. In the West, ancient Greek philosophers took the lead in exploring the physical world and the world of life with reason and hence laid the foundations of modern science. Scientists discovered physical laws, the laws governing life and even ways of controlling life. Implications of these discoveries force the humankind to re-assess their understanding of human understanding. On the oriental side of the globe, Chinese philosophers developed a different view of Nature. The comparison between Western and Chinese views will contribute to our understanding of both.
This course invites students to explore how the humankind investigated, understood and changed Nature, to study and compare the development of science in Western and Chinese cultures, and to reflect on the humans’ place in Nature.