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GFN1000 In Dialogue With Nature: Home

Course Description

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.

Recommended Books

In Dialogue with Nature : Textbook for General Education Foundation Programme 与自然对话 : 通识教育基础课程读本

This is a textbook that aims at familiarizing the students with human exploration of universe and life, and further building up students’ understanding of human understanding. The examination of human exploration traces back to as early as ancient Greece, and looks down to as late as modern time. The editor not only introduces Western development of science knowledge, but also observes its Chinese counterparts, as well as the encounters between East and West. In this text book, you will run across the great minds of Plato, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Shen Kuo, etc.