Darwin and His Times

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This course will use the work and life of Charles Darwin (12 February-1809-19 April 1882) to examine the nature of scientific practices during the nineteenth century and their changing, often revolutionary, role in life—then and now. Our study will look at Darwin’s life, and conduct close readings of Darwin's writing on geology and evolutionary biology. We will consider and discuss both interpretations and implications of “Darwinism,” and opposition to Darwin’s ideas.

3 credits

Course Code: SS 393

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.