Week 5 Paper Topic (Group A)

Submitted by bowcuttf on Mon, 01/21/2008 - 7:48pm.

You can choose from any of these four prompts.

Prompt 1: Fagan comments multiple times that environmental determinism is unpopular in academic communities. Does he craft a compelling case that "climate made history" in Europe between 1300 and 1850? You are encouraged to focus your argument on one type of evidence used by Fagan, such as, ice cores, archeological evidence, volcanic eruptions, or glacial retreats and advances.

Prompt 2: How did global climate change influence class relations in Europe during the Little Ice Age?

Prompt 3: Edward Grant presents a strong argument about (a) the interrelation between natural philosophy and Christian theology in the 14th and 15th centuries, and (b) the central role that this relationship played in the unique success of science in western Europe. Summarize and evaluate Grant's argument. What are the strengths and weaknesses of his position?

Prompt 4: Edward Grant and Muzaffar Iqbal present two distinct views of Islamic science, which might be called "traditional" and "revisionist" interpretations. What are the key differences between these two interpretations? Based on the arguments in the selected readings, whose interpretation do you find most compelling or persuasive? Why?