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    Otterbein University
  Dec 12, 2017
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

FYS 1002 - Evil Spirits, Placebos, Equivalence Relations: Mathematics and Ways of Knowing

Hours: 4
There are alternate ways of understanding the world around us and we often disregard them. However, stories of evil spirits and village shaman can teach us that disregarding alternate ways of knowing can be dangerous-even deadly. But, how do we judge what kinds of knowing are valid? Equivalent? Useful? We will learn how to formulate generalized ideas, a process called abstraction, to help us interpret what people tell us, and what we see around us. Contrary to popular opinion, mathematics is about abstraction, not calculation, and we will adopt the methods of mathematics to help us interpret several different types of knowledge. For example, we will learn that on the one hand, the belief in evil spirits may not be scientific, but on the other hand it may save lives.