Preparing for a thesis defence

Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis.

Preparing for a thesis defence

The goals and functions of these have recently received considerable attention, both because of the influence that such histories have had on the legitimacy and self-image of the disciplines and also because of the adaptability that they have shown when faced with the conceptual and methodological changes that they have undergone.

With regard to these disciplines, there are, moreover, alternative approaches whose advantages and disadvantages are also the subject of debate: Certain old sciences, such as geography, constitute areas of special interest in this respect, since on the one hand there are diverse generations of disciplinary histories, connected with the most important theoretical issues and the contentious relations with other sciences; and on the other hand profound changes have recently taken place which have led to far-reaching transformations in historiography.

Preparing for a thesis defence

Within the frame of reference of the present simposium, it might be of interest to present some of these developments and, in particular, to offer a general overview of the origins and goals of the research program in the history of geography which, in what is today the Department of Human Geography of the University of Barcelona, has been in progress for almost two decades.

The goals and the evolution of this project have led to a growing integration of our research with that which is being undertaken by other historians of science, while at the same time providing a stimulus for, and a new perspective on, the work on current issues in human geography which is being carried out in the Department.

The histories of the disciplines and their functions The history of science is full of great works that have marked a turning point in the development of a branch of knowledge, and in which the proposals for a new theoretical frame of reference or a new systematization of the known facts were preceded by an extensive historical introduction consisting in the evolution of the topic up to that moment.

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From the 18th Century on, with the growing specialization in science that gave rise to new disciplines, and with the acceleration of the changes in theories and scientific method, the number of works of this kind has grown considerably.

Particularly in the 19th Century, there were many scientists who were conscious of the profoundly innovative character of their work, and who did not hesitate to draw self-justifying historical pictures which promoted appreciation of the significance of their own contributions.

Cuvier, Humboldt, Ritter, Lyell, Darwin, Comte, and many others who made decisive contributions, were not only aware of being genuine creators and the force behind new scientific developments, they also took active part in contemporary controversies and felt the need, to a greater or lesser extent, to convince the general public of the innovative character of their work.

This led them to write, or rewrite, the history of the discipline, to reveal the obstacles that had been put in the way of the development of that science, whose final manifestation was now assured - and to point out those forerunners who had prepared the way. The case of Lyell is particularly significant.

In the long historical introduction to his Principles of Geology 1Lyell created the myths which allowed him to set himself in a privileged position in the Pantheon of Geology. He did this both by claiming to be the true creator of the basic principles of that science, and also by pointing out the barriers which had hitherto impeded its development: In spite of these obstacles, the way towards a positive and uniformitarian geology had in fact been discovered gradually, but in talking about this Lyell hands out praise, blame and silence in a way that exaggerates the originality of his own contribution.

His introduction presents the history of geology as an oversimplified dichotomy between biblical catastrophism and uniformitarianism with its classical roots.

Preparing for a thesis defence

Moreover, and not surprisingly given the epoch, he offers a selective, partial vision of the past, decontextualising it from its social and intellectual climate. His conception of history and geology are different: The example of Lyell, like that of other great authors, lays bare the distortions and errors that can be found in the history of science when one accepts the ideas of one justifications of scientist concerning the evolution of the subject.

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Biassed ideas that distort the true evolution and which undoubtedly serve as excuses and self-justifications: An appreciation of the distortions that are found in the historical conceptions of great scientists, and of the personal and corporate factors that can affect these, allows us also to question the validity of the way that the members of a scientific community collectively present their discipline.

We might well suspect that, as in the case of the histories of individuals, these histories of communities will have, due to conscious or unconscious bias, distortions and slants, whose precise content and purpose we would do well to reveal.

Stuff Circuit is a video-led investigative journalism team producing long-form video projects. The award-winning team - Paula Penfold, Toby Longbottom, Phil Johnson, and Eugene Bingham - has delved into stories of public interest, including a miscarriage of justice, institutional racism, and a child’s death in a secluded Christian community. A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in . THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much.

In recent years a great deal of attention has been paid to the histories of disciplines within the field of the history of science. What has undoubtedly contributed to this is the incorporation and diffusion of relativist focuses in the study of the disciplines.

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The traditional view considered the sciences as predetermined archetypes, which the progressive unfolding of reason alone allowed us to see in their true form by stripping them of the mixing and confusion with other branches of knowledge which existed in the pre-scientific phase.

In contrast, we recognize that the character of the scientific disciplines is determined by, and contingent on, history; they take shape in changing social and intellectual contexts, and have boundaries that are not predetermined at all but depend both on the conditions of their constitution and also on the developing relationship with other disciplines that are also contingent on history.

The same histories of the disciplines play an important role in the constant structuring and restructuring of the areas of knowledge, offering scientists an image of themselves, of the community to which they belong, and of the purpose of their work.A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.

In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true. Information for authors.

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Stuff Circuit is a video-led investigative journalism team producing long-form video projects. The award-winning team - Paula Penfold, Toby Longbottom, Phil Johnson, and Eugene Bingham - has delved into stories of public interest, including a miscarriage of justice, institutional racism, and a child’s death in a secluded Christian community.

Preparing for a Thesis Defense Kate Hemeon, M.A. Family Studies and Gerontology Department Upon the approval of your thesis committee and the appointment of an external examiner.

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