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Le département HSS participe au Bachelor de l'Ecole polytechnique en proposant les enseignements suivants:


1ère année, 2e semestre: HSS101


Major Issues in Today’s World and the Place of France

The course is designed to give a broad and comprehensive view of the political, economic and social place of France in today’s globalized world. It introduces to the basics of international economics and relations paying special attention to the place of France, both from an institutional and « balance of power » point of view. French political system and society are compared, through their recent history and current events, to the countries interacting with them, especially within the European Union. This course aims to enable students to confront today’s changing world and to become themselves agents of change.


2e année, 1er semestre: HSS 201


History of Science and Technology

This course aims at enhancing students’ understanding of science in relation to social concerns through an initiation to the methods and issues of contemporary researches on the history of science and technology. The course will offer both thematic and chronological approaches to the evolutions of sciences in various societies from the antiquity to modern times :

– A critical approach to the "scientific revolution" of the 17th Century;
– Galileo and the interplay between observation, experience and mathematics;
– The various notions of “science” in the antiquity (Egypt, Babylon, India, and Greece);
– Chinese algorithms: The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art;
– The geometry of Euclide’s Elements;
– From mechanics to digital representations of life;
– Science for the people, science for the state from the Enlightenment to the French revolution;
– Science, industry and society in the 19th Century;
– The Big science of the 20th Century.


2e année, 2e semestre: HSS 202


Philosophy: Science and Technology

The relations between humanity and the world have been substantially transformed by sciences and technology. First, the advances in knowledge have made the world less mysterious and more rational : never before have we had as much knowledge about matter and the living. Second, technology has become part of everyone’s everyday life, to such an extent that it now seems to be second nature (computers, communication tools, robots, etc.) Yet this achievement has its drawback : it is getting more and more difficult to speak of science in the singular since disciplines became very specialised and the intrusion of technology into life is often accused of breaking the links with nature. A philosophical approach sheds some light on the paradox of a science of which we acknowledge the advances and fear at the same time the discoveries. Through the study of modern and contemporary philosophers, this course examines the expectations placed in science and enables to understand the disappointments they have sometimes caused. On the basis of examples (the birth of modern physics, the increasing power of biology, the emergence of "information societies"…) we will study how scientific reason works. We will also show how the philosophers who have dealt with these technical-scientific changes help us understand their impact on our life.


3e année, 1er semestre: HSS 301


 Masterpieces of French and Western Literature

This course offers students the opportunity to engage in study and discussion of some of the most significant texts of Western literature. Its purpose is to give an understanding of the works and of their relation to the values of the time and the region in which they occur. Some of the historical and critical issues commonly addressed in this course are the representation of reality in literature, changing views of human moral problems, and the building of Western culture including historical and national differences. In order to introduce to French culture, a significant part of the studied works will be French.


Le département organise aussi une partie des modules de culture générale (CLT 101, etc.)

Le correspondant du département HSS pour le Bachelor est le PCC Nicolas Wanlin.