The Department of History and Philosophy of Science supports both a graduate and undergraduate program of study of science, its nature and fundamentals, its origins, and its place in modern politics, culture, and society. In the history of science, traditional and non-traditional historical methods are used to develop an understanding of how the sciences originated, how they were practiced, how they developed, and how they related to their intellectual and social contexts. These include archival research, textual analysis, and re-enactment of experiments. In philosophy of science, the sciences themselves are brought under philosophical scrutiny. We investigate the nature of science in general; what distinguishes scientific activity; how theories explain; how they are confirmed; whether they should be read literally; and the moral dilemmas raised by the sciences. We also investigate the fundamental content of individual sciences and how it bears on the ancient philosophical questions: what is the nature of space, time, and matter; what is life; and what is thought? History and philosophy of science is distinctive in integrating these two areas of study, with investigations in each area often closely interwoven.
News & Events
- Recent graduate Peter Distelzweig's article "Fabricius's Galeno-Aristotelian Teleomechanics of Muscle" will appear in an edited volume, The Life Sciences in Early Modern Philosophy, due out from Oxford University Press on January 6, 2014.
- James Bogen has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Prof. Bogen is being recognized for his "distinguished research in philosophy of science, including analysis of the epistemology of experimentation, mechanistic explanation, neuroimaging, and the Hodgkin-Huxley model of action potential." Many congratulations!
- Graduate student Elay Shech's article, "On Gases in Boxes: A Reply to Davey on the Justification of the Probability Measure in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics" appears in the current issue of Philosophy of Science.
- Graduate Student Elizabeth O'Neill presents her research on moral epistemology, moral psychology, and philosophy of biology on her brand new website.