The graduate program in History and Philosophy of Science is committed to research and teaching in the historical and conceptual foundations of science. This interdisciplinary department offers courses and seminars that lead to MA and PhD degrees. It offers qualified students the opportunity to pursue an intensive course of study in the historical and philosophical dimensions of science. Graduate training includes course work in history of science, philosophy, logic, and often in the sciences. It is possible to work out a program that leads to a master's degree in one of these fields, while pursuing the PhD degree in history and philosophy of science. Graduate seminars are supplemented by a Colloquium in History and Philosophy of Science, by the visitors and activities of the Center for Philosophy of Science, and by the Archives of Scientific Philosophy (Carnap, De Finetti, Reichenbach, Ramsey). Students may also take courses offered by the Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University without paying additional tuition.
Among the major research topics of the departmental faculty are the philosophy of space and time, the 17th-century mechanical philosophy, Einstein and the theory of relativity, Galileo, the historical interaction of science and philosophy since the Renaissance, the logic of scientific inference, causation, philosophy of neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science, the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology, the history and philosophy of molecular biology, the philosophy of medicine, Medieval and Greek science, scientific change and progress, and explanation in the special sciences.
Both the PhD and MA degrees are awarded. Terminal MA degrees are sought by students who find studies in history and philosophy of science relevant to their career interests. These students have included persons with MD degrees, those pursuing the PhD in other fields or at other universities, librarians, and those doing archive or museum work.