While science represents our best means of gaining knowledge about the world, its foundational methods, standards, and content have changed over time, sometimes profoundly. Interdisciplinary integration of philosophical and historical analysis that is deeply engaged with scientific ideas and practices is crucial for understanding the changing character of science and its role in society.
The Mission of the History and Philosophy of Science Department is to create and communicate greater understanding of science as an intellectual and social enterprise through critical philosophical and historical reflection, with a priority on methodologies that integrate philosophy, history and a deep engagement with scientific ideas and practices.
The Department accomplishes this mission through several means:
For undergraduate students, we offer a major and certificate program that provides a unique array of interdisciplinary courses that place science in philosophical and historical perspective. We also offer students who are pursuing STEM careers critical and contextual perspectives on the sciences they study.
For graduate students, we offer a doctoral program that rigorously trains scholars in an integrated approach to history and philosophy of science, allowing them to become leaders in defining the questions and methods that structure disciplinary and interdisciplinary investigations of science.
Our department undertakes multidisciplinary engagement at the highest standards of research, integrating history, philosophy, and science, which enables our faculty to produce consistently high-quality research with international impact.
Members of the HPS Department offer a critical perspective on science, technology and medicine for various communities, including scholarly and scientific communities and the general public, by engaging with others across the academy and beyond.