Philosophy of science

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The theory of science (or (theoretical) philosophy of science , the theory of science or the logic of science ) is a branch of philosophy that deals with the requirements, methods and goals of science and the way in which knowledge is acquired.

The core questions of the philosophy of science are:

  1. What are the characteristics of scientific knowledge? (e.g. explanation, prediction of experimental results)
  2. What characterizes the gain in scientific knowledge, and by which methods can it be achieved? ( Methodology )
  3. Is there any scientific progress ?
  4. What is the epistemological status of scientific theories and the entities they postulate ? Is science a form of finding the truth or does scientific knowledge have to be conceived more pragmatically?
  5. What influence do aesthetic factors have on scientific knowledge and the development of science?
  6. How should the relationship between science and ethics be?

The preoccupation with epistemological problems, especially those that affect the structure and development of scientific knowledge and methods, goes back to antiquity ( Aristotle ). Further investigations into sub-problems of the philosophy of science can be found in philosophers such as Francis Bacon , René Descartes , Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , Jean Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert , Denis Diderot , Immanuel Kant , Johann Gottlieb Fichte , Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , and later Bernard Bolzano . In these investigations, science is primarily understood as a system of scientific knowledge, and philosophy of science in this sense is closely linked to epistemology and methodology, i.e. the reflection of the specific methods used.

General philosophy of science is based on the results of research into science obtained from the perspective of the individual disciplines , e.g. B. economics, sociology, psychology u. a., works out - based on this - its own system of terms , generalizes the disciplinary knowledge on this basis and in turn tries to become the unified theoretical foundation of all individual research disciplines .

Realistic theories

Scientific realism

Main representatives: Ernan McMullin , Stathis Psillos , also Hilary Putnam and Richard Boyd according to their self- image , although Putnam's internal realism and Boyd's constructivism regarding natural species differ somewhat from the classical doctrines.

Scientific realism can be reduced to two main statements:

  1. The terms of a scientific theory refer to real entities , that is, to objects that exist in reality . (The meaning of terms like "electron" is to refer to such particles in the real world.)
  2. The history of science is to be understood as an approach to the truth . Scientific work confirms the relevant theories if successful.

Structural realism

Main representative: John Worrall

According to structural realism , science is incapable of knowing the content of reality. Rather, science describes the structure of reality. It is not the objects mentioned in the theory ( electrons , ethers, etc.) that matter , but the mathematical laws (if a theory is true) correspond to the order of nature.

In Structural Realism , Worrall argues for this, among other things. a. thus: The mathematical equations that Fresnel gained through theorising about the light-bearing ether are in continuity with Maxwell's equations , which describe the properties of electromagnetic fields. The ether was discarded, but the equations still apply today.

The thesis of the epistemic structural realist reads: With regard to the structural statements of our theories, we are epistemically better off than with regard to the non-structural statements. Most critics object that this distinction cannot be drawn clearly. One possible answer lies in the analysis of mathematical theoretical structures.

Entity realism

Main representatives: Ian Hacking , Nancy Cartwright

"Entity realism" does not hold scientific theories to be true and often even rejects the metaphor of theories as unambiguous images of the world. Theories, and in particular the laws of nature mentioned in them, are only useful tools in this position. Nevertheless, the entity realist believes in many entities postulated in science, such as cell organelles and electrons. However, he does not believe in the reality of all entities mentioned in the formulation of a theory, but only in those with whom one can causally interact through experiments. In his view, intervention and manipulability are suitable justifications for knowing about the things of the world. This is particularly expressed in Ian Hacking's famous quote about electrons: "If you can spray them, then they are real."

Refined falsificationism

Imre Lakatos , who believed in the significance of the history of science, but wanted to defend it against Kuhn's assumption of an irrational moment, rejected Kuhn's view in favor of a modification of Popper's method. The main change is the abandonment of Popper's prohibition of the conventionalistic phrase ("immunization") through ad hoc hypotheses . He does not have to replace theories with better ones if they are falsified , i.e. H. be refuted by experimental or empirical results, but may be provided with a protective belt of ad hoc hypotheses under certain conditions. This must serve to protect conscious or unconscious basic convictions at the core of the theory, which form a so-called research program and correspond to the paradigms at Kuhn. Only the additional assumptions that go beyond this core are modified. According to Lakatos, the basic convictions that make up the core of a research program can and should only be given up when the research program develops degeneratively and can be replaced by a better research program.

Lakatos' view, however, has not become part of critical rationalism because the history of science is not seen as essential there.

Non-Realistic Theories


Positivism is a philosophical position that only accepts given findings through the interpretation of scientific observation . For this, the examination conditions must be precisely defined. Only those terms which have a correspondence in different possible observations are to be taken literally; all others meaningless. To the extent that theories can be reduced to observational language, they could be taken literally and be true or false.

This position was represented especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries by Emil du Bois-Reymond , Ernst Mach and Richard Avenarius and was one of the most important directions of its time, which strongly influenced the development of modern natural science. Albert Einstein mentions e.g. B. the extraordinarily important impulses he received from Mach's philosophy for the development of his theory of relativity. Despite this great influence, the theory of relativity ultimately did not meet Mach's expectations. After the First World War, the tradition of positivism was taken up by the Vienna Circle and Logical Empiricism, but these abandoned important positions of the original positivism.

Logical empiricism itself is often referred to as neopositivism or logical positivism, although according to Wolfgang Stegmüller this is a misnomer, provided that the term “positivism” is understood in its original meaning. Although the logical empiricists saw themselves in the tradition of Ernst Mach , they used the term “positivism” in a much broader sense. The logical empiricists referred to all philosophical directions as positivism, in which the evaluation of scientific theories was mainly (but not exclusively) carried out through confrontation with empirical observations.


Main representatives: Henri Poincaré , Ernst Mach

Ernst Mach viewed scientific theories as the simplest possible, neutral and pragmatic descriptions of the world. This thesis is also known as the economy of thought . Since he always saw every scientific theory in a concrete, empirical overall context, he rejected any general claim to truth . For Mach, science becomes a useful convention that also has to take psychological components into account.


According to this position, theories cannot be taken literally, nor can they be true or false. The terms mentioned in theoretical formulations (the so-called theoretical terms) are only useful tools to structure the laws found in experiments. The fact that a theory mentions “atoms” does not in any way fix it to the real existence of the smallest particles.



In the historicist philosophy of science , the opinion is held that scientific work is only possible on the basis of stipulations that can be explained primarily from the basic positions of epistemology that have become historical , the scientific traditions, the personalities of science who have become historical and from the entire historical situation. The main proponent of the historicist philosophy of science is Kurt Huebner through his fundamental work Critique of Scientific Reason . The epistemological historicism has many relationships with conventionalism, instrumentalism and, above all, relativism.


Paul Feyerabend is considered to be the main exponent of epistemological relativism . Thomas S. Kuhn is also often referred to as a relativist, although he himself always rejected this designation.

The concept of incommensurability is central to Feyerabend . Scientific paradigms could be completely or partially incommensurable, i.e. incomparable, more precisely: there is no common measure that allows the sentences of one paradigm to be compared with those of another. One can therefore only speak of truth with reference to a certain paradigm.

Both Kuhn and Feyerabend were of the opinion with numerous earlier critics of a strict separation between theory and observation language of the opinion that observations are fundamentally “theory-laden”.

Social constructivism

Main representatives: David Bloor , Harry Collins , Trevor Pinch , Karin Knorr-Cetina

Social constructivists claim that even seemingly objective scientific facts are actually the result of processes of social construction and depend on the social situation of the laboratory, research facility, etc.

Radical constructivism

Main representatives: Ernst von Glasersfeld , Jean Piaget

The core statement of radical constructivism is that a perception does not provide an image of a reality independent of consciousness, but that reality always represents a construction of sensory stimuli and memory performance for every individual. Therefore objectivity in the sense of a correspondence between the perceived (constructed) image and reality is impossible; every perception is completely subjective.

Constructive empiricism

Main representative: Bas van Fraassen

Representatives of constructive empiricism are agnostic towards the theoretical concepts of a theory (atom, gene, etc.). What matters is not what a theory speaks of, but whether it is confirmed by the observations. “Observations” can usually include the use of instruments. According to this view, the goal of science is empirical adequacy .

Constructive realism

Representative: Friedrich Wallner

In his ontology, Friedrich Wallner differentiates between reality - facing human consciousness -, constructed reality with its (sub) disciplinary micro- worlds, and real life - culture-specific traditional systems of rules and beliefs.

The aim is to present the circle of object and method in research and to take it into account in the interpretation of science. Like solipsism , it is aware of the uncertainty of the subject, but recognizes that a multitude of actions are required in order to come to a meaningful meaning. As a method of (self) -Erkenntnis is alienation offered.

According to Kurt Greiner , the CR philosophy of science offers an "epistemological service to science ... and adequate tools" that should enable scientists, researchers and users to reflect on their disciplinary behavior and activities in a meaningful way. However, she states that the knowledge created represents viable "options for action in the form of sentence systems that are legitimized through technical usability ...", but not as objective reality, but as "world construction ... within the experience of the reciprocal object-method relation" understand is.

Socio-critical theories

Marxist philosophy of science

In the Marxist philosophy of science it is assumed that Marx and Engels with the dialectical and historical materialism and Lenin with the dialectical-materialistic reflection theory created the philosophical-theoretical basis for the study of science and its development. Political economy is seen as the fundamental instrument of the philosophy of science for researching the productive function and role of science in material production and in the social process of reproduction. The philosophy of science understood in this way dedicates its investigations to three components of science:

  1. the scientific work process (nature and specifics, social determination and types of scientific activity, conditions and factors of scientific creativity, productivity and effectiveness of scientific activity, planning, management and rational organization of scientific work processes, etc.);
  2. the scientific potential as the totality of the material and ideal prerequisites of scientific work processes (components, structure and development of the scientific potential, optimal proportions of the personal, financial and other potential components, etc.);
  3. the system of scientific knowledge as the product of scientific activity ( classification of the sciences, regularities of the origin and development of and the relationship between individual scientific disciplines, the formation of concepts, hypotheses and theories in science, methodical approach in research, relative autonomy of the development of knowledge, etc. ).

In addition, there are a number of problems that affect the development of science as a whole: the laws of development in science, the driving forces behind the development of science, the position and function of science in concrete historical societies , the relationship between science, technology and production or, in general, between science and science Society in the past and present, scientific and technical progress, etc. a.

Since scientific knowledge is only generated in the scientific work process and is reproduced, conveyed and applied in it, the term scientific (general) work (Marx) is the fundamental term for a logically consistent structure of the philosophy of science. It allows both the positivistic narrowness of the conception of science to be overcome and the determination of science according to the three components mentioned above to be established within the framework of concrete economic societies. The unity of theoretical and empirical as well as disciplinary and interdisciplinary research is characteristic of the way the philosophy of science works .

Critical theory

Critical theory is a special German development of the philosophy of science in the context of the Frankfurt School , which assigns the critique of society as its main task to science. At times their main representative was Jürgen Habermas with the work Knowledge and Interest .

Methodical programs

Logical empiricism

Logical empiricism is one of the most important epistemological directions of the 20th century, one of whose exponents was the Vienna Circle , as well as representatives of mathematical logic (in the tradition of Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege ). Leading representatives include a. Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath . Important key points of logical empiricism are the principle of tolerance ( methodological neutralism ) and the program of unified science, in which all empirical sciences should be formulated in a physicalistic language.

Logical empiricism, in the form as it was embodied by R. Carnap, was the dominant epistemological direction until the 1960s; especially in the Anglo-Saxon region. In particular, W. Quine's criticism of the foundations of logical empiricism contributed significantly to the fact that this dominance was transferred to methodical naturalism. Nevertheless, the results of logical empiricism still form an important foundation of the philosophy of science and many modern epistemological directions refer in their starting point to an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of logical empiricism.

Critical Rationalism

Critical Rationalism, largely developed by Karl Popper , contains a theory of science ( falsificationism ), according to which reliable or justifiable knowledge is not possible and therefore cannot be the goal of science. Instead, Critical Rationalism understands science as a methodical approach through trial and error, in which hypotheses and theories must constantly prove themselves through testing. The researcher tries to generalize his hypotheses, to refine them and to question them through experiments in order to find out their weaknesses so that they can be replaced by new, improved hypotheses (“ trial and error ”). In contrast to positivistic tendencies, critical rationalism does not assume that even if a theory is sustained, it is not an argument for the theory or justifies the theory. However, he believes that constant error correction allows an approximation of the truth, and the truth can even be reached, but the researcher cannot ensure that this is the case. Despite this admission, critical rationalism retains the absolute concept of truth in correspondence theory and distances itself from relativism .

Analytical philosophy

Analytical philosophy initially emerged as a philosophical direction from logical empiricism . However, today's analytical philosophy is characterized by the fact that it is actually not a philosophical position, but rather consists of partly quite different currents with very different basic requirements. In terms of method, however, they have in common that problems are written in as clear and precise language as possible and processed with the help of formal instruments (such as mathematical logic or e.g. semantic and formal-ontological aids). Accordingly, there are also very different epistemological positions held by analytical philosophers. The contemporary philosophy of science is largely practiced by analytically trained philosophers and covers very different subject areas. These include, for example, theories about the structure of scientific theories, about their ontological obligations, about the explanation of their concepts, about the nature, scope and criteria of scientific knowledge, etc. Philosophers who defend similar positions on one of the points may have opposing views on other points . Nevertheless, partly shared overall views and schooling can be named, but their current elaboration and modification often diverges greatly. Such an overall picture of the essence of science could include the naturalism represented by W. Quine or the structuralist theory concept , which was represented by JDSneed and Wolfgang Stegmüller , among others .

Erlanger or methodical constructivism

Main representatives : Paul Lorenzen and Wilhelm Kamlah , as well as Jürgen Mittelstraß , Kuno Lorenz , Peter Janich , Friedrich Kambartel , Christian Thiel and Harald Wohlrapp , once also Oswald Schwemmer .

The science critical approach Erlanger origin aimed at methodologically sound re -construction of the language of science in general and the individual scientific terminologies in particular, the logic in the form of a dialogic argumentation theory , the constructive justifiable mathematics in the strict ( arithmetic , Analysis ) as (in the broad sense probability theory , Geometry and Kinematics ), the protophysical measuring theory as well as the ethical principles and political science based on them with the aim of a “ theory of technical and political reason ”. The core of Erlangen's constructivism is the generally teachable and learnable and therefore comprehensible construction of terms as basic elements of all theory-based practice.

Theory and evidence

Up until the 16th century, the Aristotelian concept of science with its inductive-axiomatic-deductive structure dominated debates on the theory of science. With the emergence of the experimental natural sciences, empirical research was given a further task in theory formation: verification. Francis Bacon coined the term Experimentum crucis , which, according to Karl Popper, cannot prove the correctness of a theory, but only its falsification .

This falsificationist view of science was challenged on the basis of two problem areas: holism and “theory-laden observation”. The Duhem-Quine thesis states that a theory is always confirmed or falsified as a whole and not just a single statement of the theory. In the empirical review, a complex of theory, auxiliary hypotheses and boundary conditions is always up for debate. Norwood Russell Hanson and Thomas S. Kuhn were of the opinion that observations are fundamentally "theory-laden". In this sense, facts are never 'naked' and a fundamentalist conception of knowledge, according to which our knowledge can be traced back to neutral observations, is therefore inadequate.

Explanatory models

The best-known model for scientific explanations is the deductive-nomological explanatory model by Carl Gustav Hempel . This model has many critics. More recently, Nancy Cartwright in particular has criticized it as inaccurate and countered it with her simulacrum explanatory model .

Another currently discussed type of explanation is the conclusion to the best explanation (Inference to Best Explanation, IBE for short), a form of abduction .

"Context of discovery" and "context of justification"

The logical empiricist Hans Reichenbach introduced this distinction in 1938.

  • Context of discovery: According to Reichenbach, the philosopher of science does not need to consider singular and subjective influences to which a researcher is exposed ( context of discovery ) in the rational reconstruction and explanation of science .
  • Rationale: All that matters is how the scientist his claims - usually in the form of mathematical equations and using logic - justifies ( context of justification , rationale , explanation related ).

Karl Popper adopted this separation under these names. However, since Critical Rationalism opposed justification, the word analysis context is used today instead of justification context. This differentiation seeks to exclude accidental conditions (especially sociological and psychological) from scientific (causal) explanations and justifications.

The fact that “random” conditions in this sense are irrelevant for the justification of scientific theories and that they are strictly distinguishable from “actual” factors was contested by Thomas Samuel Kuhn - as previously by Ludwik Fleck . Rather, every justification is tied to a “paradigm” which u. a. includes certain conceptual schemes and normative conditions. Confirmations of a certain theory would only ever take place within such a paradigm that the evidence of competing theories, if they belong to a seriously different paradigm, is only visible after one has, as it were, converted to that paradigm. Which paradigm one is within is therefore essentially coincidental and not even rationally justified at first. These theses have recently been increasingly criticized by practically all adherents of scientific realism .

Two perspectives on theory and model

Theories are axiomatic-deductive calculi consisting of symbols and rules. The terms of the theory gain importance through reference to observations or through correspondence rules . Models only have a heuristic and educational function (according to Carnap). Braithwaite, however, sees models as further possible interpretations of the calculus. In today's discussion , the syntactic view, like the logical empiricism on which the syntactic view is based, is considered to be out of date. (It should be noted that the term "syntactic view" was not used by its proponents, but is a retrospective designation of representatives of the so-called "semantic view".)
Theories are defined as sets of models. Models are basically non-linguistic entities and are understood as realizations of theories corresponding to models in the model theory of mathematical logic . Realizations are concrete links and objects that are formulated abstractly by the theory. One example of the mathematical model for this view is mathematical group theory .

The change to the semantic, model-oriented view often corresponds to a focus on their main problem area of representation .

Model construction and analogies

Models are often constructed using an analogy with other systems. Mary Hesse distinguishes between positive, negative and neutral analogies. Aspects between model and system are similar (positive), different (negative), or not determinable (neutral). Neutral analogies motivate further investigations into the properties of the real system that is to be represented by the model.

History of the philosophy of science

Common names of the discipline are also "science logic", "science theory" and "methodology".

The preoccupation with the question of the correct and exact acquisition of knowledge is one of the central questions of philosophy and has been worked on by the greatest thinkers of mankind for thousands of years. The precursors of today's philosophy of science are v. a. Individual specialists from the 19th and 20th centuries who dealt with fundamental methodological questions of knowledge acquisition from the perspective of their subject. At that time the term "inductive philosophy" was used for it. A first chair was established at the University of Zurich in 1870 , but it had no major influence. It was only when Ernst Mach was appointed to the professorship for "History and Theory of Inductive Sciences" at the University of Vienna in 1895 that the subject gained importance. The "philosophy of science" as an independent term can only be used from the 1920s. At that time the Vienna Circle was founded , the starting point of neopositivism . Many topics and positions that were expressed in this group still determine part of the subject-internal discussion of the theory of science. While in exchange with the Vienna Circle, but largely rejecting its views, Karl Popper developed his falsificationist approach to critical rationalism, which he presented for the first time in 1935 in Logic of Research .

In 1935 , Ludwik Fleck countered abstract considerations about the 'essence' of science with an analysis of the social construction of science based on a case study. However, his book The Origin and Development of a Scientific Fact received little attention for a long time. The structure of scientific revolutions (original 1962) by Thomas S. Kuhn brought a turn to a more historically oriented discussion . With Against Method , Paul Feyerabend undertook a general attack on the basic assumptions of logical positivism .

In France there is no strict separation between the theory of science and the history of science. The French tradition of historical epistemology ( épistémologie ) goes back to Gaston Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem .

Paul Hoyningen-Huene divides the history of the philosophy of science - understood as the answers to the question of what science is -, schematically into four phases:

  • Antiquity (Plato, Aristotle) ​​up to the beginning of the 17th century: Science is understood as absolutely certain knowledge. The certainty of scientific knowledge is established through its derivation (deduction) from evident axioms (the truth of which "shines out" from them).
  • 17th century up to the middle / end of the 19th century: This second phase agrees with the first with regard to the required absolute certainty of scientific knowledge, however, to establish it, not only deductive inferences, but more generally "the scientific method", especially inductive methods, are allowed includes. The scientific method (or "scientific methods") are understood as rules that must be strictly followed.
  • End of 19th century until late 20th century: This third phase corresponds to the second with regard to the use of the scientific method (s) to obtain scientific knowledge, but abandons the requirement for absolute certainty of knowledge. Scientific knowledge is now called "fallibel"; H. regarded as not final and therefore fundamentally revisable.
  • Late 20th century until today: The belief in the existence of a scientific method as a set of rules that is strictly binding for scientific work is eroding. Thus, in addition to the absolute certainty of knowledge, the second constitutive characteristic of scientific knowledge also disappears. This gives the general question of what actually distinguishes scientific knowledge in contrast to other types of knowledge, renewed topicality.

Carlos Ulises Moulines divides the development of the philosophy of science since 1885 into five phases:

  • Germination (around 1885 to World War I)
  • Development (1918 to 1935)
  • classic phase (approx. 1935 to 1970)
  • historicist phase (approx. 1960 to 1985)
  • modeling phase (from the 1970s)

See also


Standard works


  • Wolfgang Balzer: Science and its methods. Principles of the philosophy of science. A textbook. 2nd Edition. Alber, Freiburg / Munich 2002, ISBN 3-495-47853-1 .
  • Alexander Bird: Philosophy of science. (= Fundamentals of philosophy ). UCL Pr., London 1998, ISBN 1-85728-681-2 .
  • Martin Carrier: Theory of Science as an introduction. 3. Edition. Junius, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-88506-653-8 .
  • Alan F. Chalmers : Ways of Science: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. 6th edition. Springer, Berlin a. a. 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-49490-4 .
  • Peter Godfrey-Smith: Theory and reality: an introduction to the philosophy of science . University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2003, ISBN 0-226-30063-3 .
  • Stephan Kornmesser, Wilhelm Büttemeyer: Theory of Science. An introduction. Metzler, Stuttgart 2020; ISBN 978-3-476-04742-7 .
  • James Ladyman: Understanding philosophy of science . Routledge, London 2002, ISBN 0-415-22157-9 .
  • Karel Lambert, Gordon G. Britten jr .: An introduction to the philosophy of science. Translated from the American by Joachim Schulte. Berlin / New York 1991.
  • B. Lauth , J. Sareiter: Scientific knowledge: an introduction to the history of ideas in the philosophy of science. 2nd Edition. Mentis 2005, ISBN 3-89785-555-0 .
  • Klaus Niedermair: A brief introduction to the theory of science and methodology: for social scientists and educationalists . Studia Universitätsverlag, Innsbruck 2010, ISBN 978-3-902652-18-8 .
  • Samir Okasha: Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2002, ISBN 0-19-280283-6 .
  • David Papineau : The philosophy of science. Oxford University Press, Oxford et al. 1996, ISBN 0-19-875165-6 .
  • Hans Poser : Theory of Science: A Philosophical Introduction . Reclam, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-15-018125-9 .
  • Alex Rosenberg : Philosophy of science: a contemporary introduction. (= Routledge contemporary introductions to philosophy ). 2nd Edition. Routledge, New York 2005.
  • Johann August Schülein , Simon Reitze: Theory of Science for Beginners. 4th edition. UTB, Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-8252-2351-9 .
  • Gerhard Schurz : Introduction to the philosophy of science. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2006.
  • Helmut Seiffert : Introduction to the philosophy of science. 11th edition. Beck, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-406-34622-7 .
  • Harald A. Wiltsche: Introduction to the philosophy of science . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-8252-3936-7 .

Reference books and manuals

  • Jürgen Mittelstraß u. a. (Ed.): Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science (1980–1996), Volumes 1–4, Metzler, Stuttgart 1995. (Special edition 2004, 2nd, revised and substantially supplemented edition 2005)
  • Helmut Seiffert, Gerard Radnitzky (Hrsg.): Handlexikon zur Wissenschaftstheorie. 2nd, unv. Edition. dtv, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-423-04586-8 .
  • Andreas Bartels, Manfred Stöckler (ed.): Theory of Science . A study book. mentis, Paderborn 2007.
  • Dominique Lecourt (Ed.): Dictionnaire d'histoire et philosophie des sciences. PUF, Paris 1999. (as TB 2006, ISBN 2-13-054499-1 )
  • R. Boyd, P. Gasper, JD Trout (Eds.): The Philosophy of Science. MIT Press, Cambridge 1991.
  • Martin Curd, JA Cover (Ed.): Philosophy of science: the central issues . Norton, New York / London 1998, ISBN 0-393-97175-9 .
  • Marc Lange (Ed.): Philosophy of science: an anthology. (= Blackwell philosophy anthologies. 25). Blackwell, Malden, Mass. 2007.
  • Peter Machamer (Ed.): The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of science. (= Blackwell philosophy guides. 7). Blackwell, Malden, Mass. 2002, ISBN 0-631-22108-5 .
  • WH Newton-Smith (Ed.): A companion to the philosophy of science. (= Blackwell companions to philosophy. 18). Blackwell, Malden, Mass. 2000, ISBN 0-631-17024-3 .

Criticism of theories of science

  • Geoffroy de Lagasnerie: Thinking in a Bad World. Translated from Felix Kurz. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-95757-527-2 .


See also : Philosophy Bibliography : Theory of Science - Additional references on the topic

Web links

Review article

Lecture material

Scientific centers and databases


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl R. Popper : All life is problem solving. About knowledge, history and politics. Piper-Verlag 1994, ISBN 3-492-22300-1 , p. 19. Popper writes here: “... to turn to my main topic, science theory or science logic. […] The older philosophy of science taught… ”.
  2. ^ Chris Pincock: Mathematical Structural Realism. published in: A. Bokulich, P. Bokulich (Ed.): Scientific Structuralism. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Springer 2008.
  3. ^ Ian Hacking: Representing and Intervening. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1983.
  4. PA Schillp (ed.): Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist . (= Library of Living Philosophers. Volume VII). Cambridge University Press, London 1949.
  5. Kurt Huebner: Critique of Scientific Reason. Alber Verlag, Freiburg 1978 and many other editions and translations.
  6. ^ A. Breininger: Communal political practice and constructive realism ... in categories of the theory of science . Univ. Vienna, 2009, pp. 26–55 (PDF; 703 kB).
  7. cf. on this: Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond , The misery of physics. On the production method of the natural sciences , Berlin 1975.
  8. For the history and further discussion of the distinction see Paul Hoyningen-Huene: Context of Discovery and Context of Justification . In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. 18, 1987, pp. 501-515.
  9. L. Fleck: Origin and Development of a Scientific Fact. Introduction to the teaching of thinking style and thinking collective . Schwabe, Basel 1935.
  10. ^ Passim in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions ; for analysis see Paul Hoyningen-Huene: Context of Discovery Versus Context of Justification and Thomas Kuhn . In J. Schickore, F. Steinle (Ed.): Revisiting Discovery and Justification: Historical and philosophical perspectives on the context distinction. Springer, Dordrecht 2006, pp. 119-131.
  11. ^ Paul Hoyningen-Huene: Systematicity: The Nature of Science. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 2-6.
  12. C. Ulises Moulines: The emergence of the philosophy of science as an interdisciplinary subject (1885-1914) . Publishing house of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7696-1646-0 ; also Ders .: The Development of Modern Philosophy of Science (1890–2000). Lit, Hamburg 2008, pp. 23-25.