Philosophy and the Sciences

Machinehal 1868. Foto: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

What is the relationship between philosophy and the sciences? Is philosophy a science itself, or does it deal with questions that require radically different, non- or “un-scientific” modes of investigation? Does philosophy have a role to play in unifying the sciences, or in justifying their epistemic presuppositions? How have philosophical ideas influenced and informed our understanding of the notion of “science” and its cognates, and what is their impact upon empirical research in various disciplines? Conversely, how has philosophy been informed by developments in the sciences? 

Our group studies how the relationship between philosophy and the sciences has developed and changed throughout the centuries. We are particularly interested in the philosophical underpinnings of scientific and medical discourse in antiquity and in the medieval Islamic world, in debates on the classification of the sciences (including its boundary phenomena) in the long nineteenth century, and in philosophical responses to scientific developments.