Philosophy of Science


This course is designed for Ph.D. students in information systems, business administration and computer science. It provides a basic understanding of philosophy of science and its epistemological foundations. The course will focus on those concepts which derive knowledge from observation and induction. Since it also takes experiments as well as the new experimentalism into account, it also refers to those disciplines that focus on the evaluation of technological artefacts. The underlying epistemological foundations are of central interest to all Ph.D. students that study the structure and surrounding behaviour of complex technological arrangements. The course will be offered in a seminar style. All Ph.D. students have to offer at least one presentation and a documentation regarding a specific topic. Allocation of topics will be conducted by the lecturer.


No. Date Content Presenter(s)
1 21.09.2007 Kick-Off Heinzl
2 05.10.2007 Science as knowledge derived from the facts of experience
Observation as practical intervention
3 19.10.2007 Experiments
Deriving theories from facty: induction
4 02.11.2007 Introduction to falsificationism
Sophisticated falsificationism, novel predictions, and the growth of science
The limitations of falsificationism
5 16.11.2007 Kuhn's paradigms
Lakatos' research programs
Feyerabend's anarchistic theory of science
6 30.11.2007 Methodical changes in method
The Bayesian approach
Theh new experimentalism
7 14.12.2007 Why should the world obey laws
Realism and anti-realism

Introductory literature

Chalmers, A.F.: What is this thing called science? 3rd edition, Open University Press, Maidenhead 1999


60 % Topic presentation, 40 % Course participation