Philosophy of Science


Degree Course Center for Doctoral Studies in Business
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl
Contact hours per week 2
Grading Topic presentation and course participation
Language of instruction English
Room R 715, L 15, 1-6
Time See schedule below
Registration wifo1(at)
Office hours By appointment


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. On the one hand, the course will focus on those concepts which derive knowledge from observation and induction. However, 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 artifacts. Thus, the underlying epistemological foundations are of central interest to all Ph.D. students that study the structure and surrounding behavior 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 06.09.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Introduction
  • Assignments
  • Literature
2 20.09.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Science as knowledge derived from the facts of experience
  • Observation as practical intervention
  • Experiments
  • Deriving theories from facts: induction
3 04.10.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Introduction to falsificationism
  • Sophisticated falsificationism, novel predictions, and the growth of science
  • The limitations of falsificationism
4 18.10.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Kuhn’s paradigms
  • Lakatos’ research programs
  • Feyerabend’s anarchistic theory of science
  • Methodical changes in method
5 15.11.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • The Bayesian approach
  • The new experimentalism
  • Why should the world obey laws
  • Realism and anti-realism
6 29.11.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Epistemological streams in IS Research
  • Epistemological streams in Operations and Logistics Research
7 13.12.2010
13:45 h - 17:00 h
  • Buffer

Introductory literature

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

Literature for the Assignments has to be retrieved by participants.



60 % Topic presentation, 40 % Course participation