Barcelona HPS

Barcelona History and Philosophy of Science Research Group




The Barcelona History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Research Group began its work in 2013 and has become recognized, in 2015, as an official UAB research group. It studies questions about science that both (1) go beyond the ascertainment of empirical facts and (2) cannot be answered from the philosophical armchair as well, without reference to past and present science. More specifically, the Group focuses on three related lines of research.

1. Rationality and science: What is scientific rationality? When did conceptions of it emerge due to changes in scientific knowledge or methods, when in response to philosophical thinking about science? How are philosophical and scientific accounts of rationality related? These questions concern meta-scientific questions about how scientific methods and concepts thereof develop and improve over time, and they equally affect the thorny issue of where to draw the line between science and non-science.

2. Kantianism, naturalism, scientism, and the philosophy-science distinction: Under the impact of modern science, philosophers have debated the relation between science and philosophy. Some claim that all knowledge ultimately reduces to scientific knowledge (“scientism”), or that this undercuts the autonomy of philosophy (“naturalism”), while others, often following Kant, have argued for special tasks of philosophy vis-a-vis the sciences. How and in which varieties did such views emerge? What philosophical and scientific arguments have been developed for and against them? How does this affect the relations between science and philosophy?

3. Science and ethics: Science and ethics have been characterized as strictly separate, but also as closely connected – for instance, in arguments over the value-ladenness of science, the impact of science on society, or the possibility of a scientifically grounded ethics. What reasons have been proposed for and against such claims at different stages of the development of science? And how have they changed the ethical and political roles of science and scientific expertise?

The Barcelona HPS Research Group acts as central link between the UAB’s Dept. of Philosophy and the Center for History of Science (CEHIC). Many members, however, come from other universities and different countries. They participate in our sessions through videoconference, or join us as visiting scholars, thus making Barcelona a vibrant center within the international community of HPS researchers.

Links Philosophy Departments at Catalan Universities / Graduate Studies in Philosophy / Philosophical Societies



BHPS Barcelona History and Philosophy of Science Research Group
Philosophy Department
UAB Campus
08193 Bellaterra
TEL +34 93 581 16 18
FAX +34 93 581 20 01

Coordinador: Thomas Sturm
thomas.sturm "at"





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