What is Philosophy
What is Philosophy
of Science
What is Verification
and Falsification
about Science
Science according to
Scientific method
Paradigm and
paradigm shift
Karl Popper -
Logic and status
Consequences of Popper's theses
Alternative Science
Chalmers: What is this
thing called Science?
Epistemology -
induction deduction

What is philosophy of science

When the definition of the term "philosophy" is clear, the definition of the term "philosophy of science" is not too far away.


Definition of the term philosophy of science

According to, the term "philosophy of science" can be defined as:


Philosophy of science implies discussion about science
without references to empirical foundations


Details of the definition

Philosophy implies discussion without references to empirical foundations. If we accept that definition, philosophy of science hence discusses contents of the term "science", without connecting the discussion to our experienced properties of the term.

Within philosophy of science, the empirical foundations are in fact quite comprehensive.

Studies of how scientific work was performed earlier is called History of science.

How scientific work is performed today is most often described in scientific publications. For instance within chemistry, more than one million scientific articles are published annually. Most of these articles contain explanations to the purpose of the article and its background.

In spite of that the concept of science therefore actually is well known, it is frequently discussed within Swedish non-natural science university faculties, often erroneously confused with epistemology.

Points of view in philosophy of science

As in all philosophy, philosophy of science suffers from lack of overviews and references to earlier publications (possibly with exception to antique Greek philosophers). The works are limited by different points of view, e.g. opinions published by Karl Popper or Alan Chalmers.


Other definition of the term "philosophy of science"


Branch of philosophy that attempts to elucidate the nature of scientific inquiry
• observational procedures, patterns of argument, methods of representation and calculation, metaphysical presuppositions.
• and evaluate the grounds of their validity from the points of view of epistemology, formal logic, scientific method, and metaphysics.


(The definition appears to have been removed, as noted January 2013)



Philosophy of science - Background

In the first number of the journal "Philosophy of Science", the reasons behind foundations of the journal were described.

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE is the organized expression of a growing intent among philosophers and scientists to clarify, perhaps unify, the programs, methods and results of the disciplines of philosophy and of science.

The examination of fundamental concepts and presuppositions in the light of the positive results of science, systematic doubt of the positive results, and a thorough-going analysis and critique of logic and of language, are typical projects for this joint effort.

Malisoff - Philosophy of Science 1 (1934) 1



Why philosophy of science?

When trying to publish an article in a scientific magazine, the scientific mehtod instantly and concretely becomes obvious. You have to describe what others have done, what you have done and how you did it. If the methods and results were not clearly expressed, the magazine editor will deny publication. You are often aware of that your results are not a final conclusion of the area, other publications may develop measurements och hypotheses in a better manner than you did.

So why are philosophers of science only concerned about concepts in science, other than the scientific method?

Here are two possible answers:




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