Philosophy of science is one of the department's main areas of research and teaching. At present, seven faculty members and eleven PhD students work in this field. Click on the arrows to explore the different research topics that our team works on!
Philosophy of science at Bielefeld University has two core areas. On the one hand, we share an interest in questions concerning the relations between science and society, science and values, and science in the context of application. On the other hand, we engage in the practices of the life sciences (e.g., biology, neuroscience, medicine, and psychology) and address various methodological, conceptual and metaphysical questions. In both core areas our research is characterized by a practice-oriented, interdisciplinary approach.
The Institute for Interdisciplinary studies of science (I²SoS) holds a weekly colloquium, in which papers are given by invited speakers and local researchers from across the philosophy, history, economics and sociology of science. The members of the Doctoral School meet several times during the semester for the GRK colloquium; there is the Brown Bag reading group in which we discuss our work in progress and a weekly Team meeting of the philosophers of the life sciences (PhilBio Meeting). In the reading group Classics and Gems, graduate students and anyone else interested discuss high-profile classics and lesser known gems from post-positivist philosophy of science (monthly meetings Tuesdays 2-4p, please contact David Lambert for details). Additionally, the department hosts talks of invited speakers and a research seminar (Philosophischer Club). Furthermore, the recently established Bielefeld colloquium in philosophy of psychiatry is happy to welcome new members.
Philosophy of science in Bielefeld has an international orientation. Our team regularly offers classes, colloquia and conferences in English and with participation of international scholars.
Students can participate in exchange programs with leading institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame, Georgia State University, University of Bologna, Paris-Sorbonne University.
Bielefeld also participates in the EPSA program offering visiting fellowships for
junior philosophers working in Central and Eastern Europe.
For graduate students can be part of the European Ph.D.-Network in Theoretical Philosophy, which aims at promoting the scientific quality and the internationalization of doctoral education (members: universities of Bergen, Bielefeld, Bologna, Bucharest, Helsinki, and Uppsala).
The I²SoS hosts several research projects, amongst them the DFG-funded Doctoral School "Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research" , two DFG-funded research projects on research in the context of application, and on methodological questions of climate research, and an EU-funded project on responsible research and innovation. Philosophy of science is also part of two DFG-funded Collaboraltive Research Centres (CRCs), one on "A Novel synthesis of Individualization across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution" the other one on "Practices of Comparing".
“Cross-sectional Project Concept Formation”, project in the research grouproject "Individualisation in Changing Environments (InChangE)" funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW, PIs: Kaiser M.I., Malsch A. (2022-2025)
DFG research project "Individual-based research: concepts, epistemology and integration"; project in the CRC-TRR 212 "A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution"
DFG research project “Complex Biological Dispositions: A Case Study in the Metaphysics of Biological Practice”; project in the research group FOR 2495 “Inductive Metaphysics” (2020-2023)
DFG research project "Research in the Context of Practice: Strategies for Making Application-Oriented Science Epistemically Sound and Practically Beneficial" (2019-2022)
DFG Doctoral School (Graduiertenkolleg 2073) "Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research" ; together with the University Hannover (since 2015)
DFG research project "Comparing at the Interface of the Physical and Life Sciences, 1960 to 2000"; project in the CRC 1204 "Praktiken des Vergleichens (Practices of Comparison)" (2017-2020)
ZiF Cooperation group "Governance, Incentives, and the Quality of Knowledge" (2019-2021)
DFG research project "The Ontological Status of Individualised Niches"; project in the CRC-TRR 212 "A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution" (2018-2021)
ZiF Cooperation group "Breaking Confines: Interdisciplinary Model-Building for a Complex World" (2018-2020)
DFG research project "Climate Engineering In Between Reliability and Liability (CEIBRAL)", part of SPP 1689 (2013-2016); continued as "Climate Engineering Liability and Reliability: An Integrated Treatment (CELARIT)" (2016-2019)
"Responsible Research and Innovation", a project funded within the Nucleus consortium (New Understanding of Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and scientific institutions) within Horizon 2020 (2015-2019)
Dilthey Fellowship "Science and Values", funded by Volkswagen Stiftung (2009-2016)
ZiF Cooperation group "Mathematics as a Tool" (2012-2015)
ZiF Research group "Science in the Context of Application" (2006-2007)
Dr. Aleksander Ostapiuk (U. Wroclaw), November 2019
Prof. Milos Arsenijevic (University of Belgrade), October – December 2019
Dr. Milos Vuletic (University of Belgrade), October – December 2019
Prof. Justin Biddle (Georgia Institute of Technology), May – July 2015
Prof. Zaiqing Fang (Chinese Academy of Sciences), June – July 2016, October – December 2018