What are the Subjects and Problems of Philosophy of Science?June 28, 2021
Since the recent era, developments in science and technology have attracted the attention of philosophers as well as most people.
In this respect, philosophers have sought to systematically question science. This situation led to the emergence of philosophy of science among the basic disciplines of philosophy. Philosophy of science; It is a philosophy that questions the nature, structure and functioning of science in general and its concepts, principles and method in particular.
Scientists try to explain the events in nature in a systematic way by experimenting and observing. The philosopher of science, on the other hand, tries to reveal what scientific activity means by questioning the structure and functioning of science, scientific thought and method in general in the activity of scientists. In short, philosophers of science question the value of science and the problems of science, such as the nature of relations between scientific theories. However, it asks questions that science cannot yet answer, and also questions why those questions cannot be answered at the moment.
Philosophers’ thinking about science goes back at least to Francis Bacon. Bacon sensed that the New Age would be the age of science and proposed a new method (induction) to accelerate the development of science. Likewise, Immanuel Kant also thought about science, and especially tried to ground Newton’s physics. However, the most important events that prepared the emergence of philosophy of science as a new branch of philosophy, XIX. century to XX. There were scientific advances at the turn of the century. The extraordinary achievements of science in the recent period have greatly increased the interest in it and pushed the thinkers to question science. As a result, philosophy of science emerged as a separate branch of philosophy. Philosophy of science is thinking about science. The subject of philosophy of science is science. your science; validity, reliability, concepts, laws, classification and so on.
Philosophy tries to understand and explain the whole existence by including science and the results it has reached. While doing this, it also benefits from the results of science. Philosophy does not just make use of science and its data. With its brand new questions and grounded explanations, it shows new targets to science and opens its horizons.
Another point to be noted is that philosophy of science is not science. Because the philosopher of science tries to show us the effect of science on the structure, functioning and human life by questioning rather than giving us new information about the events in nature. In order to better understand what the philosophy of science is, first of all, it will be useful to examine what science is and to reveal its relationship with philosophy.
Also please see:
– What is science?
– What is the scientific method?
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Introduction to Sociology” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)