LEAHPS-2019: Learning From Empirical Approaches to HPS 2019

July 25, 2019 - July 27, 2019
Department of Philosophy & Leibniz Center for Science and Society, Leibniz University Hannover


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University of Pittsburgh
University of Copenhagen
Norwegian University Of Science And Technology - NTNU
Universität Hannover
University of Utah
University of Western Ontario
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


Universität Konstanz
Universität Hannover
Universität Hannover

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In recent years, historians and philosophers of science have taken an empirical turn in their own work, conducting surveys and interviews, embedding themselves in scientific research groups as both observers and participants, designing and conducting new experiments, and developing computational approaches to questions in the history & philosophy of science.   Philosophers of science have also begun to utilize empirical and computational methods, aiming to provide empirically grounded and systematic insights into actual behaviors and patterns and more reliable normative accounts of scientific inquiry.

Three exemplary perspectives from which philosophers can gain insights about scientific practice are:

(1) philosophers engaging with scientists in the laboratory on the boundaries of their disciplines; (2) qualitative empirical methods; (3) computational methods. These three approaches will play a central part at the conference. Contributors should address how the methods they use serve philosophical aims and help to answer their research questions. Central questions to be addressed include: What can HPS learn from interviews and surveys? How is “HPS in the lab” different from the sociology of science? Which questions in HPS can be answered using empirical methods? Which cannot? How do empirical methods need to be adapted to answer philosophically relevant questions? And how does expanding methods and methodologies change the field of HPS?

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