Scientific-philosophical competence
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Every scientific approach refers – at least implicitly – to scientific-philosophical questions: What distinguishes science, and how does it differ from other opinion-based systems? How can researchers defend their (presumptive) findings? Is there such a thing a scientific progress?

The Philosophy of Science is a relatively young branch of Philosophy, at the centre of which lies the fundamentals of science and special thematic areas from individual academic disciplines. It leads us to reflect on scientific methods and goals and illuminates both explicit and implicit basic assumptions, on which the sciences are based.

As part of the scientific-philosophical area of competence in General Studies, students acquire the following skills:

  • They develop the ability to critically reflect on the methods and terminology of their own subject area, as well as draw connections to scientific thinking and action in historical and socio-cultural circumstances.
  • They acquire general argumentation, discussion and presentation skills and receive the chance to test these with respect to specific challenges of an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Being confronted with other disciplinary perspectives, they learn to reassess the scope of their academic discipline, look beyond the boundaries of their area of expertise and develop a sensibility for contentious issues of methodology.
  • After acquiring the above-mentioned skills, the students are given the opportunity to prepare themselves for the demands of the modern knowledge society, marked by specialisation on one hand and interdisciplinary collaboration on the other.

The seminars in the scientific-philosophical area of competence cover a broad thematic spectrum, comprised of both historical and systematic approaches to scientific-philosophical questions. The course examines classical texts from the Philosophy of Science, as well as contemporary discussions, e.g. regarding social and gender-specific conditions in the sciences. Various methods are used to impart these interdisciplinary skills in the seminars: The course content is especially comprised of interactive instruction, presentations and group work. Strong focus lies on intensive and critical work with texts and discussion. Alternative teaching formats are also offered, for example, an interdisciplinary working group and the Student Day at the Centre for Philosophy of Science (ZfW).

Responsible for the scientific-philosophical area of competence: Dr. Markus Seidel (Centre for Philosophy of Science)
Participating faculties and institutions: Centre for Bioethics, FB 01, FB 04, FB 06, FB 09, Centre for Philosophy of Science