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What is Philosophy of Science

When the definition of the term "philosophy" is clear, the definition of the term "philosophy of science" becomes equally clear.


Definition of the term Philosophy of Science

According to my opinion, the term "Philosophy of Science" can be defined as:

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


The softer definition, comparable to the softer definition of philosophy, reads: "discussion about what Science may be, or could have been" (as opposed to what it has been shown to be).

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.


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

How scientific work is performed today is described in most 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.


Another definition


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.

One of the "points of view" for "evaluation" of the basis of science is hence claimed to be "metaphysics", a term that implies "something that cannot be observed".
The definition appears to have been removed (noted January 2013)


Points of view in philosophy of science


As in all other philosophy, philosophy of science suffers from lack of overviews and references to earlier publications.


The works are often restricted by different points of view, e.g. opinions published by Karl Popper or Alan Chalmers.


Philosophy of science - Background


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

Later philosophy of science has stagnated far from this initiative.

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 (1934) - Philosophy of Science 1, p.1.