Science theory

the science theory is a subsection of philosophy, which concerns itself with the conditions, methods and goals of science and its form of the realization production. As German variant of the English term „Philosophy OF Science " the term is meanwhile generally usualbecome. Central issues of the science theory read:

  1. Which characteristics does scientific realization exhibit? (e.g. Explanation, forecast of experimental results)
  2. which draws scientific realization gain out (methodology)?
  3. Is there scientific progress?
  4. Which epistemological status scientific theories have and from them postulatedEntitäten? Is science a form of truth identification or must scientific realization be more pragmatically conceived?

Table of contents

Realistic theories

scientific realism

general agent: Hilary Putnam, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Boyd, Ernan McMullin, Stathis Psillos
Scientific realism can be brought on two main statements:

  1. The terms of a scientific theory refer to material Entitäten,that means on objects, which exist in the reality.
  2. The history of the sciences is to be understood as an approximation to the truth.

structural realism

general agent: John Worrall
According to structural realism science is not in thatSituation to recognize contents of the reality. Science describes rather the structure of the reality. The proof, which Worrall in its look up-exciting paper “Structural realism” submits, the Fresnel is based by theorizing over the light-basic ether on the continuity of mathematical equations,won, to the Maxwell equations, which describe the characteristics of electromagnetic fields. The ether was rejected, but the equations are this very day from validity. See also: Science-theoretical Strukturalismus


general agent: Ian Hacking, Nancy Cartwright
The “Entitätsrealismus “believes not in the Entitäten, but only in such, postulated by the theory, which play a role with experimenting. A Entität is material, if by their manipulating new phenomena can be produced.

Positivisti theories

of the positivism is a philosophy, which obligates realization on the interpretation of “positive findings” (in the scientific sense). An investigation can furnish “positive findings”, if it before (experimentation) the result the investigation conditions, and thus also for a successful proofdefined.

Empiriokritizismus as variant of the positivism

see to Empiriokritizismus


see Neopositivismus (Rudolf Carnap, Viennese circle)


the position probably most popular in the sciences is those of the critical rationalism, which was developed by Karl Popper and developed in particular by Imre Lakatos. According to the Falsifikationismus the goal of the science is not the verification (like the naive materialist would state), but the Falsifikation of hypotheses by experiments and/or. Observations. Hypotheses and theories are considered as true until they are disproved. Lakatos rejected the view of the “naive” Falsifikationismus, after which theories must be given up completely, if them falsifiziert, i.e. by experimental or empirical results to be disproved. Rather become with Falsifikationen inthe rule maintain always conscious or also unconscious fundamental convictions, which form the core of a so-called research program, and only the Zusatzanahmen going beyond this core is modified. The fundamental convictions, which constitute the core of a research program, can be given up after Lakatos only,if a better, alternative research program is present.

relativistic theories


general agent: Henri Poincaré, Ernst Mach
Ernst Mach was the opinion that theories are only a kind mnemonics, the observations more simply and less pedanticallymake zugängig. This thesis is called also thinking economics
see: To Konventionalismus, shape theory

instrument valleyism

see instrument valleyism (Pierre Duhem).

to Pragmatismus

see Pragmatismus (John Dewey, Charles S. Peirce)


as general agents of the science-theoretical relativism applies Paul Feyerabend. Often also Thomas Samuel bold is called Relativst, although he always rejected this designation.
For bold the Inkommensurabilitätsbegriff is central. Scientific paradigms are thus incomparable inkommensurabel.Of truth one can speak therefore in each case with reference to a certain paradigm. Feyerabend called with its Anything goes! the anarchy in the science against the method obligation out (so the German translation of its work Against Method). Both boldand Feyerabend were the opinion, observations are in principle “theory loading” (“theory loaded”).

social constructionalism

general agent: Bruno Latour, Karin Knorr Cetina
social constructionalists maintain that also apparently objective scientific facts actually the result dependent on processes of the social construction, and onthe social situation of the laboratory, the research establishment etc. are.

constructional Empirismus

general agent: Bas van Fraassen
Representatives of the constructional Empirismus are agnostisch in relation to theoretical terms of a theory (atom, gene o.a.). Everything that a constructional Empirist believes, is observations,with the naked eye (every now and then with the help of instruments) to manage leave themselves. The Empirismus wants to explain the goal of the science. This is according to opinion of the constructional Empiristen empirical adequateness.

constructional realism

representative: Friedrich Wallner< /br> FriedrichWallner differentiates in its Ontologie between the reality - human consciousness facing -, the designed reality with its (sub) discipline eras micro worlds and the life reality - culture-specifically tradierte systems of rules and convictions.

The goal is the representation of the circleof article and method in the research and its consideration with the interpretation of the science. Like the Solipsismus it is conscious of the uncertainty of the article, recognizes themselves however that it requires a multiplicity of actions, around to a contentwise senseto come. As method (even) - realization is offered the Verfremdung.

methodical programs

Erlanger or methodical constructionalism

General agent: Paul Lorenzen and Wilhelm Kamlah, as well as Jürgen Mittelstrass, Kuno Lorenz, Peter Janich, Friedrich Kambartel, Christian Thiel and Harald Wohlrapp, once also Oswald Schwemmer.

The science-critical beginning Erlanger of origin aims to construction of the science language at the methodically perfect RH - generally and the singlescientific terminologies in the special, the logic in formdia.-logical argumentation teachings, constructionally begründbaren mathematics in the closer (arithmetic, analysis) as in the broader sense (probability theory, geometry and kinetics), the protophysikalischen gauge as well as the ethical principles and on it creating political science with thatA goal of a “theory of the technical and political reason “. Core of the Erlanger constructionalism is those generally lehr and learnable and thus of everyone comprehensible construction of all practice theory-supported of terms as basic elements.

to operationalism

see operationalism (Percy William Bridgman).

theory and evidence

  • the Duhem Quine thesis mean that a theory confirms always as a whole and not only an individual statement of the theory and/or. one falsifiziert.
  • Francis Bacon coined/shaped the termthe Experimentum Crucis, which decides biuniquely on the truth the one or the other hypothesis. This idea is doubted in the today's science theory.

explanation models

the most well-known model for scientific explanations is that so-called. Deductive-CNOMO-logical explanation model of Carl Gustav Hempel. This model is criticized of Nancy Cartwright (philosophies ) as unfounded and by its so-called. Simulacrum Erklärungsmodell replaces.

A further, up-to-date discussed, kind of explanation is the so-called. Inference for best explanation, briefly IBE (or also Abduktion).

“Context OF discovery” and “context OF justification”

the Neopositivist Hans realm brook introduced this distinction 1938. According to realm brook the science philosopher needs singular and subjective influences, those with the rational reconstruction and the explanation of science a researcher suspendedis not to consider. Everything, on which it arrives, is, as the scientist justifies his statements - normally in the form of mathematical equations and by means of logic -.

This distinction runs in last consequence on an exclusion of allegedly kontingenter events (in particularsociological and psychological kind) of science-philosophical theorizing outside and by bold in its book The Structure OF Scientific was revolution contested , which can be regarded as successful synthesis of the two “contexts”.

two aspects regarding theoryand model

smelling pool of broadcasting corporations axiomatic-deductive calculations are consisting of symbols and rules. The terms of the theory win meaning by reference on observations and/or. by so-called. Correspondence rules.Models have only heuristic and educational function (according to Carnap). Braithwaite however understands models as further possible interpretations of the calculation. One holds the syntactic view in the today's discussion just like the logical Empirismus, on which the syntactic view is based,for overhauls. (It is to be marked that the term “syntactic view” was used not by their Proponenten, but a retrospective designation of the so-called. “semantic view” is)
to theories as quantities of models is defined. Models are in principle non-linguistic Entitäten and become as realizations of theories in accordance with of models in the model theory that Mathematical logic understood. Realizations are concrete linkages and objects, which are formulated abstract by the theory. An example of the mathematical model of this aspect is the mathematical group theory.

Altogether leaves itself in the change from the syntactic to the semantic viewa change of the focus on theory to models and their main problem field of the representation constitute.

model construction and analogies

of models are often designed by a analogy reasoning with other systems. Mary Hessian differentiates between positive, negative and neutral analogies.Aspects between model and system are similarly (positively), differently (negatively), or not determinable (neutrally). Neutral analogies motivate further investigations of the characteristics of the material system, which is to be represented by the model.

history of the science theory

the first science theoryAristoteles with its writing Analytica Posteriora supplies. It divided the science into three ranges:

  • The theoretical science regards what of humans is independent and possesses no outside purpose except the realization. Into it above all those falls Physics and the Metaphysik.
  • The practical science brings up for discussion what lies in the range of the human actions, which brings however nothing out except the action. Hierein falls above all Aristoteles' ethics and the policy.
  • The poietische science examines that,which lies in the range of the human activities and brings here an object out.

Further important science theoreticians, who are today only from historical interest:


Philosophy bibliography: Science theory- To this topic there are additional reference works

of introduction works

  • Alan F. Chalmers: Ways of the science. Introduction to the science theory, 5. Edition, Berlin and others 2001
  • crave, to R., Understanding Scientific Reasoning, New York; London: Gets,Rinehart and vienna clay/tone, 1979.
  • Lauth, B.; Sareiter J.: Scientific realization. An idea-historical introduction to the science theory, 2. Edition, Mentis publishing house, 2005

reference books

  • Jürgen Mittelstrass (Hg.): Encyclopedia philosophy and science theory, Bde. 1-4, (Metzler), Stuttgart 1995 (extra charge 2004)
  • Seiffert,Helmut; Radnitzky, Gerard (Hrsg.) (1992): Hand encyclopedia to the science theory. 2. unv. Aufl. (Orig. 1989), Berlin: dtv, ISBN of 3-423-04586-8

standard works of the primary literature

see also


Lecture material



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