History and the Philosophy of Science

Working Group History of the Philosophy of Science

The historical tradition in the philosophy of science. Illustrated by Ernst Mach and his reception

How is to possible to connect philosophy and the history of the sciences in theory and practice? How can the results of such a connection serve to bridge the various disciplines?

As a physicist, philosopher and “scholar of nature” Ernst Mach (1838-1916) was predestined to take on the newly created chair for the philosophy of inductive sciences at the University of Vienna in 1895. A long-standing member of the Academy of Science, he also was a crucial influence in shaping scientific research and its implications in historical epistemology and philosophy of science.

Throughout his entire life Mach sought to address both the theory of research and the history of science together, providing ample space to include the historical tradition in philosophy and science.

The connection of theory of science and the history of science is a central interest of research in recent philosophy of science. Here Ernst Mach serves as an intellectual point of reference for an integrative view of the historical and theoretical reflection of the sciences. Such an approach also allows us to reassess Ernst Mach’s life and work in terms of current debates. From the perspective of an integrated approach to the history of science and philosophy of science new potential continues to evolve for concrete ongoing research projects.

Project head:

Friedrich Stadler

Further (honorary) project group members:

Markus Aspelmeyer, k.M.
Johannes Feichtinger, k.M.
Elisabeth Nemeth
Bastian Stoppelkamp

Administrative and editorial support:

Josef Pircher


Kommission für Geschichte und Philosophie der Wissenschaften
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2
1010 Wien
Tel: +43-1-51581-3650