Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Philosophy of Science

Our research in philosophy of science addresses "general" philosophical question – that is, epistemological, methodological, semantic and metaphysical questions arising in several (perhaps all) scientific disciplines. Such general questions are concerned with the following issues:

  • The concept of probability and its applications: How does statistical and probabilistic reasoning work in scientific contexts? What exactly are the probabilities that scientists refer to in such reasoning processes? Is it possible to reconstruct deductively valid arguments and the semantics of conditionals in terms of probabilities?
  • Confirmation and Evidence: What does it mean that a scientific theory is well (or badly) confirmed? Are there both empirical as well as non-empirical types of confirmation? What defines good evidence? What is the relationship between good evidence and objectivity?
  • Theories, Models, Analogies: Scientists typically postulate theories and models – but what exactly are scientific theories and models? Is it convincing to understand the relationships between (all) theories in terms of reduction? What can we learn from idealized models about the real world? What can scientists learn from mathematical analogies?
  • Computer Simulations in Science and Philosophy: What type of knowledge do scientists gain through simulations (e.g through simulations of the climate)? Do computer simulations and so-called analogue simulations generate different kinds of knowledge? Are computer simulations a suitable tool for answering philosophical questions?
  • Causation and Explanation: How should we interpret the concept of causation and explanation in scientific contexts? On which methods can we rely for discovering causes? How can one represent constitutive or supervenience relations in causal models? How can we precisely explicate the varying strength of explanations? Do non-causal explanations exist?

Members of faculty working on philosophy of science:

Doctoral fellows working in philosophy of science: