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390045 DK PhD-M: Philosophy of Science (2012S)

Foundations and Practicing Collaborative Knowledge Construction in Science and Technology

Continuous assessment of course work

Das Seminar findet von 5.3.2012 bis Ende Juni 2012 statt. Die anderen Termine finden im NIG statt.

For detailed information concerning the contents and dates see (here you can find *all* dates and locations!): http://www.univie.ac.at/knowledge/peschl/


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 05.03. 14:00 - 16:00 Hörsaal 13 Fakultätslounge
Monday 26.03. 09:00 - 17:00 Hörsaal 13 Fakultätslounge


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course gives both a theoretical overview on the foundations of philosophy of science and a hands-on introduction into practicing science and knowledge creation. In the first part we explore what science is, what its goals are, what it does, how it works, and what are its basic assumptions about knowledge, methods, the world, etc. We take a closer look at the processes involved in developing scientific knowledge/models; we follow the path from the phenomenon of interest, via the processes of observation, measuring, interpreting data, applying statistical methods, forming hypotheses, constructing scientific models/theories, making predictions and experimental designs, and finally "manipulating" the phenomenon of interest in an experiment (or simulation). These knowledge processes are reflected from the perspective of your respective discipline and research questions. We will discover that it is not really clear what the epistemological status of the resulting (scientific) knowledge is and-as a consequence-we will have to question classical concepts of science, such as that science gives us a true and objective picture of the world, that science is independent of observer and cultural influences, etc. Alternative concepts, such as Kuhn's scientific paradigms, the constructivist perspective, and others will be discussed as possible ways out.
The second part of this course addresses a crucial process in science: the generation of (radically) new knowledge. Students will conduct a practical knowledge creation project in interdisciplinary teams. The goal of this project is to achieve an expertise in state-of-the-art knowledge creation techniques (and their theoretical background), such as dialogue, reflection, world café, making explicit implicit assumptions, U-theory/presencing, different modes opf deep observation, conducting generative interviews, deep knowing/understanding, etc. This pert of this course aims at practically experiencing this socio-epistemological process/technology of generating (radically) new (scientific) knowledge in a interdisciplinary and collaborative context.
The course is designed in such a way that there will be enough space for reflection of your research projects and your questions concerning.
Guiding Questions
What is science? How does it work? Why are we doing science?
What is a/the scientific method?
What is the difference between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge?
How do we come from an observation to a scientific model?
What can a scientific theory/model tell us about the world? What are its strengths and its limits?
What is (radically) new knowledge? How does (radically) new knowledge come into being?
What is knowledge construction in science? How do we collaboratively construct knowledge?
What is knowledge work and what are knowledge technologies? What are main tools in this field and how do they work?

presentation in the first part of the module
presentation of project(plan) & prototype
final reflection/e-portfolio work
You have to be present for all face-2-face and team coaching sessions.
Academic Honesty
You are expected to be familiar with university policies on plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. By registering for this course/module you declare that all your work (presentations, submissions, papers, etc.) is your own work and that, to the best of your knowledge and belief, it contains no material previously published or written by another person nor material which to a substantial extent has been accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma at this or any other educational institution. In addition, you certify that all information sources and literature used are indicated in your work.
Plagiarism or cheating will result in a failing grade for this course; offenders may be subject to further administrative sanctions.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Learning Outcomes & Goals
Subject specific
" Knowledge and understanding of central questions, key concepts, approaches, and core terminology in philosophy of science
" Understanding und practical experience of knowledge technologies, socio-epistemological technologies, techniques of knowledge creation, and interdisciplinary cooperation.
" Gain insight into the field and scientific culture of philosophy of science
" Understanding and awareness of strengths and weaknesses of scientific knowledge
" Awareness of the differences in scientific cultures and terminologies
" Basic knowledge and understanding of the history of philosophy of science as a field
" Understanding of the relationship between natural sciences, humanities, and other forms of scientific and (so-called) non-scientific knowledge
" Gain familiarity with methods of knowledge creation, investigating reality, and knowledge technologies relevant in scientific processes
" Gain familiarity with a range of methodological and epistemological approaches and their methodologies relevant to philosophy of science and discern differences and commonalities between them
" Ability to read, present, and discuss philosophy of science relevant literature
" Ability to critically think and to reflect on different approaches in an interdisciplinary context
" Ability to work both in an analytical and synthetic mode
" Ability to assume a meta-perspective and to think in larger contexts
" Ability to reflect on one's implicit assumptions concerning one's discipline or approach
" Ability to communicate in physical and virtual environments
" Ability to discuss different points of view in an interdisciplinary team
" Ability to organize group activities
" Ability to appreciate individual expertise
" Ability to reflect upon and discuss individual motivation and interests in the context of ones personal and scientific identity
Target Group
This course is mainly designed as an advanced philosophy of science module for PhD- and advanced masters students, primarily for PhD-students on economics. It is open for students from all disciplines who want to get an overview of the field of philosophy of science and who are interested in state-of-the-art knowledge creation technologies. This course is explicitly designed for an interdisciplinary audience; they are expected to be open to other disciplines/perspectives, to share their knowledge, to reflect their (hidden) assumptions, as well as to be involved personally.

Examination topics

Teaching Methods & Course Design
The main didactical goal of this course is to learn by jointly generating, sharing, negotiating, and creating (new) knowledge. This course consists of two parts: the first part follows a classical seminar format whereas the second part is rather project oriented (with theoretical grounding).
Part 1: Foundations of philosophy of science
In this part students will work in groups on basic issues in philosophy of science in a seminar style design. Each group is responsible for a particular paradigm or question as well as for the didactical design of their unit: this includes presentation(s), room for practical applications and student interaction, reflection, open questions, as well as moderation of discussion.
The presentations have to be discussed with the teachers one week ahead of the planned presentation date!
Part 2: Knowledge creation
The second part of this course deals with issues of knowledge creation. It is designed as theory-guided practical project work consisting of several phases which are described in detail in the sections below. These phases consist of face-2-face sessions as well as of project work which has to be done in teams ("knowledge creation teams"/KCTs). Furthermore, these KCTs have their virtual (WWW) project space where they communicate and share their findings, observations, new insights, questions, etc. There will be one external "retreat-like" day outside the classroom where an alternative technique of knowledge creation will be experimented with. After a phase of prototyping the theoretical background and the experiences are reflected in the final phase.
These phases will be accompanied by the teachers in each step of the project work.

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:46