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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


This intensive reading group aims to discuss how the History and Philosophy of Science can be pursued within an integrated framework. We aim to learn from different approaches that scholars have taken to IHPS and discuss broader methodological questions surrounding them. Our focus equally lies on the general fruitfulness of IHPS as a methodology and its particular potential in different areas of science, history, and philosophy. Participants are required to prepare a significant amount of reading material, which covers a diverse range of contexts, questions, and scientific disciplines.

Meetings are on Mondays, 5–7pm unless otherwise indicated

Organised by Hasok Chang (hc372), Miguel Ohnesorge (mo459), Oscar Westerblad (ow259), and Katy Duncan (ksd37).

Lent Term 2021

Note: During Lent Term, all of our speakers and some of their colleagues will be present during the discussion of their work.

18 January

Jutta Schickore,
(i) About Method: Experimenters, Snake Venom, and the History of Writing Scientifically (Chicago UP, 2017), Introduction and chapters 1–3 and 5–6.

8 February

Theodore Arabatzis,
(i) 'What's in It for the Historian of Science? Reflections on the Value of Philosophy of Science for History of Science', International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 31:1 (2017). 69–82.
(ii) 'Hidden entities and experimental practice: renewing the dialogue between history and philosophy of science', in S. Mauskopf and T. M. Schmaltz (eds.), Integrating History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects (Springer, 2012).
(iii) Representing Electrons: A biographical approach to theoretical entities (Chicago UP, 2006), chs. 3 and 9.

22 February

Friedrich Steinle,
(i) Exploratory Experiments: Ampère, Faraday, and the Origins of Electrodynamics (Pittsburgh UP, 2016); selections TBC.

Friday 5 March, 1pm

Teru Miyake,
(i) 2017. 'Magnitude, Moment, and Measurement: The Seismic Mechanism Controversy and Its Resolution.' Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Vol. 65–66 (Oct–Dec 2017), 112–120.
(ii) (with George E. Smith). Forthcoming. 'Realism, Physical Meaningfulness, and Molecular Spectroscopy.' In Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge from the History of Science, Timothy Lyons and Peter Vickers, eds., Oxford University Press.
(iii) Forthcoming. 'Residual Phenomena and Nineteenth Century Optics.' In On the Question of Evidence: A Celebration of the Work of George Smith.

All unpublished papers will be circulated through the mailing list.