ABSTRACT: Philosophy of science thinks about science. It is a sub-field of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methods, and implications of science. Central questions concern what qualifies as science, the reliability of scientific theories, and the ultimate purpose of science (Wikipedia). The philosophical research project philosophy of science for the engineering sciences started in 2003. This project was driven by the hypothesis that a generally accepted, traditional picture of what science ‘really’ is, does not serve the engineering sciences well. Beliefs about general scientific methodology, for instance, are supported by this traditional ‘picture of science,’ which may hamper critical thinking about scientific methodology in the engineering sciences. Similarly, beliefs about the purpose of science may suggest that the engineering sciences are not even proper science. Moreover, the traditional ‘picture of science’ encompasses concepts by which we speak about science (e.g., theory, law, explanation, experiment, truth, proof). These concepts, in their traditional meanings do not suit very well for thinking (and talking) about the engineering sciences. The project has resulted in a new vocabulary and an alternative ‘picture of science (also called ‘conceptual framework’) that suits better to the engineering sciences. It provides radically new ways of looking at (and thinking about) fundamental issues of sciences, such as: What is the purpose of science? What is (scientific) knowledge? What is scientific methodology? and, What is the role of values in science? In this talk, I will address a few remarkable findings in this philosophical project and connect this with common experiences in actual research practices.
19 Mar 2019
1st Young Professionals Conference on Process Engineering 2019