Methods in History and Philosophy of Science

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) invites PhD and Research Master Students in Philosophy to register for the course ‘Methods in History and Philosophy of Science’, to take place February – May, 2025. 

Organizing university

Tilburg University


February - May, 2025


Tilburg University

Type of activity

Research seminar

Primary target group

PhD students and ReMa students working in history and/or philosophy of science

If places available, also open to


Application/registration deadline

5th of January

About the topic

In 1959, Norwood Hanson famously claimed that the history of science without the philosophy of science is blind, whereas philosophy of science without a history of science is empty. Ever since, there have been both institutional and intellectual attempts to integrate the historical and philosophical inquiries/studies of science. These attempts have generated different, sometimes conflicting methodological approaches to conceptualize episodes from the history of science and their philosophical significance.

One important methodological conflict in this tradition of contact between history and philosophy of science pertains to the status of historical cases: should they be understood as evidence for general accounts of scientific inquiry, as tests for normative ideals for science, or as avenues to explore the diversity and complexity of specific scientific practices?

In this course, we provide an in-depth introduction to both historical and contemporary methodologies in HPS, discussing the work of Norwood Hanson, Larry Laudan, Ian Hacking, Jutta Schickore, Hasok Chang and Lorraine Daston.

Aim / objective

The course aims to introduce students to a diversity of methodological approaches that use the history of science as an avenue to advance our understanding of what science is. At the end of the course students will have

  1. the ability to apply these different approaches to specific episodes in the history of science and
  2. to critically compare and evaluate these applications.


Part I: Reading and critical discussion of six different approaches to HPS (6 weeks)

Part II: Student presentations on cases/examples of HPS methods (4 weeks)


Claudia Cristalli & Fons Dewulf 

Required preparations

Readings, participation, student presentations of their own work 

Certificate / credit points



The activity is

Free for PhD students who are a member of the OZSW and/or another research school in Humanites (LOGOS);
– Free for Research Master students who are a member of the OZSW and/or another research school in Humanities (LOGOS);

All others pay a tuition fee of 300 euros.

Please note that there might be the option to register as a member of the OZSW which would give you free entrance to this and all other OZSW activities. Please check if you are eligible here:

How to apply / register

Registration will open in August/September.

Make sure to submit short abstract of research interests and motivation (100-200 words) in the registration form.

Registration/application form

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.

Cancellation and registration policy


Claudia Cristalli, Tilburg University,

Fons Dewulf, Tilburg University,