European Philosophy of Science Association 

Philosophy of Science in Europe: Norway & Poland

Norway


Questionnaire filled in by Olav Gjelsvik


Olav Gjelsvik is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo.


(a) How many (full) professors of philosophy are there in your country (approx.) and how many are philosophers of science?


There are almost 50 full professors of philosophy in Norway, and more than 200 permanently or temporarily employed at a university or college of higher education. Only a handful of the philosophy professors specialize mainly or wholly in philosophy of science. Quite a few other philosophy professors are partly in philosophy of science, as they have contributed to this field in interesting ways, even if they tend to work on quite general philosophical questions in epistemology, metaphysics, etc. In Bergen there is a centre for philosophy of science/theory of science, in Trondheim and Oslo there are also units devoted to the theory of science and science and society.


(b) How would you characterize philosophy of science in your country? For example, is it mainly general or specific (philosophy of physics, psychology, economics etc.)?


It is both. There are some who work on general issues like causation, theory choice, evidence and evidence assessment, ethics of science; there are more who have contributed to specific issues in the philosophy of mathematics, biology, linguistics, social science, etc. There tend to be more full-time philosophers of science among researchers who work on general issues than among those who work on more specific issues.


Then there are also several professors with philosophical interests but with their affiliation in neighboring disciplines, and there are interesting meeting places like all university seminars on questions in the theory of science and the philosophy of science. Lately several people working in philosophy of science have taken up positions in Norway, arriving from other countries, like England, Holland and the US. There is also some good work on the borderline formal epistemology/philosophy of science.


(c) What are the possibilities and chances in your country for external funding in philosophy of science?


The chances for external funding are quite good; Research Council Norway is a well funded and also a reasonably well-run funding agency. Then there is of course EU money etc. In contrast to many other countries, there are no charity foundations or any other kind of non-state funding available to philosophers of science.


(d) Is there in your country a society for philosophers of science and if so, what are its activities?


There is no such society in Norway; in fact there is no general society for philosophy in Norway.


Poland


Questionnaire filled in by Katarzyna Paprzycka


Katarzyna Paprzycka is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw.


(a) How many (full) professors of philosophy are there in your country (approximately) and how many are philosophers of science?


There are approximately 230 full professors of philosophy in Poland, approx. 30 specialize in philosophy of science. There are approximately 30 habilitated doctors, some very active, who specialize in philosophy of science.


(b) How would you characterise philosophy of science in your country? For example, is it mainly general or specific (philosophy of physics, psychology, economics etc.)?


There has been a strong emphasis on philosophy of science in Poland ever since the rise of the Lvov-Warsaw school at the beginning of the 20th century. The work of such figures as Twardowski, Ajdukiewicz, Kotarbiński, Leśniewski, Łukasiewicz, or Tarski has given solid foundations and has shaped future generations. One of the best known second generation philosopher of science was Przełęcki. Others include Amsterdamski, Augustynek, W. Krajewski, Suszko, Woleński, Wójcicki. In the 1970s, L. Nowak, together with J. Kmita, founded the Poznań School in philosophy of science, which focused on the problem of idealization.


Currently, there are philosophy of science units (sometimes housed in epistemology units) within Institutes of Philosophy in most major universities. They tend to be centered around leading researchers (some of whom are relatively young). A few research groups deserve special mention, viz. those led by: Tomasz Placek at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (branching space-times, causation, quantum physics); Michał Heller at the Copernicus Center in Cracow (philosophy in science, philosophy of physics); Tomasz Bigaj at the University of Warsaw (philosophy of physics, quantum physics); Marcin Miłkowski at Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw (philosophy of cognitive science); Krzysztof Brzechczyn (idealization, philosophy of history) and Paweł Zeidler (models, philosophy of chemistry) both at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. There is interest in general issues in philosophy of science (often conducted by researchers interested in metaphysics) like causation. There is also considerable interest in the philosophy of specific sciences – those that have been traditionally of interest to philosophers of science (physics, biology, psychology, cognitive sciences, humanities, social sciences) but also those that have not been of such central interest (like chemistry or geology).


(c) What are the possibilities and chances in your country for funding in philosophy of science?


Though Polish philosophers tend to be underfunded generally, there are opportunities for external funding especially from the National Science Center (which regularly seeks referees from outside Poland) as well as a couple of ministerial programs. The Copernicus Center in Cracow has been funded by the Templeton Foundation. In addition, Polish philosophers can apply for EU grants. There are no foundations or private institutions that offer funding.


(d) Is there in your country a society for philosophers of science and if so, what are its activities?


Polish Association for Logic and Philosophy of Science is a reactivation (as of 1991) of the Polish Logical Society, which was founded in 1936 by Łukasiewicz and Tarski and whose activities were cut by the Second World War. The society organizes and co-organizes regular national and international conferences. It sponsors two journals: Studia Logica and Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, and also popularizes philosophy of science.


In addition, there are two other journals devoted to philosophy of science published in Poland: Filozofia Nauki (which publishes papers in Polish and in English) and Poznań Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities.


Find us on:

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software