Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Presentation and History

The Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) is the successor to the Institute for the History of Science, which was founded in 1932, later amending its name in 1933, under the aegis of the University of Paris, to Institute for the History of Science and Technology. In 2002, the Joint Research Unit named "Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology" was created under the trusteeship of the CNRS and of the University Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Intellectual foci and emphases of research at IHPST have shifted over time from the history of science (1932-1970) to logic (1970-2002) and the philosophy of science (2002-present). The Institute has nevertheless continued to bring together researchers with strong background in both philosophy and science.

The use of the disciplinary label "Philosophy of Science" does not betray a marked preference for a particular school of thought or methodology, nor does it reflect a bias toward specific research topics. Indeed, the latter may and do vary with respect to the members who make up a given unit. Methods currently practised in the philosophy of science such as conceptual analysis and other formal and historical approaches are also encouraged to the extent that the primary objective informing their application remains philosophical in thrust.

Research Activities

IHPST is presently composed of five research teams:

    1. History of Philosophy of Science
    2. Philosophy of Biology and Medicine
    3. Logic, Language, Philosophy of Mathematics
    4. Philosophy of Physics, Scientific Understanding, Unity of Science
    5. Decision, Rationality, Interaction

Each researcher is principally associated with one of the above research teams. These research teams do not, however, operate independently from one another. Collaborations and crosscutting interactions are encouraged.

Ongoing Projects

Recent and current research projects hosted at the IHPST include:

  • “Explanations in Evolutionary Biology” (P. Huneman)
  • “Theoretical Foundations of Biological Organization” (M. Mossio).
  • “Phenotypic Plasticity” (F. Merlin; A. Nicoglou) .
  • “Logic, Computation, and Normativity” (P. Wagner).
  • “Beyond logic” (J. Fichot).
  • “The Action-Product Distinction and Its Importance in Speech Act Theory and Social Ontology” (F. Moltmann).
  • “Mathematics: Objectivity by Representation” (M. Panza)
  • “Metaphysics of Science: Levels, Individuals and Dispositions in light of Current Science” (M. Kistler).


At IHPST, each research team has its own research seminar taking place once a month; moreover, a common seminar in general philosophy of science brings together all the teams once a month. There is also a specific seminar and reading group organized for and by PhD students (twice a month). Finally, IHPST is regularly involved in the organization of international schools (e.g., New perspectives in philosophy of biology, Cargèse, 2016, org: Merlin & Mossio), as well as international workshops and meetings (recent events include):

  • ISHPSSB 2013;
  • International Workshop Stability and Variation in Biological Systems, 2016;
  • APMP 2015;
  • Metaphysical and Mathematical Explanation: New Perspectives, 2017;
  • New Trends in the Metaphysics of Science, 2015;
  • International Workshop: Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Consciousness, 2016).

Studying at IHPST 

The option "Logic and philosophy of science (LOPHISC)" of the master’s program in philosophy at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne offers a rich program covering the following three domains: philosophy of science (general philosophy and history of science, history and philosophy of biology, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy and history of physics, and philosophy of cognitive science); logic and epistemology (including philosophy of language and philosophy of logic). Each student chooses a curriculum adapted to her background and interests. A member of the faculty supervises the research of each student. The program prepares for the second year of the master’s program and for the PhD in philosophy, but also for a variety of professions at the interface between philosophy, the sciences and technology. During their studies in the master’s program LOPHISC, students are welcome to participate in all research activities of the affiliated research teams at the IHPST.

International Collaborations

  • Philosophy of the Life Sciences (Exeter, Vienne, San Sebastian, Milan, Genève, Bielefeld); - - Franco-German project ANR-DFG (Constance, Tübingen)
  • PICS (Keio University)
  • LIA (Montréal-Paris-Toronto)
  • COFECUB (Universiy of Rio, Brazil)
  • Franco-Mexican Advanced Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science, Universidad Nacional Autónoma Metropolitana and Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
  • Consortium of Philosophy of Biology (P1, Duke, Montréal, Toronto, Cambridge)

Visiting Schemes

IHPST regularly hosts visiting professors, researchers and students coming from all over the world. Visiting fellows are invited to give plenary lectures at the institute, and to take part in all the scientific activities, including teaching. In recent years, the IHPST has hosted more than 24 senior researchers and 20 young postdoctoral and doctoral fellows.

© 2021 European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA)

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