A distinguished, active department

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University is one of the oldest of its kind in the world—founded in 1960. We consider the medical tradition, and its integration within the history and philosophy of science, to be a vital and continuing part of our mission.

Our department offers a number of advanced degrees, including several Ph.D. and M.A. options, giving you various ways to develop your expertise in the field. We also offer undergraduate minors that pair well with nearly every subject area, giving your undergraduate degree added interest, depth, and breadth.

Our faculty is very active and engaged, serving the academic needs of a vibrant group of graduate and undergraduate students. Courses in our department attract a wide variety of students in many fields.

A wide variety of approaches

While the studies we undertake assume many different forms, they share the common aim of understanding how science works. Some researchers look at the history of science, while others analyze the abstract structure of scientific theory and practice. Still others examine detailed foundational issues in specific sciences. Many employ a combination of these and other approaches.

The particular focus of our work also varies widely: some researchers concentrate on abstract ideas and theory, others on experimental techniques and the apparatuses needed to undertake them. Some examine the institutional setting of science—universities, laboratories, government agencies—or the interactions between science and technology, religion, or social movements. Historical topics range from the science and technology of ancient Greece to the development of quantum field theory, and beyond. Philosophical issues include the epistemology and metaphysics of science, the logic of theory testing and theory evaluation, the role of experiment and heuristic in scientific growth, and the foundational questions that arise in specific sciences.

Interested in learning about our degree programs?