The research-oriented master's program covers the theory and history of science and technology in a combination of the different perspectives and methods of the participating faculty of the Institute of History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Literature. The courses thus convey specialized knowledge about the conceptual foundations of science and technology, their historical conditions and development, their penetration of nature and society and their ethical implications. At the same time, there is the possibility of specializing in a field of study of discipline. It is the aim of the degree program to sharpen the attention and individual understanding of the far-reaching ways in which science and technology with their formal and material conditions shape our thinking and living together in the present and will continue to shape it in the future. The students are enabled to develop their own research interests and to pursue them independently.
Fields of Study
Philosophy of knowledge and the sciences
In the Philosophy of Knowledge and the Sciences course of study, in-depth knowledge of the philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy or ethics of technology, philosophical anthropology as well as philosophical-historical and systematic-analytical methods of normative and evaluative examination of scientific and technological developments are taken into account in terms of the human environment. The spectrum of topics ranges from current discourses in general philosophy of science (scientific models, explanations, etc.) and the philosophy of the individual sciences (philosophy of biology, mathematics, physics etc.) as well as theoretical questions of science communication about basic questions of general and applied ethics - especially technology -, environmental, medical and bioethics - up to the analysis and evaluation of future-oriented technical developments in digitization, human-machine interaction and AI. Particular value is placed on the practice of the competence for independent reflection and argumentation as well as the conception and presentation of scientific essays.
History of science and technology
The history of science and technology focuses on the historical development of science and technology in the context of society, culture, politics and the environment. It is less about the outstanding achievements of individual inventors and discoverers, but rather an understanding of how the human environment, scientific and technical knowledge and technical artifacts are mutually dependent and influence one another. The spectrum of historical developments ranges from antiquity to the modern times, from knowledge of inanimate and animate nature to the scientific penetration of human society, from the construction of high-tech artifacts to everyday technology. It is always about the changing status of scientific and technical knowledge and also about the limits of what is technically feasible and its consequences in society and the environment.
Literature and science
Based on the guidelines of literary history and poetics, the course of study in literature and science is dedicated to the transformation of the natural and cultural environment of man through science and technology. In the age of digitization and cybernetization, this brings up in particular the relationship between everyday and machine languages, combined with the question of how it marks the space of 'technical existence' today. By reading literary texts (poems, dramas, novels, essays) in reference to the history of knowledge, the ability to uncover tensions and upheavals in the becoming of the world is practiced. At a certain point it is essential to include the aesthetic forms of non-linguistic arts in the exploration. The course of study also includes introducing to the current field of digital humanities and thus opening up perspectives on the future of humanities research work.