History and Philosophy of Natural Sciences

The History and Philosophy of Natural Sciences line of research is geared to the promotion of studies and research in History and Philosophy of Science (HFC) and the respective social and cultural relations. It promotes projects that explore controversial issues that contribute to a humane manner of conducting science. Natural Sciences play a strategic role in today´s society, however, in order to understand their potential, limits and ethical, economic and cultural scope we should first master the history of the same, or in other words, we need to describe how scientific knowledge was legitimised socially through case studies that revealed the existence of discontinuities and controversies between science and “pseudoscience” (for example, positive results  from the “wrong theory”, or natural theology, alchemy etc.). Such as description includes illustrating values and interests of theoretical elaborations, their connections with analytical, empirical and mathematical aspects involving the debate on what is universal, neutral and practical. On this scale it becomes strategic to analyse the “History of Disciplines”, as it was through the description and recreation of how contributions regarded as decisive today that they established themselves as rational and empirical “truths” and defined other forms of knowledge (common sense, religious thought, philosophic speculation, anthropological knowledge). This approach of History and Philosophy of Science provides possibilities for reflection on the field of scientific and technological education.