Research Centre for Theory and History of Science

Basic Characteristic of the Centre

The Research Centre for Theory and History of Science (RCTHS) was established in 2011 as an international research centre focusing on the philosophy and history of science. It functions as an integral part of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic.

RCTHS focuses on the exploration of the philosophical aspects of past and present scientific research. The aim is to grasp the philosophical foundations and consequences of scientific theories, to analyse scientific methods, to explore the effects of scientific research on culture, to present the history of key scientific terms and metaphors, to point out the transformations in the function of science over the course of history, to elaborate on the findings of the traditional philosophy of science, to develop philosophical analyses of science from the 20th century, to ask questions about the role of science in the modern world and to explore the expectations which have been associated with scientific research. In philosophical terms, members of RCTHS try to ask original questions, believing they will thus be able to uncover and analyse such characteristics of scientific research that have so far not been sufficiently explored. The team employed at RCTHS consists of experts who come from various universities and have different professional backgrounds. Our team experts with a variety of backgrounds and experience have the opportunity to look at the past and present of science anew from perspectives that might have previously been overlooked.

RCTHS employs three research teams: the first one focuses on science in ancient times, the second one deals with scientific research in the early modern period and the last one specialises in the traditional philosophy of science.

The members of these three research teams explore the intellectual, religious, cultural, philosophical and social aspects of the history of science and they believe that their interdisciplinary approach will lead them to unexpected and original explanations of several events in the history of science. This line of research focuses on the history of scientific concepts, the history of metaphors used in science, the history of scientific methods and thus far uncovered relations between philosophy, religion and science in the course of history. The team specialising in the philosophy of science deals primarily with the philosophy of mathematics, the interaction between philosophy and cognitive sciences and new interpretations of the traditional philosophy of science in the 20th century.

In general, the goal of RCTHS is to establish closer links between philosophy and science. The members of the RCTHS intend to publish the results of their work in peer-reviewed journals, especially in collaboration with foreign colleagues. RCTHS also organises seminars, workshops, international conferences, lectures, as well as informal meetings.

RCTHS is open to any form of international collaboration that would be relevant to research in the field of philosophy and history of science. Interested foreign lecturers and experts who would like to come for a short visit are warmly welcome to the facilities of RCTHS in Pilsen.