Om kursen

This seminar-based course is intended as an introduction to key issues in the theory of science that are of special relevance to doctoral students at the department of Technology Management and Economics (TME). Topics include demarcation issues, i.e. what is science; the relation between science, engineering, and design sciences such as management research; and notions of theory and progress in the social sciences. In addition, we discuss the TME research domain and the knowledge interests and conditions for knowledge production that exist here. As part of this, researchers from different TME departments will join us to present their research as a basis for discussion of these topics.

It is recommended that participants have completed least one year of their PhD studies before taking this course. If more than 15 students wish to enroll, priority will be given according to years in the program.

15 September 13.15 -16.00
29 September 13.15 -16.00
13 October 13.15 -16.00
27 October 13.15 -16.00
10 November 13.15 -16.00
24 November 13.15 -16.00

Mer information


1. The scientific attitude (September 15, 13.15 - 16.00) This introductory section deals with ways in which science may distinguish itself from other social and cognitive forms, e.g. religion, politics or art. We discuss such "demarcation" issues from various perspectives, including science as a social activity, as a system of norms, and as principles for knowledge.

Klemke, E.D., Hollinger, R. & Wyss Rudge, D. (1998). Introductory readings in the philosophy of science (pp. 19-37). New York: Prometheus Books.

Longino, H.E. (1990). Science as social knowledge (chapter 4). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Merton, R.K. (1973) [1942], "The Normative Structure of Science", in Merton, Robert K. (ed.), The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Nola, R & Sankey, H. (2014). Theories of scientific method: An Introduction (chapter 2). New York: Routledge.

Bruno Latour, the Post-Truth Philosopher, Mounts a Defense of Science. New York Times. 25/8 2018.

2. The science/technology relationship (September 29, 13.15 - 16.00) The second section focuses on the relation between technology and science, in terms of their various goals, forms of knowledge production and their history. Special attention is paid to the issue of technology as a form of knowledge.

De Solla Price, D. (1984). The science/technology relationship, the craft of experimental science and policy for the improvement of high technology innovation. Research Policy, 13, 3-20.

Kantorovich, A. (1993). Scientific discovery. Chapter 1. New York, Albany: SUNY Press.

Layton, E.T. (1974). Technology as knowledge. Technology and Culture, 31-41.

Niiniluoto, I. (1993). The aims and structure of applied research. Erkenntnis, 38, 1-21

3. Theory and scientific change (October 13, 13.15 - 16.00) This section takes up key discussions in philosophy of science regarding the constitution of theory and progress in science including the social sciences. Drawing on previous sections, we will focus on where engineering and management stand in terms of these notions.

Glymour, C. (1992). Realism and the nature of theories. In: Salmon, W. et al., Introduction to the philosophy of science, pp. 104-131, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

McGuire, J.E. (1992). Scientific change: Perspectives and proposals. In: Salmon, W. et al., Introduction to the philosophy of science, pp. 132-178, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Rule, J.B. (1997). Theory and progress in social science (chapter 1). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Salmon, M.E. (1992). Philosophy of the social sciences. In: Salmon, W. et al., Introduction to the philosophy of science, pp. 404-425, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

4. The research paradigm of TME (October 27, 13.15 - 16.00) In this session, we discuss whether scholars at the TME department can meaningfully be seen as part of a unitary research tradition. If so, what characterizes this tradition? If not, what are meaningful distinctions?
Augier, M., & March, J. G. (2008). Realism and comprehension in economics: A footnote to an exchange between Oliver E. Williamson and Herbert A. Simon. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 66(1), 95-105.
Romme, A. G. L. (2003). Making a difference: Organization as design. Organization science, 14(5), 558-573.
Shtub, A., & Cohen, Y. (2015). Introduction to Industrial Engineering. 2:nd edition. CRC Press. Chapter 1.

Simon, H. A. (1988). The science of design: creating the artificial. Design Issues, 67-82.

5. Examples of TME research (November 10, 13.15 - 16.00) In this session, three colleagues from TME will come and present texts (TBD) and discuss how their work (both in general and the particular texts presented) relates to topics discussed throughout the course.

a. Martin Wallin, ES b. Henrikke Baumann, ESA c. Per Lundin, STS

6. Reflection and summary (November 24, 13.15 - 16.00) During the final session, each student will present their essay as well as read and discuss another student essay.


Henrik Berglund, Chalmers, TME. Tomas Hellström, Lund, FEK.