College of Fellows

Focus Groups Archive

Science - Culture - Society

Science - Culture - Society was a joint project of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Helsinki), the Institute Vienna Circle (Vienna) and the CIIS (Tübingen)

Persons in charge

Prof. Dr. Sami Pihlström
Director, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Jyvaskyla Docent of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki

Prof. Dr. Sara Heinämaa
Academy Research Fellow
Academy of Finland
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. Friedrich Stadler
Professor for History and Philosophy of Science
University of Vienna, Institute Vienna Circle (Head) Departments of Philosophy and Contemporary History 

Prof. Dr. Michael Heidelberger
University of Tuebingen Department of Philosophy

Dr. Niels Weidtmann


The collaboration seeks to critically reassess science and the humanities in their respective endeavors to explain, but also to understand the causes, conditions and consequences of artistic, ethical, and religious phenomena in our current European cultures. The revived idea of a scientific philosophy is expected to deliver the required means for realizing this aim. The collaborative research project thereby addresses the huge tension that has grown between public and private worldviews due to the increasing implicitness with which science is commonly accepted to be the exclusive measure of successful social engineering while, on the other hand, religious beliefs, moral convictions and motivations, and artistic experiences still are most highly valued in a private sphere. This tension threatens to burst the coherence of European cultures also because science has developed schemes to explain art and religion by its own means in the last decade or two. Philosophy can play a decisive role in analyzing the relationship between science, art, ethics and religion and help to set up a dialogue between these different cultural phenomena. However, we suggest that to do so it has to go beyond the Kantian distinction of art, ethics, religion, and science and face the challenge posed by recent empirical approaches to these fields. It is the central starting point of the present project that this step may be taken with recourse to scientific philosophy as it has been developed in quite different measures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, i.e. neo-Kantianism, logical empiricism, phenomenology, and pragmatism.


25 - 27 May 2017 University of Tübingen "Phänomenologie und Pragmatismus"
10 - 11 December 2015 University of Helsinki "Naturalism"
11 - 12 October 2014 University of Tübingen "Philosophy of Social Science"
7 - 9 November 2013 University of Vienna "Logical Empiricism and Pragmatism"
1 - 3 February 2013 University of Helsinki "Interdisciplinarity"
12 - 13 February 2013 University of Tübingen "Science and Religion"