In Annette Leßmöllmann, Marcelo Dascal & Thomas Gloning (eds.), Science Communication. pp. 3-28 (2020)

Gregor Betz
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
David Lanius
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology
Philosophy of science attempts to reconstruct science as a rational cognitive enterprise. In doing so, it depicts a normative ideal of knowledge acquisition and does not primarily seek to describe actual scientific practice in an empirically adequate way. A comprehensive picture of what good science consists in may serve as a standard against which we evaluate and criticize actual scientific practices. Such a normative picture may also explain why it is reasonable for us to trust scientists – to the extent that they live up to the ideal – and to rely on their findings in decision making. Likewise, a sound normative understanding of science exposes the limits of scientific understanding and prevents us from placing blind faith in scientists and experts. For these reasons, philosophy of science represents a useful resource and background theory for the practice and study of science communication. In this handbook article, we provide an opinionated introduction to philosophy of science by flashing a light on 22 central issues which (we think) are of special interest to scholars and practitioners of science communication – and, in particular, to scholars and practitioners of external science communication.
Keywords philosophy of science – scientific explanation – scientific justification – reliability – evidence – scientific progress – scientific controversy – scientific confirmation – science and democracy – science and values – scientific expertise – scientific policy advice – trustworthiness  scientific explanation
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