Module Guide before WS 2016/17

Modul LS2800 G

OS MLS: Part of the module G: Philosophy of Science (WPBScWTh)


1 Semester
Turnus of offer:

each winter semester
Credit points:

Course of studies, specific field and terms:
  • Bachelor MLS 2009 (Module part of a compulsory module), life sciences, 4th semester
Classes and lectures:
  • Philosophy of Science (lecture with exercises or seminar, 3 SWS)
  • 70 Hours private studies
  • 45 Hours in-classroom work
Contents of teaching:
  • Science, technology and medicine permeate modern societies to increasing degrees. But what distinguishes science from other forms of knowledge, and how does its application impact our way of life? This module will introduce you to the foundations of philosophy of science through a lecture and a compact seminar in which we will discuss recent developments in the biosciences. You will learn to apply conceptual analysis and arguments in order to elucidate and evaluate such developments with regard to their philosophical, ethical, historical and social concequences. For this purpose, the compact seminar will turn to a theme that is currently hotly debated under the catchword „Big Data“. This is actually not a recent theme in the biosciences. Many biological disciplines – including botany, biogeography or ecology -- but also medical disciplines like pathology or epidemiology have always been data-driven rather than hypothesis-driven. While these disciplines were pushed into the background by molecular biology in the twentieth century, they experienced a renaissance in the last two decades associated with the rise of new research programmes such as biodiversity research, evidence based medicine or precision medicine. In the seminar we will discuss on the basis of historical sources, select scientific papers and documents from popular media how the life sciences collect, process and communicate data, which roles classifications, algorithms and models play in these processes, and which new ethical problems data-intensive research faces.
  • Students are able to recall and contextualise important dates, persons, and ideas in the history of concepts of life.
  • They can formulate, explain and discuss important philosophical aspects of biology, especially synthetic biology.
  • They can evaluate and critisize ethical standpoints in public debates of contemporary biology.
Grading through:
  • oral presentation and essay
Responsible for this module:
  • Dr. phil. Staffan Müller-Wille
  • : Special Section „Synthetic Biology - Science 333(2011): 1235-1256
  • J. Boldt, O. Müller, G. Maio: Synthetische Biologie - Bern 2009
  • M. A. Bedau / E. C. Parke: The Ethics of Protocells. Moral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory - Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press 2009
  • K. Köchy: Biophilosophie zur Einführung - Hamburg 2008
  • A. Brenner: Leben. Grundwissen Philosophie - Stuttgart: Reclam 2009
  • Martin G. Weiß (Hg.): Bios und Zoe. Die menschliche Natur im Zeitalter ihrer technischen Reproduzierbarkeit - Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp 2009
  • J. Schummer: Das Gotteshandwerk. Die künstliche Herstellung von Leben im Labor - Frankfurt/M. 2009.
  • offered only in German

Part of the module LS2800
Basics understanding of molecular Biology; Interest in philosophical-ethical questions in the life sciences

Letzte Änderung: