The mission of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science (MCPS) is to promote excellence in research and training in philosophy of science and related empirical studies of science. It was founded in 1953 by Herbert Feigl, a member of the famous “Vienna Circle” and the first to immigrate to North America. Feigl was well known for his “intellectual hospitality” and MCPS quickly became the gathering place for leading proponents of logical empiricism. The establishment of MCPS went hand in hand with the establishment of logical empiricism as the dominant philosophy of scientific knowledge. The Center is no longer committed to a single perspective and now seeks to promote a plurality of views about science and from a multiplicity of perspectives including historical and social scientific as well as philosophical.
The Center is both an international center of research and a local center that brings together scholars from multiple departments, colleges, and universities in our geographical region. It sponsors a variety of activities including multiple discussion groups, colloquia, and special events such as the annual science studies colloquium. It also brings together researchers from around the world through its visiting fellow program and its conferences, and conducts collaborative research projects through topical workshops, the major results of which are published in Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Current volumes in this series can be purchased through the University of Minnesota Press.
The Center provides the administrative support for the Graduate Minor in Studies of Science and Technology (SST) and also the Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology Graduate Group. It works collaboratively with a number of groups at the University including the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Graduate Program (HSTM), the Department of Philosophy (Phil), and the Theorizing Early Modern Studies Research Collaborative (TEMS).