Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 45, Supplement 1, pp 71–160 | Cite as

Philosophy of Science in Germany, 1992–2012: Survey-Based Overview and Quantitative Analysis

  • Matthias UnterhuberEmail author
  • Alexander Gebharter
  • Gerhard Schurz


An overview of the German philosophy of science community is given for the years 1992–2012, based on a survey in which 159 philosophers of science in Germany participated. To this end, the institutional background of the German philosophy of science community is examined in terms of journals, centers, and associations. Furthermore, a qualitative description and a quantitative analysis of our survey results are presented. Quantitative estimates are given for: (a) academic positions, (b) research foci, (c) philosophers’ of science most important publications, and (d) externally funded projects, where for (c) all survey participants had indicated their five most important publications in philosophy of science. In addition, the survey results for (a)–(c) are also qualitatively described, as they are interesting in their own right. With respect to (a), we estimated the gender distribution among academic positions. Concerning (c), we quantified philosophers’ of science preference for (i) journals and publishers, (ii) publication format, (iii) language, and (iv) coauthorship for their most important publications. With regard to research projects, we determined their (i) prevalence, (ii) length, and (iii) trend (an increase in number?) as well as their most frequent (iv) research foci and (v) funding organizations. We also distinguished between German-based and non-German-based journals, publishers, and funding institutions, making it thereby possible to evaluate the involvement of the German philosophy of science community in the international research landscape. Finally, we discuss some implications of our findings.


Philosophy of science in Germany Survey Academic positions Foci of research Publications Externally funded projects 



We thank Wolfgang Spohn, Maria Kronfeldner, Ludwig Fahrbach, and Ioannis Votsis for their valuable comments. We are grateful to the GAP, the GWP and the editors of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science (Ulrich Krohs, Helmut Pulte, and Gregor Schiemann) for their support. We are indebted to all participants of the survey. Without their support this paper would not have been possible. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge Sarah Ipakchi, Annika Schuster, Tina Druckenmüller, Philipp Grimm, Anna Kim, and Sebastian Maaß for their help with processing the survey results.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Unterhuber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Gebharter
    • 2
  • Gerhard Schurz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Düsseldorf Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (DCLPS)University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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