Philosophy of Science and Science and Technology Studies

Philosophy of Science and Science and Technology Studies through the Lens of Technology


Date: 30 November–2 December 2023
Location: Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Jilská 1, Prague 1 (Conference room, 1st floor) / CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Language: English
Organizers: CEFRES, Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (FLÚ AVČR).


On the international scene, the separation between ‘STS’ and philosophy of science seems more marked than ever. Since the great controversies between relativists and realists in the 1980s and the Science Wars of the 1990s, the two communities have drifted far apart, and in a sense beyond dissensus. However, a good part of STS specialists could benefit from a philosophical perspective on their work, and vice versa, philosophers of science from a better understanding of problems that have long haunted the history and sociology of science as well as STS.

We believe that a reflection on the technical phenomenon in general, apart from its intrinsic importance, could shed new light on the explicitly or implicitly conflicting relationships that exist between the different traditions of analysis of the sciences. Are not the technical objects that the sciences use or produce the very place where the separation between philosophy of science and STS becomes apparent?

We propose to set up a working-group that will begin by discussing various texts from different traditions (Anglo-Saxon philosophy of science, Marxism, French epistemology, sociology of science, STS, etc.), each of which will shed light on techniques both from the point of view of their conceptual analysis and from the point of view of their social and historical study.



Location: Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy,
Conference Room, 1st floor, Jilská 1, Prague 1

9:00 The Workshop Opening

Zdeněk Konopásek – CTS, Charles University / Czech Academy of Sciences

9:15 – 10:45 Session 1
> Sophie Roux
École Normale Supérieure (Paris), République des savoirs

(Coffee Break)

11:00 – 12:30 Session 2
> Lucie Fabry
Université de Bourgogne, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche “Sociétés, Sensibilités, Soin”


14:00 – 15:30 Session 3
> L
ukáš Hadwiger Zámečník Palacky University Olomouc, Faculty of Arts

(Coffee Break)

16:00 – 17:30 Session 4
> Xavier Guchet
Université de Technologie de Compiègnem COSTECH – Connaissance, Organisation et Systèmes Techniques


Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1

9:00 – 10:30 Session 5
> Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne

(Coffee Break)

11:00 – 12:30 Session 6
> Jan Mar
šálek Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies


14:00 – 15:30 Session 7
> Aristotle Tympas
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Department of History and Philosophy of Science

(Coffee Break)

16:00 – 17:30 Session 8
> Ange Pottin
Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna, Institut für Wissenschafts und Technikforschung, Universität Wien

19:00: Dinner


Location: Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy, Conference Room, 1st floor, Jilská 1, Prague 1

9:00 – 10:00 Organizers’ Meeting

10:00 – 12:00 General Discussion

Texts suggested for reading

In case you would need a copy, please contact Jan Maršálek (

Sophie Roux

  • Canguilhem Georges, « Descartes et la technique », dans Bayer Raymond (dir.), IXe congrès international de philosophie, fascicule II, Paris, Hermann, 1937, p. 77-85. Republié dans Canguilhem Georges, Œuvres complètes, t. I, Vrin, Paris, 2011, p. 490-498. English version : from A Vital Rationalist. Selected Writings of Georges Canguilhem, trans. A. Goldhammer, Zone Books, New York, 200, pp. 219-226.
  • Canguilhem Georges, « Activité technique et création », Communications et discussions, Société toulousaine de philosophie, IIe série, 1938. Republié dans Canguilhem Georges, Œuvres complètes, t. I, Vrin, Paris, 2011, p. 499-506.

Lucie Fabry

  • Bachelard Gaston, The new scientific spirit, Arthur Goldhammer (trad.), Boston, Beacon Press, 1984 : Introduction, p. 1-18.
  • Latour Bruno et Steve Woolgar, Laboratory life: the construction of scientific facts, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1986 : chap. 2, “An anthropologist visits the laboratory”, p. 43-90.

Lukáš Hadwiger Zámečník

  • Hans Radder, Technology and Theory in Experimental Science (2003, in The Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation).
  • Ronald Giere: Science without Laws (1999), ch. Science and Technology Studies (pp. 56-68) / Scientific Perspectivism (2006), ch. Scientific Observing a Scientific Theorizing.

Xavier Guchet

  • Feenberg, Andrew, « What is Philosophy of Technology », Lectures for the Komaba undergraduates, 2003
  • Ihde, Don and Malafouris, Lambros, « Homo faber Revisited : Postphenomenology and Material Engagement Theory », Technol.32, 195–214 (2019).

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent

  • Bruno Latour “Une sociologie sans objet? Remarques sur l’interobjectivité”, Sociologie du travail, 4, 1994, pp. 587-607. English version : Latour, Bruno, « On interobjectivity », Mind, Culture and Activity, 3-4, 1996, pp. 228-245.
  • Denis, Jérôme, et Pontille, David, Le soin des choses. Politiques de la maintenance, La Découverte, 2022, chapitre 5. English : Denis, Jérôme and Pontille, David, « Material Ordering and the Care of Things », Science, Technology and Human Values, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2015, pp. 338-367.

Jan Maršálek

  • Harry Collins, “Son of Seven Sexes: The Social Destruction of a Physical Phenomenon”, Social Studies of Science, Vol. 11, No. 1, Feb. 1981, pp. 33-62.
  • Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, « L’éther, élément chimique : un essai malheureux de Mendeléev ? », The British Journal for the History of Science, vol. 15, n. 2 (1982), 183-188.

Aristotle Tympas

  • Bruno Latour, Introduction: “Opening Pandora’s Black Box”, in Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society, Harvard University Press, 1987, pages 1-17.
  • Louis Althusser,  “Why is the State a Special Machine?”, in Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings,1978-1987, Verso, 2006, pages 99-110.

Ange Pottin

  • Simondon, Gilbert, Du mode d’existence des objets techniques, Aubier, 2012 [1958], introduction. English version : Simondon, Gilbert, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, trans. C. Malaspina et J. Rogove, Univocal, 2012.
  • Castoriadis, Cornelius, « Technique » (article de l’Encyclopedia Universalis, 1973), in Carrefours du Labyrhinthe, 1, Seuil, 1978. English version : translated by K. Soper and M. H. Ryle, Harvester Press, 1984.