Faculty of Management, Economics and Society

    Professorship of Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of the Social Sciences

    The Professorship of Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of the Social Sciences focuses its research activities on the question of how theories of the social sciences and other scientific disciplines can be integrated into a higher-level theory. We explore issues regarding the conditions of truth of these scientific theories as well as issues of uniform or differing methodology. Moreover, we want to clarify the methodological foundations of evidence-based management and deal with theories of causality and with type classification as the basic concept of scientific work.

    Beyond that, the teaching activities of the professorship focus on political philosophy, game theory fundamentals of social structures, philosophy of mind and general philosophy of science. We explore possible forms of cooperation between actors with fundamental personal interests and whether they remain stable. The philosophy of mind mainly addresses the relationship between the mind and the material world, whereas the general philosophy of science focuses, inter alia, on the differences between scientific and non-scientific theories.

    Linking theory and practice
    The following questions are of interest in this context

    In our courses, students deal with topics from the fields of philosophy of science, political philosophy, metaphysics, game theory, ethics and evidence-based management.

    • Introduction to the philosophy of science
    • Political philosophy
    • Economic philosophy
    • Game theory and social structure
    • Evidence-based management
    • Philosophy of the cognitive sciences

    Our courses are based on the basic principles of Witten didactics by fostering highly individualized learning, interaction instead of traditional chalk and talk lessons and strong practical relevance. Furthermore, we develop the way of acquiring proof of academic achievements together with our students by means of innovative forms of examination. This didactic approach aims at promoting independent learning as well as creative and critical thinking.

    Theory and practice

    Jens Harbecke collaborates with external professors and representatives from industry and society for conducting the courses. The courses on philosophy of science and evidence-based management are based, among other things, on case studies being elaborated together with experts from the business community and then presented to the students to work on, thus ensuring a broad knowledge base.

    Analytical competence

    Dealing with philosophical issues is primarily a theoretical challenge concerning fundamental questions of knowledge and agency. However, the analytical skills acquired this way are of direct practical relevance. With this in mind, our courses aim at providing the students with the opportunity to acquire important basic skills for their future professional activities; for example as scientists, entrepreneurs, managers, politicians or consultants.

    • The integration of cross-disciplinary research in neuroscience and social science
    • Causation and computational explanations in cognitive science
    • The scientific method of constitutive inference
    • Form and structure of constitutive and mechanistic explanations
    • The relationship between counter-factual theories and regularity theories of causation
    The Integration of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Neuroscience and Social Science – a Methodological Study on Economic Policies and the Neurosciences of Agency
    Causation and Computation in Neuroscience


    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jens Harbecke

    Univ.-Prof. Dr.
    Jens Harbecke

    Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Department für Philosophie, Politik und Ökonomik)
    Lehrstuhl für Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of the Social Sciences

    Nadja Arntzen

    Nadja Arntzen

    Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Department für Philosophie, Politik und Ökonomik)
    Lehrstuhl für Banking and Finance

    Phone: +49 (0)2302 / 926-818

    E-Mail: Nadja.Arntzen@uni-wh.de

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    Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: