Quasar Telescope

The quasar dates back to less than one billion years after the big bang. Photo: NASA/ESA/G.Bacon, STScI.

Project (2017-2023)

Heuristical Strategies: In Pursuit of Quasars

A fruitful test for theoretical approaches in the field of philosophy of science is to apply them to individual scientific research projects. At which point should traditional models be abandoned? How should empirical tests be conducted? How are models construed? The answers to these questions affect the sciences and humanities in an equal manner. However, scientists only rarely adopt philosophical approaches in their day-to-day scientific practice. In cooperation with the observatory Bergedorf and the ESO (European Southern Observatory), several research projects have been investigating and implementing philosophical concepts of cognitive processes since 1995. In subprojects of the research project “Quasarforschung” (Professor Reimers/Dr. Wisotzki), epistemic systems are modeled and normatively applied. The subject of this particular project was the investigation of large parts of the southern sky in order to identify quasars. This cooperation constituted the first example of a project in which philosophical criteria of theoretical assessment were applied to ongoing research processes. Joint publications have been published as a result.