History and Philosophy of Sciences

Welcome to the Department of History and Philosophy of Sciences

The Department of History and Philosophy of Sciences (DHFC) is the only university department in Portugal that is exclusively dedicated to teaching and researching historical and philosophical questions related to science.  In fact, as far as we know, it is the first department with these characteristics in the history of our country.  Even though its emergence is relatively recent - it dates back to 2007 - FCUL’s intention to create it is long-standing.

The academic staff, researchers and students of DHFC live at FCUL among their scientific colleagues, but in relation to science they adopt a particular point of view.  Instead of being directly involved in scientific activities, the look at and analyse the scientific phenomenon “from the outside”, that is, their object of study is science itself.  In fact, science holds such a prominent place in our societies that understanding its historical evolution and trying to clarify the conditions that turn it into this particular form of knowledge has become one of the most relevant topics today.

DHFC is mainly aimed at training 2nd and 3rd cycle students, but it also collaborates in the training of undergraduate students.  Teaching and research at DHFC is carried out in accord with the most demanding academic parameters, with a strong involvement in projects and in collaborations with some of the most reputed international academic institutions. We always aim to empower students and researchers so that they may continue their careers in any part of the world.  Special attention is also given to matters of higher interest for the Portuguese society, such as issues of scientific and technological assets, the scientific legacy in national archives or communication with society.  

Henrique Leitão
Head of Department