According to the traditional understanding, philosophy is the pursuit of a universal understanding of all things knowable. Philosophy seeks an orientation in the knowledge universe of the individual disciplines. This knowledge serves an understanding of the world view on which science is based. Along with this orientation comes a concept which illustrates what ethical action is.

The philosophical thought behind this research program is based on the premise that scientific theories are always linked to societal norms, which provide the explanatory value of theories for research and societal behaviors. Theories are concepts of the world, formulated for practical use and required to prove their explanatory value in practice. The rational and historical development of theories follows laws that are characterized by conditions internal to the theory.

The laws of development for theories become clear when theories are considered as conceptual frameworks. Concepts are subject to shifts in meaning. Over the course of time, they are further refined and differentiated; Concepts are revalued within the context of the theory, and implicit conceptual connotations even permit equivocation. Changes in the concepts lead to changes in the theories.

The quality of a culture depends in no small part on the degree of differentiation of the theoretical concepts that define the scientific and social norms. Our culture is characterized by different technical concepts. The historical scientific and philosophical material represents the empirical field of study for philosophical debate about the development potential of theories.

In this context, the historical study of scientific theories allows us to make propositions about possible trends in the development of current theories. Such predictions can be useful as a theoretical basis for decisions and the planning of future research and development programs in economics, natural science, and technology. 

Scientific theories are formulated in a social framework and, in this respect, encompass behavioral guidelines and moral standards whose rationale and legitimacy must be founded on ethics. This creates reciprocal relationships among theories and behavioral norms which is especially relevant for technical assessments and the evaluation of biological and chemical technologies (ecology). 

Philosophy attempts to explain possible trends in the development of theories and their implications for the respective culture. It must explain conceptual connotations for a self-understanding of the sciences and question the general validity or scope of the behavioral standards.

Rational and historical modeling of conceptual thought and the analysis of major scientific concepts can contribute to the integration of the individual disciplines. 

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