Maria Kronfeldner

Position: 
Member of the Science Studies Certificate Program
Rank: 
Associate Professor

Contact information

Building: 
Nador u. 13
Room: 
201
Office Hours: 
Tues.: 13:00-13:30; Wed.: 13:00-15:30 and 17:10-18:10
Phone: 
+36 1 327-3000 x2853

Maria Kronfeldner works in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences and the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. She has published widely in this area, and has been awarded for some of her publications (The Karl Popper Essay Prize of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science; The Philosophical Quarterly International Essay Prize). From 2010-2014 she was Junior Professor at Bielefeld University. Earlier she held several fellowships, among them at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin; at the Fishbein Center for History of Science and Medicine of the University of Chicago; at the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh; and at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science of the University of Sydney. She earned her PhD at the University of Regensburg in 2006.

Area of specialisation: philosophy of the life sciences, philosophy of the social sciences.

Area of competence: history of the life sciences, general philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind.

Research focus: anthropology, biomedical sciences, evolutionary biology.

Profile: During her graduate time, she focused on philosophy of mind, pragmatism, and environmental ethics. Combining her interest in philosophy of mind with her artistic activities (theatre, video, photography), she started to do research on philosophy of creativity. Since novelty is not only occurring in human minds, but also in nature, her research on the concept of creativity led her to the history and philosophy of the life sciences (HPLS). She has analysed Darwinian approaches to creativity and cultural evolution as well as the history of the concept of culture and cultural inheritance.

Currently, she works on a book on "What's Left of Human Nature: A Post-essentialist, Pluralist and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept", dealing with human nature between science, philosophy and politics. The book brings together several branches of her research such as essentialism, causation, explanation, normalcy, reductionism, complexity, integration and unity of sciences, as well as science and values. A new project has recently been launched under the label Topics in the Philosophy of the Humanities and Social Sciences (ToPHSS). Among other things, this project included an interdisciplinary and international conference on "Dehumanization: New approaches to the politics of human nature" (April 2016) and a smaller philosophical Workshop on Dehumanization (Jan 2017).

Service for the community: She is currently council member of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), has initiated and directed the German Network for Philosophy of the Life Sciences from 2011-2014 and is CEU-embassador for the Society for Women in Philosophy Germany e.V. At the CEU she is part of the Science Studies Program, directs the Philosophy Research and Publish Lab (launched in Fall 2015).

Recent conferences and workshops organized:

Selected recent draft papers, talks, media appearance and other news (for older news from 2015-16, scroll down to File attachements and see the Archive):

  • Book: The book on human nature is now contracted to be published with MIT Press. If you want to participate in the final pre-publication revision process (as an open peer reviewer), drop her a line.
  • Interview on dehumanization, as part of the Relativism and Racism Blog Series, Emergence of Relativism Blog, ERC Group, Vienna.
  • Nomination: for the 2017 election of the steering committee of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA).
  • Panel discussion: "Crises of political communication: misleading public speech and how to deal with it", as part of the World Press Freedom Day at CEU, 03 May 17.
  • On stage at the Munich March for Science, 22 Apr 17. 
  • Panel discussion on the film "The Experimenter" on Stanley Milgram and his experiments on obedience, as part of the Vienna Brain Awareness Week, 15 Mar 17. 
  • Talk: "How to distinguish channels of inheritance", Konrad Lorenz Institute, 15 Mar 17, Vienna.
  • Talk: "Defending the nature-culture divide" as part of "The Human Mind Project", 2 Mar 17, London.
  • Interview: "Darwinian creativity, memetics and other issues ...", 3:AM Magazine, 14 Jan 17.

Videos

PhD Student advising

Qualification

PhD 2007, Philosophy, University of Regensburg

Projects with involvement of Maria Kronfeldner