Maria Kronfeldner

Member of the Science Studies Certificate Program
Associate Professor

Contact information

Nador u. 13
+36 1 327-3000 x2853

Maria Kronfeldner works in the philosophy of the life sciences and the philosophy of the social sciences and has published widely in these areas. She has been awarded The Karl Popper Essay Prize of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science and 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, philosophical anthropology, social philosophy.

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

Research focus: anthropology, biomedical sciences, evolutionary biology, essentialism, causation, explanation, dehumanization.

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). The project shall be continued under the label "The Epistemology of the In/Human", with which the focus on her research will shift more towards philsophy of social sciences, philosophcial anthropology and social philosophy.

Service for the community: She has recently been elected as new steering committee member of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA). She served as a council member of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) from 2013-17, 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), and is faculty member of the CEU's Chapter in the student project Minorities and Philosophy (MAP).

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):

Videos and Podcasts

PhD Student advising


PhD 2007, Philosophy, University of Regensburg

Projects with involvement of Maria Kronfeldner