Bielefeld University, Germany
Academic Year 2012-13
Divide and Conquer-Human Nature Between Science, Philosophy, and Politics
Maria Kronfeldner is currently Junior Professor for Philosophy of Science at Bielefeld University. Before joining the philosophy department at Bielefeld University she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin from 2006 to 2008 and a Visiting PhD-Fellow at Harvard University in 2004. She has done her PhD at Regensburg University. Her area of specialisation is the philosophy of life sciences. Her research interests cover a number of topics within this area, including work on creativity, cultural evolution and the nature-nurture divide.
The latter will also occupy her during her stay at Pittsburgh. She will mainly work on a book manuscript on human nature, which will address a rather traditional philosophical topic – human nature – but will do so from the perspective of philosophy of science, e.g. by analysing how ideas about causation, reduction, complexity and classification enter debates about human nature. The aim is to clarify which role (descriptive, classificatory, explanatory, or social) the concept had or has in science, philosophy and society. The approach taken is pragmatic-pluralistic: it explicates different roles of and different perspectives on human nature and explains how values and norms enter, e.g. when it is said that this or that trait is ‘due to human nature’.
In addition to her interest in rather standard philosophy of science topics, such as causation, explanation, complexity, unification/diversification, normativity/normality, science and values, she has a special (and not only theoretical) interest on issues surrounding copyright, authorship and the connection between philosophy and art.