Prof. Dr. Marie I. Kaiser

Professor for Philosophy of Science

address: Universität Bielefeld,
Abteilung Philosophie
Postfach 100131
D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany

office: building X, room A4-100
office hours: Tuesdays 2-3pm
(please register with:

phone: +49 (0)521-106-4605
phone: +49 (0)521-106-6894 (secretary)
fax: +49 (0)521-106-156894

You can find my personal website here.


Areas of Specialization

Philosophy of Biology: reductive explanation, causal modeling, complexity, units of selection, evolutionary epistemology & ethics

Philosophy of Science: causality, reduction, explanation, norms in science, philosophical methodology, science & society, interdisciplinarity

Metaphysics of Scientific Practice: mechanisms, phenomena, part-whole relations, biological dispositions, biological individuality, ecological niches



since 06.2018: Full Professor for Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, University of Bielefeld
02.2018: Offer from the University of Mainz as a full professor and director of the General Studies (Studium generale)
10.2016 - 05.2018: Junior Professor for Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, University of Bielefeld
08 - 09.2016: Visiting Fellow, Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary, Canada; Co-Investigator in the Templeton Research Group "From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics"
09.2013 - 09.2016: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, DFG Research Group "Causation and Explanation", University of Cologne, Germany; Research Project on "Causation and Explanation of Complex Biological Systems"
09.2012 - 08.2013: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Geneva, Switzerland
07.2012: PhD in philosophy, University of Cologne; PhD thesis on "An Ontic Account of Explanatory Reduction in Biology"; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hüttemann
10.2011 - 09.2015: Member of the DFG Network for the "Philosophy of the Life Sciences"
11.2009 - 08.2012: Research Fellow, DFG Research Group "Causation and Explanation", University of Cologne (since 04.2010) and University of Muenster; Research Project on "The Concept of Mechanism in the Life Sciences"
01 - 05.2010
and 04.2013:
Visiting Scholar, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, USA
05.2007 - 09.2010: Research Assistant, Department of Philosophy and Center for Philosophy of Science (04.2008 - 09.2009), University of Muenster
07.2007: State examination in biology and philosophy (certification as secondary teacher)
05.2007: Master of Arts in philosophy (major), biology, and educational science

You can download a detailed CV here.


Recent Publications


  • Kaiser, M. I. (2015): Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences. Cham: Springer (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences; Vol. 16).

  • Kaiser, M. I., Scholz, O., Plenge D., Hüttemann, A. (eds.) (2014): Explanation in the Special Sciences. The Case of Biology and History. Dordrecht: Springer (Synthese Library; Vol. 367).

  • Kaiser, M. I., Seide, A. (eds.) (2013): Philip Kitcher Pragmatic Naturalism. Frankfurt/Main: ontos.


  • Kaiser, M. I. (2018): "Individuating Part-whole Relations in the Biological World", in: Bueno, O./ Chen, R.-L./ Fagan, M. B. (Hrsg.): Individuation, Process and Scientific Practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Hüttemann, A./ Kaiser, M. I. (2018): "Potentiality in Biology", in: Engelhard, K./ Quante, M. (Hrsg.): Handbook of Potentiality. Dordrecht: Springer, 401-427.

  • Kaiser, M. I. (2018): "The Components and Boundaries of Mechanisms", in: Glennan, S./ Illari, P. (Hrsg.): The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 116-130.

  • Kaiser, M. I. (2017): "Themen aus den Lebenswissenschaften", in: Schrenk, M. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Metaphysik. Stuttgart: Metzler, 325-330.

  • Kaiser, M. I./ Krickel, B. (2017): "The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena", in: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68(3): 745-779.

  • Kaiser, M. I. (2017): "Biological Parts", in: Burkhardt, H./ Seibt, J./ Imaguire, G., Gerogiorgakis, S. (Hrsg.): Handbook of Mereology. München: Philosophia, 97-100.

  • Kaiser, M. I. (2016): "On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena", in: Philosophy of Science 83: 921-933.

  • Kaiser, M. I., Meunier, R., Kronfeldner, M. (2016): "Problems and Prospects of Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Philosophy of Science", in: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 41(1): 61-70.

  • Kaiser, M. I. (2015): "Philosophy of Microbiology", in: International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29(2): 224-228.

You can find more publications here.