Jan Faye

Jan Faye

Associate professor, research and development

Mag.art, dr.phil., born 25.02.1947. Found qualified as full professor nine times during my carrier.



Studied philosophy and physics at the University of Copenhagen 1970-1978; mag.art. in philosophy (1975) and dr.phil, (1981).


Current position

Associate Professor of philosophy at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.


Research Interests

Over the years I have been working with various fields in Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics. I dedicated myself to philosophy of space and time, quantum mechanics, causality and more recently with explanation, interpretation, and the methodological differences and similarities between the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the human sciences.


Ongoing Research

My current research consists of writing a book with the title Understanding by Science. Here I attempt to show what biology can tell us about understanding, and what philosophy can say about science based on a naturalized concept of human understanding. But I also work on philosophy of quantum mechanics and have to prepare a talk about causation in physics and biology and one on understanding the relation between mind and the machine.



My scientific publications cover many aspects of philosophy of science such as metaphysics, philosophy of physics, scientific epistemology, general methodology, and the philosophy of the human sciences. Today, my publications include 10 books, 15 edited books, and more than 120 scientific papers and reviews.


Academic honorary positions

  1. Acted as peer reviewer for: Philosophy of Science; Mind; Synthese; British Journal for the Philosophy of Science; Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics; Erkenntnis; European Journal for Philosophy of Science; Foundation of Physics; International Studies in Philosophy of Science; Journal for Philosophical Research; The Journal for General Philosophy of Science; Theoria; Danish Yearbook of Philosophy; Philosophical Studies; Dialectica; Slagmark and Organo M.


In addition I have acted as peer reviewer for Norges Forskningsråd, Sverige Riksbanks, and The European Science Foundation.


  1. Chairman of the Program Committee for the Philosophy of the Physical Sciences, 11th  International Congress of Logic, Methodology & Philosophy of Science, Cracow 1999.
  2. Member of the Steering Committee for European Science Foundation’s Research Network “The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective” 2008-2013.
  3.  Member of the Program Committee for the 4th Congress of The European Philosophy of Science Association which takes place in Helsinki 2013.
  4. Member of the Danish section of IUHPS, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (“Den danske Nationalkomité for Videnskabshistorie og Videnskabs­filosofi”).
  5. Dr.phil. and PhD-assessment committees: Ècole Normale Supérieure; University of Copenhagen, University of Aarhus, University of Lund; University of Stockholm; and University of Umeå.
  6. Hiring committees for Full Professorships and Associate Professorships: University of Copenhagen and University of Aarhus
  7. Supervisor of 3 PhD-students between 2000-2012 at the Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication.


Distinguishes, Stipends, Grants and Fellowships:

1971: Silver medal for the price paper of philosophy, University of Aarhus 1970.

1982-83: Carlsberg/Clare Hall Visiting Fellowship, University of Cambridge

1984, 1986, 1989, 1992-94: Carlsbergfondet.

1983, 1988, 1991: Julie Damms Studiefond.

1991: Julie von Müllens Fond.

1979, 1999-2000: The Danish Research Counsel for the Humanities.

1991/92: Visiting Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh.

1993: CIES Fulbright Award.

1994: Visiting Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh.

1996: Corresponding member of Academie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences.

2000: The Danish Academy in Rome.

2000-01: The Danish Advanced Institute for the Humanities

2004: Ordinary member of Academie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences.

2008-2009: The Danish Research Counsel for Culture and Communication


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