Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies Faculty Database
Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > GSF > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

Andrew Janiak, Professor of Philosophy

Andrew Janiak
Office Location:  201 West Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3057
Email Address:  send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2023):

  • Phil 331.01, Kant Synopsis
    Friedl bdg 118, TuTh 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
  • Iss 394t.01, Information, society & culture Synopsis
    See instru, F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM
  • Phil 629s.01, Topics history of philosophy Synopsis
    White 201, W 03:30 PM-06:00 PM
Office Hours:

This semester: WED 2-4PM and by appointment.

  • Ph.D. Indiana University at Bloomington 2001
  • M.A. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1996
  • B.A. Hampshire College 1994


Philosophy of Science
Research Interests:

Janiak is Professor of Philosophy, Chair of the Department, and the Chair of the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke. He is a co-leader of Project Vox, an international enterprise that seeks to recover the lost voices of women in the history of modern science and philosophy.

Since 2007, he has been Director of the Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine (affectionately known as "HPSTM"). The program currently has graduate students in Chemistry, English, History and Philosophy from Duke, and students from English and Comparative Literature from UNC Chapel Hill.


Recently, Janiak and his colleague Professor Karen Detlefsen (Penn) were awarded an ACLS Collaborative Research Grant to begin their new multi-year project on Emilie Du Chatelet and 18th century Newtonian thought in France.

Before coming to Duke, Janiak earned an M.A. from Michigan while enrolled in its doctoral program, and a Ph.D. from Indiana in 2001, with a Ph.D. minor in history and philosophy of science. He wrote his dissertation under Michael Friedman, Fred Beiser, Paul Franks and Nico Bertoloni Meli.

In 2001-02, Janiak was a postdoctoral fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT, having previously been a doctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University. He joined the Duke faculty in the fall of 2002.

In 2005-06, Janiak was the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duke; he has also been a faculty fellow at Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute. He is affiliated with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

In 2008-09, Janiak received the Richard Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award from Duke's School of Arts and Sciences.

For a recent talk Janiak gave at Duke in honor of Barbara Herrnstein Smith's work, see here.

Here is a link to Janiak's recent lecture on Newton and causation at the Rotman Institute, University of Western Ontario.

Work in progress:

  • "Three concepts of causation in Newton." Forthcoming in Studies in history and philosophy of science.

  • Editor, Space: history of a Concept (Oxford University Press), part of the new Oxford Philosophical Concepts series, edited by Christia Mercer. Under contract and in progress. The Mellon Foundation has given Duke funds to sponsor two workshops in 2012-2013 on Space.
  • Isaac Newton (Oxford and Boston: Blackwell), part of the Blackwell Great Minds series edited by Steve Nadler. Under contract and in progress.

  • "Kant on logical and real meaning" -- this paper employs an interpretation of the metaphysical deduction in the first Critique to indicate why the so-called pure categories can be meaningful in the sense that they have logical meaning, derived from the logical forms of judgment. They retain this meaning independent of any relation to intuition; the latter would supply them with what I call real meaning. [A rough draft is available.]
  • "Natural philosophy," Routledge Companion to Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, edited by Daniel Kaufman (London: Routledge ), forthcoming later in 2012. This essay begins with a brief discussion of Galileo, proceeds to discuss Descartes, and then considers a number of reactions to Cartesian natural philosophy and metaphysics, especially those found in Boyle and Newton in England, and in Leibniz on the Continent. Naturally, it considers the debates between the Newtonians and the Leibnizians as well. It also tries to characterize the debates about experimental methods and the use of mathematical techniques that animated developments in natural philosophy in the 17th century.
  • See here for my letter to the TLS regarding Steven Weinberg's review of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion.

Work on Newton:

  • "Substance and Action in Descartes and Newton," The Monist 93 (October 2010): 655-675.
  • Newton as Philosopher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, July 2008). Available in paperback from Cambridge.
  • The 2008 book was reviewed in The Philosophical Review 120 (2011) by Lisa Downing, in ISIS by Alan Shapiro and again by Stephen Snobelen, in Metascience by Steffen Ducheyne, in Early Science and Medicine by Mary Domski, and in Societate şi Politică by Grigore Vida, among others.
  • "Isaac Newton," in Peter Anstey, editor, The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Work on Kant:


  • Review of Daniel Garber and Beatrice Longuenesse, editors, Kant and the Early Moderns (Princeton University Press, 2008) for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.\
  • Review of Thomas Holden, The Architecture of Matter (OUP) for Mind 115 (October 2006): 1130-1133.

Recent and upcoming talks:

  • "Isaac Newton's Conception of Absolute Space: a new hypothesis." STS Department, University College, London. October 2011.
  • "Author Meets Critics," session on Newton as Philosopher, APA Pacific Meeting, San Diego, April 2011.
  • "Three concepts of cause in Newton's thought." Department of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Spring 2011.
  • "Logical and real meaning in Kant." North American Kant Society, at Claremont McKenna College, December 2010.
  • "Newton between history and philosophy: the case of space." &HPS3, Indiana University, Bloomington, September 2010
  • "Agents and their powers in Isaac Newton's philosophical thought." Stockholm University, May 2010 [rescheduled].
  • "Substance and Action in Descartes and Newton," Department of Philosophy, Harvard, April 2010.
  • "Newton between physics and metaphysics: action at a distance reconsidered," part of workshop on Philosophy and natural science: from Newton to Kant, University College, London, March 2010.
  • Commentator on papers by Lisa Downing, J.E. McGuire, Ed Slowik, and Eric Schliesser, Newton panel, Central APA, Chicago, February 2010.
  • "Platonism and Newton," Symposium on Platonism and Modern Philosophy, a panel with Prof. Jennifer Whiting (Toronto), APA Eastern Meetings, Philadelphia -- December 2008.
  • "Causation and Emanation in Newton's Thought," Universiteit Leiden, Holland -- September 2008.
  • "Isaac Newton's God: theology and physics in the late seventeenth century," Science, Technology and Society Seminar, Columbia University -- October 2007.
  • "Nonsense and Things in Themselves," with commentary by Jennifer Uleman (Purchase College), North American Kant Society, at Central APA, Chicago -- April 2007.
  • Commentator, Symposium on Causation in Early Modern Philosophy, with papers by Lisa Downing (Ohio State) and Jeff McDonough (Harvard), Eastern APA, Washington, DC -- December 2006.
  • Commentator on Alan Gabbey's paper, "The Empirical Credentials of Absolute Space and the Puzzle about Simultaneity: Newton and Huygens," for "Understanding Space and Time," the 3rd Annual Conference on Issues in Modern Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, NYU -- November 2006.
Recent Publications   (More Publications)
  1. Janiak, A. "Émilie Du Châtelet’s Break from the French Newtonians." Revue D'Histoire Des Sciences 74:2 (July, 2021): 265-296. [doi]  [abs]
  2. Janiak, A. "Émilie Du Châtelet: Physics, Metaphysics and the Case of Gravity." Early Modern Women on Metaphysics  (January, 2018): 49-71. [doi]  [abs]
  3. Janiak, A. "NATURAL PHILOSOPHY." The Routledge Companion to Seventeenth Century Philosophy  (January, 2017): 385-409. [doi]  [abs]
  4. Janiak, A. "Space and motion in nature and Scripture: Galileo, Descartes, Newton.." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51 (June, 2015): 89-99. [doi]  [abs]
  5.  Space: history of a concept.  edited by Janiak, A Oxford University Press (OUP), January, 2015.

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * GSF * Faculty * Affliated * Grad * Staff * Reload * Login