Prof. Dr.
Lena Kästner

about me

I am professor for philosophy, computer science and artificial intelligence at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Previously, I have been an assistant professor in philosophy of science at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and a junior professor in philosophy of mind and cognitive systems at Saarland University, Germany. My background is in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience and I hold a PhD in philosophy. My primary research areas are philosophy of mind and philosophy of science, especially philosophy of cognitive science. I specialize in scientific explanations (particularly explanations of cognitive phenomena), causation, and scientific discovery and experimentation. Currently, I am focusing on cognitive architectures in natural and artificially intelligent systems. I am particularly interested in psychopathologymachine learning models and explainable AI (XAI).

short CV

In summer 2009, I graduated from University of Osnabrück, Germany with a BSc. in Cognitive Science. From Osnabrück I moved to University College London (UCL) to join their Cognitive Neuroscience program. During my time in London, I worked at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) on a project investigating the neural basis of sign language processing in the human brain. I graduated from UCL in October 2010 with an MSc. in Cognitive Neuroscience. I received my PhD in philosophy from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany in 2014. My dissertation was on scientific explanations in cognitive neuroscience; it is now published with DeGruyter. Part of my project was to categorize different kinds of experiments. An abstract can be found on the CV page. In spring 2014, I took on an assistant professorship at Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In fall 2017, I moved back to Bochum where I worked as an assistant professor in philosophy. In January 2019, I became junior professor for philosophy of mind and cognitive systems at Saarland University before becoming assistant professor for philosophy of science with a specialization in data and digital society at Tilburg University in early 2022. After just a brief period, I moved on to my current position in Bayreuth. From winter 2024 I am head of the new interdisciplinary Master’s program “Philosophy & Computer Science” at the University of Bayreuth.