Andrea Woody is Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. Professor Woody is also adjunct faculty in the departments of Dance; History; and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies. Professor Woody is Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science and a member of the Editorial Board of Foundations of Chemistry. She recently stepped down as Associate Editor of Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences and a member of the organizing committee of the Society for the Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP). She received her bachelor's degree, in chemistry, and certification in Theater and Dance, from Princeton and her doctorate, in history & philosophy of science, from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include philosophy of science, history of science, aesthetics, and feminist perspectives in philosophy.
In philosophy of science, her current research involves (i) developing "the functional perspective" on scientific explanation, (ii) analyzing diagrammatic, graphical, and pictorial representations as part of a larger project examining how pragmatic techniques for manipulating scientific theories are developed and justified by scientific communities, and (iii) seeing how issues of explanation and representation are related to one another. These projects interface with traditional discussions concerning explanation, representation, reduction, theory change, and disciplinary formation.
In 2015, Andrea started a three year collaboration with scientists at Princeton U. and Virginia Commonwealth, funded under a grant from the Templeton Foundation, to explore the implications of automated search techniques and the application of optimal control theory in quantum domains, molecular chemistry, and biology. Here is a brief article about the project. The philosophical portion of this project will consider both methodological and metaphysical aspects of the scientific work.
In aesthetics, her work focuses on the performing arts, considering issues related to the identity of performing artworks, the virtues of live performance, and the nature of site-specific artworks.
Professor Woody is supervising or has supervised dissertations on science and values, theory reduction, the social nature of science, naturalizing metaphysics, and the roles of consensus in science. In addition to her work with dissertation students, she has advised MFA research in dance and honors theses for the History & Philosophy of Science undergraduate major.