Andrea Woody is Divisional Dean of the Social Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. She is 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 served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy from 2016 to 2022. She previously served 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, much of her research concerns explanation, modeling, and representation, with special interest in diagrammatic, graphical, and pictorial representations. She explores the roles explanatory discourse plays in scientific practice as well as the strategic and pragmatic factors that influence scientists’ representational choices.
From 2015 to 2018, with support from the Templeton Foundation, Andrea worked with scientists at Princeton and Virginia Commonwealth to explore 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 project considered both methodological and metaphysical aspects of the scientific work, and generated an enduring interest in unification as a methodological tool in scientific practice.
Recently, Andrea joined a network of philosophers in Denmark and across the US exploring how best to teach central themes in philosophy of science to scientists and science students. More generally, she has a growing interest in Public Philosophy.
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.
- Woody, Andrea. "Smart Search Through Complex Landscapes," Annual Lecture Series, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, March 22, 2019.
- Woody, Andrea I. “Re-orienting Discussions of Scientific Explanation: A Functional Perspective.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 52 (2015): 79-87.
- Woody, Andrea I. ed. Proceedings of the 2012 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part II: Presidential Address & Symposium Papers for PSA2012. Philosophy of Science 81 (2014): 689-1196.
- Woody, Andrea I. “Chemistry’s Periodic Law: Rethinking Representation and Explanation after the Turn to Practice.” In Science After the Practice Turn in the Philosophy, History, and Social Studies of Science, edited by Lena Soler, Sjoerd Zwart, Michael Lynch, and Vincent Israel-Jost, 123-150. New York: Routledge, 2014.
- Woody, Andrea I, ed. Proceedings of the 2012 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers. Philosophy of Science 80 (2013): 611-1192.
- Woody, Andrea I. “How is the Ideal Gas Law Explanatory?” Science & Education 22 (2013): 1563-1580.
- R. Hendry, P. Needham, and A. Woody, eds. Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 6: Philosophy of Chemistry. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012.
- Woody, Andrea I. “Concept Amalgamation and Representation in Quantum Chemistry.” Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 6: Philosophy of Chemistry, edited by R. Hendry, P. Needham, and A. Woody, 427-466. Oxford, England: Elsevier, 2012.
- Woody, Andrea I. “Telltale Signs: What Common Explanatory Strategies in Chemistry Reveal about Explanation Itself”, Foundations of Chemistry 6 (2004): 13-43.
- Woody, Andrea I. “More Telltale Signs: What Attention to Representation Reveals about Scientific Explanation”, PSA 2002 Proceedings, Philosophy of Science 71 (2004): 780-793.
- Woody, Andrea I. “On Explanatory Practice and Disciplinary Identity”, Chemical Explanation: Characteristics, Development, Autonomy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 988 (2003): 22-29.
- Woody, Andrea I. “Putting Quantum Mechanics to Work in Chemistry: The Power of Diagrammatic Representation”, Philosophy of Science 67 (Proceedings) (2000): S612-S627.
- Woody, Andrea I. and Clark Glymour. “Missing Elements: What Philosophers of Science Might Discover in Chemistry”, Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry, N. Bhushan and S. Rosenfeld, eds. Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 17-33.
- Letter from the Chair - July 1, 2022
- Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations 2022 - June 29, 2022
- Letter from the Chair - November 23, 2021
- Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations 2021 - June 14, 2021
- Letter from the Chair - January 26, 2021
- Letter from the Chair - December 10, 2020
- Letter from the Chair - May 20, 2020
- Faculty Summer Reading Recommendations 2019 - July 14, 2019
- Spring 2018 - Letter from the Chair - April 24, 2018
- Scientific Facts vs. Alternative Facts webinar - July 17, 2017
- Letter from the Chair - May 25, 2017
- Letter from the Chair - January 18, 2017
- Chair Andrea Woody named next editor-in-chief of Philosophy of Science - November 2, 2016
- Newsletter Summer 2014 Awards Reception - June 29, 2014