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Team > Prof. Dr. Lena Kästner

L_Kaestner Prof. Dr. Lena Kästner

Faculty of Cultural Studies
Professorship for Philosophy, Computer Science and Artificial intelligence

I am professor for philosophy, computer science and artificial intelligence at University of Bayreuth since 2022. My primary research areas are philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, especially mechanistic explanations and explainable AI (XAI) as well as philosophy of neuroscience and cognitive science. I specialize in research on scientific explanations (particularly explanations of natural and artificial cognition). Apart from that, my research topics include machine learning, models of cognitive systems, mental illnesses, causation, and scientific discovery and experimentation. I am currently head PI of the project “Explainable Intelligent Systems”.

My background is in cognitive science (BSc., University of Osnabrück) and cognitive neuroscience (MSc., University College London). During my PhD, which I received from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany in 2014, I worked extensively on mechanistic explanations and the interventionist account of causation. During my postdoc phase, which started at Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, I became more and more interested in psychopathology and models and mental illnesses. My recent interest in philosophy of AI and explainable AI has sparked during my time at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany where I’ve been a junior professor between 2019 and 2022. Before moving to Bayreuth, I have briefly been appointed an assistant professor for philosophy of science with a specialization in data and digital society at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

If you want to find out more about me and my current research projects, please visit my personal homepage. Until my eRef entry has been set up, you find my list of publications here.

Areas of Specialization

philosophy of artificial intelligence, explainable AI (XAI), philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of cognitive science, scientific discovery and explanation, causation, mechanist philosophy, models of mental illnesses, computational psychiatry, extended mind.

Areas of Competence

levels, history of cognitive science, experimental design, manipulations and measurement.


For my current and past courses, please see the P&E intranet.


I supervise bachelor and master theses on topics in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science as well as interdisciplinary theses, e.g., in psychology or computer science. If you aim to write a thesis with me as your main supervisor you should have taken at least one class with me where you’ve written a final paper.

I also supervise PhD candidates. If you are interested in doing a PhD under my supervision, please contact me directly via email. Please make sure that your project bears a clear connection to my fields of specialization.


Faculty of Cultural Studies
Professorship for Philosophy, Computer Science and Artificial intelligence



Faculty of Cultural Studies
Professorship for Philosophy, Computer Science and Artificial intelligence

Prof. Dr. Lena Kästner


Building GW II, room 01.24
Universität Bayreuth
Universitätsstr. 30
95447 Bayreuth

Postal address

Universität Bayreuth
Institut für Philosophie
95440 Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-4164
E-mail: lena.kaestner@uni-bayreuth.de
Homepage: lenakaestner.com/

office hours: by appointment

Webmaster: Dr. Uwe Czaniera

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