Peter Janich

Peter Janich (* 1942 in Munich) is a German philosopher.


Peter Janich studied physics, philosophy and psychology at the Universities of Erlangen and Hamburg. He received his Ph.D. in 1969 in philosophy and was 1969/70 Guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin. From 1971 to 1973 he was a Research Council, 1973-1980 Professor of Philosophy of Science of the exact sciences at the University of Konstanz. From 1980 until his retirement in 2007 he held the chair of Systematic philosophy with a focus on theoretical philosophy at the University of Marburg.

Work areas

Janich is co-founder and representative of the Methodical culturalism as a continuation of the Methodical Constructivism of Erlangen School ( Erlanger constructivism). In this context, he has presented fundamental contributions to protophysics, especially for protophysics time with Paul Lorenzen and Rüdiger Inhetveen.

Janich taught in Marburg a pragmatic and operationalistische science theory, particularly with the basics of science: employed mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry and psychology. Students from Janich (and partly his assistants ) were: Armin Grunwald, Mathias Gutmann, Gerd Hanekamp, Dirk Hartmann, Rainer Lange, Nikolaos Psarros, Wolfgang Schonefeld, Holm Tetens, Michael Weingarten, Walther Zitterbarth.

Science arises, according Janich, by high stylization of life practices. The assessment unit lies in the success of the action, ie in its success, its targeted and actually achieved or actual consequences.

Other fields: action theory, philosophy of language, epistemology, theory of truth, philosophy of technology, history of science


  • The protophysics time. BI Publisher Science, Mannheim 1969. ( BI Htb 517)
  • Purpose and method of physics from a philosophical point of view. ( University of Konstanz speeches 65) Konstanz 1973, ISBN 3-87940-077-6.
  • Clarity, consistency and methodical order: normative versus descriptive scientific theory of physics. In: Friedrich Kambartel, Jürgen Mittelstraß (ed.): On the normative foundation of science. Athenaeum, Frankfurt 1973, ISBN 3-7610-9252-0, pp. 131-158.
  • With Friedrich Kambartel and Jürgen Mittelstraß: Philosophy of Science as Critique of Science. aspects, Frankfurt 1974, ISBN 3-921096-20-0. ( First published as a series of articles in: aspects of the German study magazine issues from September 1972 - MAY 1973.. )
  • The protophysics time. Constructive reasoning and history of timekeeping. (Theory) Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1980, ISBN 3-518-06416-9. Proto Physics of Time. In: RS Cohen, MW Wartofsky (eds.): Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Vol 30, Dordrecht, Boston / Lancaster 1985.
  • Euclid 's Heritage. Is Three -Dimensional Space? In: RE Butts (ed.): The University of Wester Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science. Vol 52, Dordrecht, Boston / London 1992.
  • I Limiti Naturale della Scienza. La conoscenza come azione. Introduction and translation by Marco Buzzoni. Milan 1996.
  • Japanese translation of Tokyo in 2004.
  • Chinese translation 2001
  • Korean translation Seoul 2004.
  • Philosophy of science and science research. Beck, Munich, 1981 ( Edition Beck), ISBN 3-406-08129-0.
  • Methodological philosophy. Contributions to the problem of justification of the exact sciences in dealing with Hugo Dingler. BI Publisher Science, Mannheim, Germany 1984, ISBN 3-411-01697-3.
  • Protophysics today. Special Issue of " Philosophia Naturalis ". Klostermann, Meisenheim 1985.
  • Methodological developments in philosophy. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1992 ( stw 979), ISBN 3-518-28579-3.
  • With Nikolaos Psarros: Philosophical perspectives in chemistry. BI Publisher Science, Mannheim, Germany 1994, ISBN 3-411-17301-7.
  • With Nikolaos Psarros: The language of chemistry King & Neumann, Würzburg 1996, ISBN 3-8260-1180-5.
  • With Christoph Rüchardt: Of course, technically, chemically. Relationships to nature on the example of chemistry. Springer, Berlin, New York 1996, ISBN 3-11-015013-1.
  • Dirk Hartmann: Methodical culturalism. Between Naturalism and Postmodernism. Frankfurt Suhrkamp 1996 ( stw 1272 ), ISBN 3-518-28872-5.
  • With Nikolaos Psarros: The Autonomy of Chemistry. King & Neumann, Würzburg 1998, ISBN 3-8260-1486-3.
  • Chemical limits. A siting of chemists, lawyers, sociologists and philosophers. Wiley- VCH, Weinheim, 1998, ISBN 3-527-29815-0.
  • Dirk Hartmann: The culturalist turn. For orientation of philosophical self-understanding. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1998 ( stw 1391 ), ISBN 3-518-28991-8.
  • Interactions. On the relationship between culturalism, phenomenology and method. King & Neumann, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-8260-1541- X.
  • Et al: Biodiversity. Scientific basis and societal relevance. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York 2002, ISBN 3-540-42658-2.
  • Science and Life. Philosophical reasoning problems in dealing with Hugo Dingler. transript, Bielefeld 2006, ISBN 3-89942-475-1.
  • Humane orientation science. What do different scientific cultures for understanding human life world. King & Neumann, Würzburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8260-3786-3.
  • Naturalism and man. (German Yearbook of Philosophy Vol 1, published by order of the German Society for Philosophy ) Meiner, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-7873-1879-7.
  • Emergence - stopgap deity of Natural Sciences and the Humanities. supplemented by a correspondence with Hans -Rainer Duncker -. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-515-09871-7.