Benjamin Jantzen

Benjamin Jantzen

Associate Professor


226 Major Williams 
220 Stanger St. 
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061




Department Membership



  • Methods of automated scientific discovery
  • Interpretation of physical theory
  • Information theory in biology
  • Design argument for the existence of God
  • Insect flight

Professional Activities

  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science, by courtesy
  • Director, Philosophy & Physical Computing Summer Workshop
  • Philosophy of Science Association
  • International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society


  • M.S. Physics, Cornell University; M.A. Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Ph.D. Logic, Computation & Methodology, Carnegie Mellon University

Research Interests

    Selected Publications


    An Introduction to Design Arguments, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.



    Jantzen, B. “Dynamical kinds and their discovery,” Proceedings of the Causation: Foundation to Application Workshop, UAI 2016 (forthcoming).

    Jantzen, B. “Cyberwarfare” in Joseph Pitt (ed.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Technology, Routledge. (forthcoming).

    Jantzen, B. “Symmetry and Causation: A General Theory of Biological Individuality,” Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science (forthcoming).

    Jantzen, B. (2015) “Projection, symmetry, and natural kinds,” Synthese 192 (11): 3617-3646. doi:10.1007/s11229-014-0637-5



     Jantzen, B. (2015) “Discovery without a ‘logic’ would be a miracle,” Synthese doi:10.1007/s11229-015-0926-7

    Jantzen, B. (2014). “Piecewise Versus Total Support: How to Deal with Background Information in Likelihood Arguments,” Philosophy of Science 81 (3): 313-331.

    Jantzen, B. (2012). “Peirce on miracles: the failure of Bayesian analysis” in Jake Chandler and Victoria Harrison (eds.), Probability in the Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press.

    Jantzen, B. (2010). “An awkward symmetry: The tension between particle ontologies and permutation invariance,” Philosophy of Science 78(1): 39-59.

    Sponsored Research

    CAREER: Automated scientific discovery and the philosophical problem of natural kinds (NSF), $443,427

    Additional Information

    Up to date information on my current research is available on my website and blog at