Lehrstuhl für Thermodynamik (LTD)

Senior Research Fellow

PD Dr. phil. nat. Johannes Lenhard

FB Maschinenbau und Verfahrenstechnik
Lehrstuhl für Thermodynamik
RPTU Kaiserslautern
Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße 44
Gebäude 44/411
67663 Kaiserslautern
Tel.: +49(0)631 205-4798
Fax: +49(0)631 205-3835
E-Mail: johannes.lenhard(at)rptu.de


I am a philosopher and my DFG-funded research project allowes me to turn philosophy of science into philosophy in science.

Project: Measuring the Unmeasurable. Trust, Validation, and the Social Organization of Science

Computer simulation has become a standard instrument in science and engineering. Simulation models help to fit theories into concrete contexts of application. These models are famous for their adjustability and can accommodate large amounts of data. The most interesting cases are those in which simulations do not merely reproduce known data or phenomena but advance into the empirically unknown where data for comparison are not available. There are many cases in which experimental evidence cannot be obtained, but models can be used for predictions. In such cases, simulation is used for what is called here "measuring the unmeasurable." Starting from this observation, the main research questions are how simulation models are validated and how trust in them is created, maintained, and justified. The project addresses these questions in an empirical (about actual practices) and a normative sense (about justification). It is structured by three interconnected dimensions: epistemology, methodology, and institutional organization. The project leaves beaten pathways because it examines cases from the engineering sciences where models have to perform in given (not idealized) contexts and because it embeds philosophical research in science and engineering.

Vorlesungsbetreuung / Sprechzeiten


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Veröffentlichungen / Vorträge / Poster

The monograph Calculated Surprises. A Philosophy of Computer Simulation appeared in 2019 as a part of the Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science.

  • Three recent journal publications

Lenhard, J. and H. Hasse (2023). "Traveling with TARDIS. Parameterization and transferability in molecular modeling and simulation." Synthese 201(129).

Lenhard, J. (2022). "A Transformation of Bayesian Statistics: Computation, Prediction, and Rationality", Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 92, pp. 144-151.

Lenhard, J. (2018). "Holism or the Erosion of Modularity. A Methodological Challenge for Validation", Philosophy of Science, 85, pp.832-844.

  • Here  you find a list of my publications.


Here you find a detailed CV.

1998Dissertation in Mathematics (University of Frankfurt)

Habilitation in Philosophy (Bielefeld University)

2018/2019Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina, Columbia (academic year)
seit 01/2020Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Thermodynamik (LTD), Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
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