Anya Plutynski is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis.  

Her most recent book, (2018) is Explaining Cancer: Finding Order in Disorder, published by Oxford University Press.  

In 2017, she co-edited (with Justin Garson and Sahotra Sarkar) The Routledge Handbook to the Philosophy of Biodiversity.

She is also the Director of Graduate Studies in Philosophy; for more information about our graduate program, see the link here.  (However, she is currently on leave (Spring 2019), serving as a visiting Disinguished Professor at University of Pittsburgh's History and Philosophy of Science Department.)

Selected Publications:

(For a complete list of publications, see CV).

Philosophy of Biology/Biomedicine:

Book:  Blackwell's Companion to Philosophy of Biology, 2008. co-edited with Sahotra Sarkar, Wiley.


"The Evolution of Failure: Explaining Cancer as an Evolutionary Process." 2016. Biology and Philosophy. Vol. 31, Issue No. 1, pp 39–57.

"Cancer Research and the Goals of Integration." 2013. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Vol., 44, no. 4. 466-476.

"The Rise and Fall of the Adaptive Landscape?" 2008. Biology & Philosophy. Vol. 23, no. 5. 605-623.

"Expanatory Unification and the Early Synthesis." 2005. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Vol. 56, No. 3: 595-609.

"Explanation in Classical Population Genetics." 2005. Philosophy of Science. Vol. 71, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2002 Biennial Meeting of The Philosophy of Science AssociationPart II: Symposia. pp. 1201-1214

Philosophy of Medicine:

"Ethical Issues in Cancer Screening and Prevention." 2012 Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Vol. 37, no. 3. 310-323

General Philosophy of Science:

"Four Problems of Abduction: A Brief History."  2011. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science. Vol. 1, No. 2.  227-248.



Dr. Plutynski's interview with "Hold that Thought," about breast cancer and cancer screening may be found here.