Department of Philosophy

Joseph Pitt

Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D. University of Western Ontario, 1972
237 Major Williams Hall | Email | (540) 231-5760 | C.V.
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Dr. Pitt earned his Ph.D. at University of Western Ontario. He has major research interests in history and philosophy of science and technology, with an emphasis on the impact of technologies on scientific change. His historical interests include Galileo, Hume, and American pragmatism. He is author of several books and numerous articles in the history and philosophy of science and technology. He is Founding Editor of the journal Perspectives on Science: Historical, Philosophical, Social, published by MIT Press, and former Editor-in-Chief of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. A Fellow of the AAAS, winner of the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and a member of Virginia Tech's Academy of Teaching Excellence, he teaches regularly at introductory, advanced undergraduate, and graduate levels in philosophy of science and technology and epistemology.

Selected Books

  • Thinking About Technology, Seven Bridges Press: New York, 2000, 146 pages.
  • Doing Philosophy of Technology; essays in a pragmatic spirit. Amsterdam: Springer, 2011.

    Recent Articles and Book Chapters

    • “Don’t Talk to Me,” in iPod and Philosophy, ed. D.E. Wittkower, Chicago: Open Court, 2008, 161-166.
    • “Anticipating the Unknown,” in Emerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in Bionanotechnology, ed. B.Fabrace, Dordrecht: Springer, 2008, 103-116.
    • “Small Talk,” in Spontaneous Generations, 2:1, 2009.
    • “ Representing Engineers,” in Engineering in Context, edited by Steen Hyldgar Christensen, Bernard Delahousse and Martin Meganck. Aarhus: Academica, 2009, pp. 447-458.
    • “Theory Change and Instruments,” in The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Technology, London: Blackwell Publishing, in press.
    • “Philosophy, Engineering and Science,” in Philosophy and Engineering, edited by Ibo van de Poel and David Goldberg, Amsterdam: Springer, 2010, pp. 75-82.
    • “Technological Explanation,” in Handbook of Philosophy of Science, Vol. 9, Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences, edited by A. Meijers, Amsterdam: Springer, 2009, pp. 861-879.
    • “The Technological Twist,” in Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, Vol. 14, no. 1, pp 69-71, 2010.
    • “Successful Design in Engineering and Architecture,” in Design Processes, edited by Hans-Joachim Braun, (in press).
    • “Sellarsian Anti-Foundationalism and Scientific Realism,” in Self, Language, and World: Problems from Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg, edited by James R. O’Shea and Eric Rubenstein, Ridgeview Publishing Company, 2010, pp. 171-185.
    • “It’s Not About Technology,” in Knowledge, Technology and Society, Vol. 23, pp 445-454.
    • “Fitting Engineering into Philosophy,” in The Forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology, Philosophy, Technology and Engineering series, Vol 3, Amsterdam: Springer) forthcoming.

    Regular Classes

    • Philosophy 1204: Knowledge and Reality
    • Philosophy 6314: History and Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy 6334: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science