Alfred I. Tauber

Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Zoltan Kohn Professor Emeritus of Medicine

  • Title Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Zoltan Kohn Professor Emeritus of Medicine
  • Education M.D., Tufts Medical School

Personal Website:
Interests: Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, History of Science and of Medicine; Director, Center for Philosophy and History of Science

Alfred I. Tauber is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the Boston University Department of Philosophy and Zoltan Kohn Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Tauber also holds a Visiting Professorship at Tel Aviv University, where he teaches philosophy of science at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas.

Dr. Tauber is a hematologist and biochemist by training. From his interest in basic immunology, he began a critical examination of modern biology and medicine. These studies have focused on scientific epistemology: positivism, reductionism, and the relationship of facts and values. Dr. Tauber was Director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science from 1993 until 2010. He offered courses in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of biology and medicine, and American philosophy. In 2008, Dr. Tauber was awarded the Science Medal from the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Bologna for his critical studies of immunology and Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from Haifa University in 2011.

Aside from over 125 research publications in biochemistry and immunology, Dr. Tauber has published more than 100 papers on 19th and 20th century biomedicine, contemporary science studies, and ethics. He is the author of The Immune Self, Theory or Metaphor? (Cambridge, 1994), Confessions of a Medicine Man, An Essay in Popular Philosophy (MIT 1999), Henry David Thoreau and the Moral Agency of Knowing (California 2001), Patient Autonomy and the Ethics of Responsibility (MIT 2005), Science and its Quest for Meaning (Baylor University Press, 2009), and Freud, the Reluctant Philosopher (Princeton 2011) . In addition, he has co-authored Metchnikoff and the Origins of Immunology (Oxford, 1991) and The Generation of Diversity, Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology (Harvard, 1997). He has also edited several volumes including The Elusive Synthesis: Science and Aesthetics (Kluwer, 1996), Science and the Quest for Reality (New York University, 1997), and a collaborative translation project, The Evolutionary Biology Papers of Elie Metchnikoff (Kluwer, 2000).

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