Allen Janik was born on Chicopee Massachusetts. He studied philosophy and classics at St Anselm College, received his M.A. in philosophy from Villanova University, where he began his studies in...
Allen Janik was born on Chicopee Massachusetts. He studied philosophy and classics at St Anselm College, received his M.A. in philosophy from Villanova University, where he began his studies in Wittgenstein's philosophy with a thesis on Schopenhauer and the early Wittgenstein, and was awarded a Ph. D. in History of Ideas from Brandeis in 1971. He retired as research fellow of the Brenner Archives at the University Innsbruck in 2006 but remains adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Vienna as well as adjunct professor in the “Skill and Technology” PhD program at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology.
His wide-ranging interests are mirrored in the numerous visiting professorships he has held in fields such as mathematics (UNAM, Mexico City), ion physics, comparative literature, German studies (Innsbruck) Jewish studies (Northwestern), leadership studies (Stockholm School of Economics), the epistemology of work (Swedish Center for Working Life), philosophy and history of science (Centre Georges Canguilhem, University of Paris 7) as well as philosophy (Graz, Bergen, Norway).
He is the chief dramaturge at the Innsbruck Kellertheater, for whom he adapted Shakespeare's King Lear as a play for two actors under the title "Cordelia's Silence" in 1996. He has lectured extensively in Scandinavia as well as in Holland, France and numerous other countries. He contributes regularly to such journals as Nexus (Holland), Dialoger (Stockholm) and Central European History (Cleveland) as well as others in Austria and the United States. His books include Assembling Reminders: Studies in the Genesis of Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy, Theater and Knowledge, The Use and Abuse of Metaphor, The Concept of Knowledge in Practical Philosophy (in Swedish), Style, Politics and the Future of Philosophy, Wittgenstein’s Vienna (with Stephen Toulmin), Wittgenstein’s Vienna Revisited and several others including a guide to the Austrian capital Wittgenstein in Vienna (with Hans Veigl).
He is the author of numerous articles and reviews in various Swedish, Dutch, German, Norwegian and French journals and anthologies. His nine contributions to Bo Göranzon's six-volume series "Skill and Technology" (Springer, London) constitute the largest contribution by a single author. Since 1994 he has been a citizen of Austria as well as the USA. He has organized numerous research projects on and around the life and work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. He currently has grants from the Austrian Science Foundation to produce a critical electronic edition of the works of the Viennese philosopher Otto Weininger as well as to study the process of skill formation in acting (in co-operation with Vienna’s Max Reinhardt Seminar) and a critical electronic edition of Wittgenstein’s Culture and Value. He is consultant to the Swedish National Defence College’s research project on Killing, Death and Military Competence and has been named conseiller scientifique of La Fondation pour l’innovation politique (Paris).