University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Philosophy of Biology and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science[edit]

The Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science (MCPS) brings together faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars from various departments and programs who are interested in the history and philosophy of science. The main philosophy of biology interactions occur through the Biological Interest Group (BIG) which meets weekly to discuss recent papers in philosophy, history, or biology on topics of interest to the group, read works in progress by BIG participants and visitors, or revisit classic articles in the field. There is also a graduate student group, which currently meets to discuss individuality, organismality, modularity and levels of selection, but these topics will change as the interests of the participants change.

Philosophy Department Faculty[edit]

  • Alan C. Love // websites program, personal, CV, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: History and philosophy of evolutionary developmental biology, evolutionary theory, developmental biology, functional morphology, conceptual change, explanatory pluralism, reductionism, the nature of historical science, interdisciplinary epistemology, and the structure of scientific problems
    • Willing to work with new students? Yes
  • William C. Wimsatt (part-time appointment, April 2015 and 2016) // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: history and philosophy of biology, cultural evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, complex systems
    • Willing to work with new students? Yes

Integrating Genetic and Generic Explanations of Biological Phenomena (website) Alan Love and Bill Wimsatt are leading a three-year initiative based at the University of Minnesota that aims to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue between different approaches to understand biological phenomena.

From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics (website) Alan Love, along with C. Kenneth Waters (University of Calgary), Marcel Weber (University of Geneva), and Bill Wimsatt, received a $2 million grant from to John Templeton Foundation to advance a scientific metaphysics based in biological practice.

Affiliate Faculty (MCPS Resident Fellows)[edit]

Affiliate faculty do not supervise philosophy students but interact and collaborate with students, as well as serve on committees

  • Mark Borrello (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; History of Science, Technology, and Medicine) // website
    • Specialties: history of biology, evolutionary theory, genetics and ecology, biology of behavior; biology and society
  • Ruth Shaw (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Plant Biology) // websites program lab
    • Specialities: evolutionary quantitative genetics; plant population biology; ongoing evolution in plants
  • Michael Travisano (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; BioTechnology Institute) // websites website, lab group
    • Specialties: multicellularity, evolution of aging, adaptive radiation, historical contingency, cooperation and cheating, experimental evolution, evo devo, speciation

Current Philosophy of Biology Graduate Students[edit]

  • William Bausman (Philosophy)
  • Kele Cable (History of Science, Technology, and Medicine) website
  • Max Dresow (Philosophy)
  • Felipe Eguiarte (History of Science, Technology, and Medicine)
  • John Heydinger (History of Science, Technology, and Medicine)
  • Katherine Liu (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) website CV
  • Jack Powers (Philosophy)
  • Maria Rebolleda-Gomez (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) website

Related Department Websites[edit]