What is the historical and ethical context of evolutionary and psychological theories, and how are these theories used, perhaps sometimes illegitimately, to draw conclusions about race, sex/gender, and intelligence? How do complex models of cognition and climate change influence technology, and how is that technology used? When do we conflate and confuse our theoretical maps with the world? As a philosophy professor, I investigate the structure, dynamics, and functions of scientific theories and models. In a nutshell, I worry about how and when we use abstractions generatively, and how and when we perniciously reify them. I have lectured and published on a wide variety of topics in philosophy as well as on science more generally.
Here are my areas of interest: philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, evolutionary theory, genetics, cartography, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, mathematics, cosmology, social and human sciences, Pragmatism, History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS), Kant, post-structuralism, Latin American Philosophy.
1. Education and Appointments?
- University of California, Santa Cruz: Associate Professor (2013 - Current), Assistant Professor (2007-2013); Department of Philosophy
2. Professional Service?
- "History and Philosophy of Biology" Series Editor, Routledge
- Reviewer for 25+ journals, publishers, and funding agencies
3. General research content?
- What is the relation between the concrete (e.g., reality, material technology, and the body) and the abstract (e.g., theory, functional design, and consciousness)?
- Which categories of scientific research exist in a plurality of ways?
4. Current specific projects?
+Pragmatic aspects of models and modeling:
- (i) mathematical models (especially in genomics, climate studies, and physics)
- (ii) diagrammatic models (especially of biological mechanisms, and "Tree of life" vs. "Network of life")
- (iii) narrative models (especially in Evo-Devo)
- (i) the genomics of "race" (Wir sind alle Afrikaner)
5. Other intellectual interests? Physics, psychology, literature and poetry, art, architecture, and the study of multiculturalism.
6. Languages? I speak Danish, English, and Spanish. Perhaps one day my French, German, and Latin will improve.
Check out the rest of my webpage, if you are interested. Please send me your feedback.
Neues Museum, Berlin, 2010.
Photo courtesy of
Lene Harbo Pedersen
UPCOMING TALKS AND CONFERENCES
February 11, 2017
September 12, 2016 @ 10.00 hrs.
School of Architecture and Design; Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; bygn. 68, rum C.426
April 21, 4:30 pm, History Bldg rm 307,
Program in History and Philosophy of Science,
University of Kassel,
National Tsing Hua University,
Hsinchu City, Taiwan
May 27, 3.20-4:35 pm
Keynote for MA Student Conference
Bldg. 1455, rm. 127
(When Maps Become the World
synthetic styles of thinking, in science and in everyday life.
On the nature and purposes of making distinctions
(University of Chicago Press, book under contract).