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. 


ACADEMIC CV (Updated October 12, 2015).
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?
  • Education
  • 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? 
  • Abstraction-Reification
  • 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)? 
  • Pluralism
  • 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)
Assumption Archaeology of the practices, theories, and ontologies of these fields:
  • (i) the genomics of "race" (Wir sind alle Afrikaner)
Prediction and hypothesis testing (frequentist & Bayesian) as stringent and probative empirical methodologies

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 
Ola Jakup Joensen, Niels Bohr Institute

February 24
UNAM, Mexico City
(11 minute remembrance

"How to Interview Scientists, and Have Fun While You're at It"
2:15 pm, March 11, Kc7, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen

"Lovelock, Wegener, and maps in scientific controversies"
Conference on Gaia and Earth System Science
March 25
Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 

"When Maps Become the World"
April 5, 5:15 pm, Auditorie 10, H.C. Ørsted Institutet, 
Danish Society for the History of Science,
Copenhagen University

"When Maps Become the World"
April 21, 4:30 pm, History Bldg rm 307,
Program in History and Philosophy of Science,
Stanford University

"The 'Mapping' Concept in Mathematics: Potential Cartographic Influences?"
April 26
Logic and Foundations of Mathematics Seminar,
Stanford University

June 14-16
Conference on
30 Years After the Dialectical Biologist
University of Bordeaux, France

"Mechanism Marries Mathematics"
Symposium on 
Integrating Explanatory Strategies Across the Life Sciences
November 3-6
Philosophy of Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia 

Conference on Representing scientific results: Forms of knowledge
November 18-19​
University of Kassel, 

"Diagrams ≠ Pictures ≠ Maps"
Conference on 
Scientific Diagrams
November 24​-25
National Tsing Hua University, 
Hsinchu City, Taiwan

Aarhus University 
May 27, 3.20-4:35 pm
Keynote for MA Student Conference
Bldg. 1455, rm. 127
(When Maps Become the World
poster ; abstracts)

June 2 
("We are All Africans"; Science&Cocktails   

Video here)

"The Stanford School of Philosophy of Science" Conference
Stanford, CA

Deductive vs.
synthetic styles of thinking, in science and in everyday life.
"Take Your Time"

On the nature and purposes of making distinctions
"The Knife and the One" 
When Maps Become the World 
(University of Chicago Press, book under contract).

Draft of Chapter 1, "Why Maps?"
Comments Welcome.

Draft of Preface 
Comments Welcome.