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

October 23, 2015, 
11 am
The Red Victorian Hotel, 
San Francisco
"When Maps Become the World"

Cambridge University
May 19 
("Practice," Chap. 3  When Maps Become the World)

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 Pragmatic Cartography of Population Biology: Army Ants, Flour Beetles, and the Lab-Field Border"
(Session organized by 
Sabina Leonelli and 
Rachel A. Ankeny)
ISHPSSB, July 8-10

"Extending Philosophy of Biology: A Roundtable on New Methodologies and Domains, from Cartography to Cancer"
ISHPSSB, July 8-10 2015.

"The Cartography of the Biological Sciences" AIFIBI
Valle de Bravo, Mexico, 
7-11 September, 2015.

"Maps and Scientific Representation"
 Pictures & Proofs, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, March 19-21.

"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"