•  49
    Natural Agency: The Case of Bacterial Cognition
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1): 69-90. 2017.
    ABSTRACT:I contrast an ecological account of natural agency with the traditional Cartesian conception using recent research in bacterial cognition and cellular decision making as a test case. I argue that the Cartesian conception—namely, the view that agency presupposes cognition—generates a dilemma between mechanism, the view that bacteria are mere automata, and intellectualism, the view that they exhibit full-blown cognition. Unicellular organisms, however, occupy a middle ground between these…Read more
  •  51
    Fodor argue that Darwinism cannot be true on the grounds that there are no laws of selection to support counterfactuals about why traits are selected-for. Darwinian explanations, according to this objection, amount to mere ‘plausible historical narratives’. I argue that the objection is predicated on two problematic assumptions: A nomic-subsumption account of causation and causal explanation, and a fine-grained view of the individuation of selected-for effects. Against the former, I argue that D…Read more