•  1
    Normativity, system-integration, natural detachment and the hybrid hominin
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1-17. forthcoming.
    From a subjective point of view, we take the existence of integrated entities, i.e., ourselves as the most unproblematic given, and blithely project such integrity onto untold many “entities” far and wide. However, from a naturalistic perspective, accounting for anything more integral than the attachments and attractions that are explicable in terms of the four fundamental forces of physics has been anything but straightforward. If we take it that the universe begins as an integral unity and exp…Read more
  •  3
    The grassblade beyond Newton: the pragmatizing of Kant for evolutionary-developmental biology
    with Stuart A. Newman
    Lebenswelt: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Experience 7 94-111. 2015.
    Much of the philosophical attention directed to Kant’s intervention into biology has been directed toward Kant’s idea of a transcendental limit upon what can be understood constitutively. Kant’s own wider philosophical practice, however, was principally oriented toward solving problems and the scientific benefits of his methodology of teleology have been largely underappreciated, at least in the English language literature. This paper suggests that all basic biology has had, and continues to hav…Read more
  •  9
    Prague – a 21st-century salon and beyond?
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (3): 284-285. 2017.
  • What Genes Can't Do
    Journal of the History of Biology 38 (2): 383-384. 2005.
  •  64
    Radically new or unexpected findings in a science demand an openness to new concepts and styles of explanation. The time is more than ripe for asking ourselves what we have learned from the research program of comparative genomics. Where not long ago the human genome was expected to reveal a close association of complexity with the quantitative expansion of the roster of unique genes, more recent findings, especially in relation to comparisons between human and chimp, have raised the bracing pos…Read more
  •  8
    Commentary on Falk and Downes
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (1). 2004.
  •  3
  •  17
    Science, normativity and skill: Reviewing and renewing the anthropological basis of Critical Theory
    with V. Pavesich
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (2): 139-165. 2011.
    The categories and contours of a normative social theory are prefigured by its ‘anthropological’ presuppositions. The discourse/communicative-theoretic basis of Habermasian theory was prefigured by a strong anthropological demarcation between an instrumentally structured realm of science, technology and labor versus a normatively structured realm of social interaction. An alternative anthropology, bolstered by current work in the empirical sciences, finds fundamental normative needs for orientat…Read more
  •  161
    The question of questions: What is a Gene? Comments on Rolston and Griffths & Stotz (review)
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (6): 523-534. 2006.
    If the question ``What is a gene?'' proves to be worth asking it must be able to elicit an answer which both recognizes and address the reasons why the concept of the gene ever seemed to be something worth getting excited about in the first place as well analyzing and evaluating the latest develops in the molecular biology of DNA. Each of the preceding papers fails to do one of these and sufferrs the consequences. Where Rolston responds to the apparent failure of molecular biology to make good o…Read more
  •  25
    Genes and generalizations: Darden's strategies and the question of context (review)
    Biology and Philosophy 10 (4): 483-488. 1995.
    In her recent book Lindley Darden has endeavored to reclaim for philosophy an active role in the elaboration of good science. She has done this, not by holding up some set of rational standards derived from outside of scientific practice, but rather by delving into the history of science and coming out with a set of scientific strategies. Unconcerned about whether any particular strategy wasin fact employed in a given historical case her project depends upon two claims, first that these strategi…Read more
  •  55
    The gene-for confusion
    The Philosophers' Magazine 13 (13): 46-47. 2001.
  •  17
    A Kernel of Truth? On the Reality of the Genetic Program
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992. 1992.
    The existence claim of a "genetic program" encoded in the DNA molecule which controls biological processes such as development has been examined. Sources of belief in such an entity are found in the rhetoric of Mendelian genetics, in the informationist speculations of Schrodinger and Delbruck, and in the instrumental efficacy found in the use of certain viral, and molecular genetic techniques. In examining specific research models, it is found that attempts at tracking the source of biological c…Read more
  •  51
    Is the philosophy of mechanism philosophy enough?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1): 164-172. 2012.
  •  3
    The gene-for confusion
    The Philosophers' Magazine 13 46-47. 2001.
  •  34
    Detachment and compensation
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 40 (1): 91-105. 2014.
    There are many in the social sciences and social philosophy who would aspire to overcome the ‘nature/culture binary’, including some who, with at least an implicit nod toward a putatively ‘anti-essentialist’ process ontology, have set out with an orientation toward a paradigm of ‘biosocial becoming’. Such contemporary work, however, in areas such as social and cultural anthropology and sciences studies has often failed to clarify, let alone justify, the warrants of their most basic assumptions a…Read more
  • What Genes Can't Do: Prolegomena to a Post Modern-Synthesis Philosophy
    Dissertation, Northwestern University. 1998.
    The concept of the gene has been the central organizing theme of 20th century biology. Biology has become increasingly influential both for philosophers seeking a naturalized basis for epistemology, ethics, and the understanding of the mind, as well as for the human sciences generally. The central task of this work is to get the story right about genes and in so doing provide a critical and enabling resourse for use in the further pursuit of human self-understanding. ;The work begins with a wide…Read more