•  21
    Crossed tracks: Mesolimulus, Archaeopteryx, and the nature of fossils
    Biology and Philosophy 34 (2): 28. 2019.
    Organisms leave a variety of traces in the fossil record. Among these traces, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontologists conventionally recognize a distinction between the remains of an organism’s phenotype and the remains of an organism’s life activities. The same convention recognizes body fossils as biological structures and trace fossils as geological objects. This convention explains some curious practices in the classification, as with the distinction between taxa for trace fossils and fo…Read more
  •  5
    Philosophy of Science Panel Discussion
    with Jonathan Kaplan, Massimo Pigliucci, and Evan Tracy
    Questions traditionally answered by philosophers are now being tackled by prominent scientists. As the cultural influence of science and technology continues to grow, what room, if any, is left for philosophy? Three philosophers—Dr. Jonathan Kaplan, Dr. Massimo Pigliucci, and Dr. Leonard Finkelman —explore issues related to the philosophy of science, including how philosophy has contributed to scientific progress, why philosophy continues to be important to science, and why there remain question…Read more
  •  79
    Recent debates between proponents of the modern evolutionary synthesis (the standard model in evolutionary biology) and those of a possible extended synthesis are a good example of the fascinating tangle among empirical, theoretical, and conceptual or philosophical matters that is the practice of evolutionary biology. In this essay, we briefly discuss two case studies from this debate, highlighting the relevance of philosophical thinking to evolutionary biologists in the hope of spurring further…Read more
  •  29
    De-extinction and the conception of species
    Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6): 32. 2018.
    Developments in genetic engineering may soon allow biologists to clone organisms from extinct species. The process, dubbed “de-extinction,” has been publicized as a means to bring extinct species back to life. For theorists and philosophers of biology, the process also suggests a thought experiment for the ongoing “species problem”: given a species concept, would a clone be classified in the extinct species? Previous analyses have answered this question in the context of specific de-extinction t…Read more
  •  5
    Dr. Leonard Finkelman discusses how, even though the fossils of dinosaurs have been named, the animals themselves are still nameless. Finkelman makes his argument using the example of a Tyrannosaurus Rex — it's the name of rocks, but not the name of the animal whose bones became those rocks.
  •  15
    The more things change the more things change (review)
    Metascience 24 (3): 409-412. 2015.
  •  6489
    The Value of Public Philosophy to Philosophers
    with Massimo Pugliucci
    Essays in Philosophy 15 (1): 86-102. 2014.
    Philosophy has been a public endeavor since its origins in ancient Greece, India, and China. However, recent years have seen the development of a new type of public philosophy conducted by both academics and non- professionals. The new public philosophy manifests itself in a range of modalities, from the publication of magazines and books for the general public to a variety of initiatives that exploit the power and flexibility of social networks and new media. In this paper we examine the phenom…Read more
  •  20
    The Extinction and De-Extinction of Species
    with Helena Siipi
    Philosophy and Technology 30 (4): 427-441. 2017.
    In this paper, we discuss the following four alternative ways of understanding the outcomes of resurrection biology. Implications of each of the ways are discussed with respect to concepts of species and extinction. Replication: animals created by resurrection biology do not belong to the original species but are copies of it. The view is compatible with finality of extinction as well as with certain biological and ecological species concepts. Re-creation: animals created are members of the orig…Read more