University of Calgary
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2013
Towson, Maryland, United States of America
  •  11
    Forming Lineages by Sticking Together
    Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11. 2019.
    Nature is replete with borderline cases that fall somewhere between organisms and communities, such as lichens, biofilms, and the Portuguese Man-of-War. At first glance, the existence of such borderline cases might suggest that the concept of what constitutes an organism is too fuzzy to be useful in evolutionary biology. Yet, the notion of organisms is entrenched within central debates in evolution, including discussions over how fitness should be measured, what the bearers of adaptations and fi…Read more
  •  7
    Blind Cooperation: The Evolution of Redundancy via Ignorance
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    One curious phenomenon of several social groups is that they are ‘redundant’ in the sense that they contain more cooperators than strictly needed to complete certain group tasks, such as foraging. Redundancy is puzzling because redundant groups are particularly susceptible to invasion by defectors. Yet, redundancy can be found in groups formed by a wide range of organisms, including insects and microbes. Birch has recently argued that coercive behaviours might account for redundancy using insect…Read more
  •  9
    The Impact of Population Bottlenecks on the Social Lives of Microbes
    Biological Theory 13 (3): 190-198. 2018.
    Microbes often live in association with dense multicellular aggregates, especially biofilms, and the construction of these aggregates typically requires microbial cells to produce public goods, such as enzymes and signaling molecules. Public-goods producers are, in turn, vulnerable to exploitation by free-rider cells that consume the public goods without paying for their production costs. The cell population of a biofilm or other microbial aggregates are expected to pass through bottlenecks due …Read more
  •  8
    Criteria of Identity and their Logical Form
    Logic Journal of the IGPL 15 (5-6): 759-765. 2007.
    The goal of this paper is to wonder whether there is some pattern preserved throughout every criterion of identity. Two solutions will be examined: Leibniz's Law and Lowe's criterion of identity. In particular, it will be defended the following theses about them
  •  19
    Criteria of Identity and their logical form
    Logic Journal of the IGPL 15 (5-6): 759-765. 2007.
  •  203
    Origin Essentialism in Biology
    Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254): 60-81. 2014.
    Kripke argues for origin essentialism, the view that the same individual cannot have multiple origins. Sober hypothesises that Kripke's origin essentialism applies to biological species. This paper shows that Sober's hypothesis fails. Because Kripke's original argument is invalid, it cannot vindicate Sober's proposal. Salmon offers an influential reformulation of Kripke's argument but his argument fails to extend to species: the notion of an individual's origin is too narrow to apply to species,…Read more
  •  14
    Doolittle :351–378, 2013) and Ereshefsky and Pedroso argue that selection can act at the level of biofilms and other microbial communities. Clarke is skeptical and argues that selection acts on microbial cells rather than microbial communities. Her main criticism is that biofilms lack one of the ingredients required for selection to operate: heritability. This paper replies to her concern by elaborating how biofilm-level traits can be inheritable.
  •  86
    Biological individuality: the case of biofilms
    Biology and Philosophy 28 (2): 331-349. 2013.
    This paper examines David Hull’s and Peter Godfrey-Smith’s accounts of biological individuality using the case of biofilms. Biofilms fail standard criteria for individuality, such as having reproductive bottlenecks and forming parent-offspring lineages. Nevertheless, biofilms are good candidates for individuals. The nature of biofilms shows that Godfrey-Smith’s account of individuality, with its reliance on reproduction, is too restrictive. Hull’s interactor notion of individuality better captur…Read more
  •  104
    Some mathematicians and philosophers contend that set theory plays a foundational role in mathematics. However, the development of category theory during the second half of the twentieth century has encouraged the view that this theory can provide a structuralist alternative to set-theoretical foundations. Against this tendency, criticisms have been made that category theory depends on set-theoretical notions and, because of this, category theory fails to show that set-theoretical foundations ar…Read more
  •  463
    Essentialism, history, and biological taxa
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1): 182-190. 2012.
    de Queiroz (1995), Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) offer a new version of essentialism called "historical essentialism". According to this version of essentialism, relations of common ancestry are essential features of biological taxa. The main type of argument for this essentialism proposed by Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) is that the dominant school of classification, cladism, defines biological taxa in terms of common ancestry. The goal of this paper is to show that this argument fo…Read more
  •  25
    Starting small: Using little microbes to tackle big philosophical problems
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53 126-128. 2015.