•  7
    Biological Teleology, Reductionism, and Verbal Disputes
    Foundations of Science 1-22. forthcoming.
    The extensive philosophical discussions and analyses in recent decades of function-talk in biology have done much to clarify what biologists mean when they ascribe functions to traits, but the basic metaphysical question—is there genuine teleology and design in the natural world, or only the appearance of this?—has persisted, as recent work both defending, and attacking, teleology from a Darwinian perspective, attest. I argue that in the context of standard contemporary evolutionary theory, this…Read more
  •  7
    Evolutionary debunking arguments seek to infer from the evolutionary origin of human beliefs about a particular domain to the conclusion that those beliefs are unjustified. In this paper I discuss EDAs with respect to our everyday, commonsense beliefs. Those who seriously entertain EDAs for commonsense argue that natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness, and thus it will equip us with beliefs that are useful rather than true. In recent work Griffiths and Wilkins a…Read more
  •  1
    It is widely acknowledged that metaphysical assumptions, commitments and presuppositions play an important role in science. Yet according to the empiricist there is no place for metaphysics as traditionally understood in the scientific enterprise. In this paper I aim to take a first step towards reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable claims. In the first part of the paper I outline a conception of metaphysics and its relation to science that should be congenial to empiricists, motivated by v…Read more
  •  22
    Methodological naturalism in the sciences
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (1): 57-80. 2020.
    Creationists have long argued that evolutionary science is committed to a dogmatic metaphysics of naturalism and materialism, which is based on faith or ideology rather than evidence. The standard response to this has been to insist that science is not committed to any such metaphysical doctrine, but only to a methodological version of naturalism, according to which science may only appeal to natural entities and processes. But this whole debate presupposes that there is a clear distinction betw…Read more
  •  14
    It is widely acknowledged that metaphysical assumptions, commitments and presuppositions play an important role in science. Yet according to the empiricist there is no place for metaphysics as traditionally understood in the scientific enterprise. In this paper I aim to take a first step towards reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable claims. In the first part of the paper I outline a conception of metaphysics and its relation to science that should be congenial to empiricists, motivated by v…Read more
  •  6
    Gould on species, metaphysics and macroevolution: A critical appraisal
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62 25-34. 2017.
  •  15
    Stances and Epistemology: Values, Pragmatics, and Rationality
    Metaphilosophy 49 (4): 521-547. 2018.