"Be afraid.  Be very afraid ..."
G'day.   I am a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Science, Technology and Society at the University of Alberta.  I hold a B.A. with first class honours in philosophy from the University of Western Australia (1986), and an M.A. (1990) and Ph.D (1992) from Cornell University.  I taught at Queen's University, Canada 1992-1996 and at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1996-2000 before coming to Alberta.  I was a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Western Australia in 1995, where I also spent my first sabbatical leave in 2004-05.  In the past, I have been occasionally let loose in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, with interesting results.

My research falls chiefly in the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science, the philosophy of biology, and general philosophy of science, but I also have some ongoing interests in ethics and moral psychology, metaphysics and epistemology, and 17th and 18th century philosophy. Most of my published work has been on individualism in psychology, but don't hold that against me! Topics on which I am currently working include constitution views in metaphysics, the concept of realization in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and social agency.  From 1995-1998 a lot of my research time was soaked up as the general editor for the MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences MITECS, which was published in April 1999, and is now available as a reasonably-priced paperback ($US70 or so for 1100 large pages!).

I am currently continuing work on a series of books under the general title The Individual in the Fragile Sciences, a project that ranges across the cognitive, biological, and social sciences. A 3-year SSHRC grant with teaching release awarded in 2001 allowed me to finish two books in this project, Boundaries of the Mind (2004) and Genes and the Agents of Life (2005), both published with Cambridge University Press.  Another 3-year SSHRC grant awarded in 2005 should allow me to complete work on the third book in the series; its working title is Domains of the Social.  There are a number of other projects that I have started but am unlikely to find time to make much progress on alone in the near future, and you should click here for an overview (in pdf) of 12 Projects  that fit this description.

Other books that I have out are Cartesian Psychology and Physical Minds (Cambridge, 1995; paperback 1997); and two edited books, Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (1999), and (with Frank Keil), Explanation and Cognition, (2000), both published by MIT Press.  Journals that I have recent articles in include Pacific Philosophical Quarterly ("Intentionality and Phenomenology", 84 (November 2003), pp.413-431), Philosophical Studies ("Two Views of Realization", 104 (May 2001), pp.1-31), Philosophy of Science ("Pluralism, Entwinement, and the Levels of Selection", 70 (July 2003), pp.531-552; and "Test Cases, Resolvability, and Group Selection: The Myxoma Case, 71 (July 2004), pp.380-401), and The Journal of the History of Philosophy ("Locke's Primary Qualities", 40 (April 2002), pp.201-228).  I have also recently done a series of extended reviews of books in philosophy of biology: on Phil Kitcher's influence, on eugenics, on primatology, and on the early history of life.   A complete list of publications (including these) is available from my c.v.. For the food that fuels all this, and how it is to be eaten, click here.

Over the last 13 years I have taught courses in ethics, the philosophy of mind and psychology, logic and language, naturalistic epistemology, philosophy of science, and the philosophy of biology.  I welcome inquiries from graduate and undergraduate students regarding courses and opportunities for study; grad students might also be interested in this 12 Projects document (in pdf).  You can find syllabi for my current and/or most recent courses on the sidebar of this website.

I am also the general editor, with Kim Sterelny, of the book series Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology.  We've published nine books to date; the most recent addition is Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb's Evolution in Four Dimensions.  Several of my past graduate students regard me as the Ozzie Osborne  of philosophy (no bats were harmed in the making of this webpage, however).  I am also, most importantly, along with my esteemed colleague Mike Caldwell , a member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (scroll to the end of that site for Mike's picture; he's the one on the left.)


Department of Philosophy
4-115 Humanities
University of Alberta
Edmonton, T6G 2E5
Tel: 780-492-8994 (direct); -3307 (general office)
FAX: 780-492-9160

This informational page was updated in August 2005