I am Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
I study the historical connections between philosophy and biology. My recent book, Pragmatism’s Evolution: Organism and Environment in American Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores how developments in the life sciences at the end of the nineteenth century shaped the ideas of American philosophers such as William James, John Dewey, Jane Addams, and W. E. B. Du Bois.
My earlier work in the philosophy of biology focused on how research in experimental biology, ecology, and paleobiology, suitably understood, can help answer broader questions about the relative importance of different causal factors in evolutionary history. Is natural selection the only causal factor in evolution? If others are proposed, how do we determine whether they are actually important?