Category Archives: Philosophy

The utility of HPS

Over at The Bubble Chamber (blog of the University of Toronto Science Policy Working Group), Curtis Forbes asks “can history and philosophy of science be applied in socially relevant ways?”

Posted in History, Philosophy | Leave a comment

HSS Annual Meeting (Nov 4 – 7)

The History of Science Society annual meeting is rapidly approaching and is to be held in Montreal on November 4th through 8th. As always, there are lots of interesting sessions, but as a member of the Committee on Education, I’d … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, History, Philosophy, Teaching HPS | 15 Comments

More deaths

Two researchers have recently died who are relevant to evolutionary biology. Leigh Van Valen, the originator of the “Red Queen Hypothesis” and a proponent of the Ecological Species Concept, died yesterday, John Hawks is reporting. I had some correspondence with … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mr X

There is a scholar, call him Mr X, who received his training within the academy, but who found it wasn’t enough. He wanted more: to move outside of his wonky circle of colleagues, to engage the public, to communicate ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Early Scientific Printing, History, Mathematics, Physics, Science | 2 Comments

Benoît Mandelbrot (1924-2010)

John Brockman is reporting that Benoît Mandelbrot – the father of fractal geometry – has died.  

Posted in Mathematics, Philosophy, Science | 3 Comments

Hume, Curiosity, and the Justification of Scientific Endeavor

A considerable portion of the philosophy of David Hume can be interpreted as an attempt to formulate a proper philosophical account of the scientific endeavor itself. This certainly is a major concern for Hume; much of his discussion of causation, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On the origins of creativity

I’m not a very creative guy. I had an idea back in the 1970s, but I managed not to do anything about it in time for someone else to do something with an almost identical idea. I think I dodged … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Epistemology, Evolution, Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

HPS links

From Skulls in the Stars 5 days until The Giant’s Shoulders #27! Posted on September 10, 2010 by skullsinthestars There’s only 11 days left before the deadline of the next edition of The Giant’s Shoulders history of science blog carnival!  It will be held … Continue reading

Posted in History, Links, Philosophy | 2 Comments

George C. Williams dies

Few evolutionary biologists have had the impact within and without their field as has George Williams, who died this week. His groundbreaking Adaptation and Natural Selection in 1966 set off the debate over levels of selection, the ubiquity of natural … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Prichard on species

Here’s a nice and interesting discussion on how species was seen well before Darwin, which is effectively a “biological”, that is to say, reproductive isolation species conception. It’s by James Prichard, an anthropologist, and published in the second edition of … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, History | Leave a comment