Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 04/02/2012
[Joint Seminar with Department of Chemical Engineering]
Monday, 04/02/2012
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #160
(Steinman Lecture Hall)

Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith
CUNY Graduate Center
Department of Philosophy

"Philosophical Perspectives on Modeling"


I will quickly survey philosophical thinking about scientific theorizing from the 1930s to the present, focusing on the emerging recognition that modeling is a distinctive style of scientific work. I will then discuss some problems concerning the relationships between models and the natural world.


I have a PhD in philosophy from UC San Diego. I taught at Stanford University between 1991 and 2003, and then combined a half-time post at the Australian National University (RSSS) and a visiting position at Harvard for a few years. From 2006 to 2011 I was Professor of Philosophy at Harvard, and I now teach at the CUNY Graduate Center.


My main research interests are in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind. I also work on pragmatism (especially John Dewey), general philosophy of science, and some parts of metaphysics and epistemology. I have written three books, Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature (Cambridge, 1996), Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Chicago, 2003), and Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (Oxford, 2009), which won the 2010 Lakatos Award.