New species book contract!

Hi all. I have signed a new contract with Taylor and Francis for my revision of the species book, which is now to be known as Species: The History and Philosophy of the Idea. Much will be new in it – I will be fixing and expanding on many topics, adding an entire review of the Read More…

Accommodating Science overview

I have done quite a lot of blogging under this heading lately so I thought it might be useful to get all the posts used in order: On beliefs Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism Why do believers believe THOSE silly things? The “developmental hypothesis” of belief acquisition How to argue Read More…

Books I am reading/reviewing

Despite marking scores of essays, after having taught a subject intensive, and preparing various papers, I get to review some books. This means reading them, familiarising myself with the technical literature, and so on. So I thought I’d do a brief summary of them for you now: The first is this: M. A. Khalidi, Natural Categories Read More…

Natural classification

It occurs to me that I haven’t plugged my own book here. What a failure on my part! It was published in December, so it is really time I did so. In this book, Malte Ebach and I discuss a topic not often discussed in the philosophy of science: the classification of nature in the Read More…

My latest paper – Carving Nature at its Joints, a review

You can find it online here. A very interesting but ultimately, to me, largely frustrating book (because it didn’t answer my questions, goddammit!). Review – Carving Nature at Its Joints Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science by Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O’Rourke and Matthew H. Slater (Editors) MIT Press, 2012 Review by John S. Wilkins Read More…

Book proposal call

I’m on the editorial board of the Species and Systematics series at the University of California Press, and so if any of you have a proposal for that series, on any topic relating to these two areas that is academic and specialist, let me, series editor Malte Ebach, or the editor at UCP, Chuck Crumly, Read More…

Yet another “post-Darwinism”

Over the years there have been many books that purport to “radically revise” or “supplant” Darwinian evolutionary biology; they come with predictable regularity. Usually they are of three kinds: something is wrong with natural selection, something is wrong with inheritance, or something is wrong with phylogeny. This book, by geneticist James A. Shapiro, exemplifies all Read More…