Positions

Overview

  • I love thinking about philosophy of science and other areas of philosophy, and about the relationship between sciences and humanities. Philosophy of science is the area of philosophy that investigates how scientific knowledge depends on the ways that scientists design and perform experiments, observe nature, formulate their ideas, and use mathematical models and computers. Even though science is woven into our lives, few people stop to think about the deep philosophical questions that it raises.

    Philosophy of science overlaps with other philosophical areas, including epistemology (the study of knowledge and justification), metaphysics (the study of the nature of reality), and ethics (because science can depend on choices that involve ethical issues). Although philosophy of science is one of the core areas of philosophy, it's also fundamentally interdisciplinary: In addition to studying philosophy, philosophers of science have to study sciences. History and other social sciences also play an important role in philosophy of science.

    By the way, my courses usually don't assume that you already know about any of the things mentioned above! All that you need is an interest in philosophy — or in science. I teach courses on general philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence, philosophy of social science. I also teach interdisciplinary courses that integrate philosophy with other areas of study.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2015 Coherence, Muller’s ratchet, and the maintenance of culturePhilosophy of Science.  82:983-996. 2015
    2015 Probability and manipulation: Evolution and simulation in applied population geneticsErkenntnis.  80:519-549. 2015
    2015 Cultural variant interaction in teaching and transmissionBehavioral and Brain Sciences.  38. 2015
    2014 Correction: A moderate role for cognitive models in agent-based modeling of cultural change (Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling, (2013), 1, 16, (1–33), 10.1186/2194-3206-1-16)Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling.  2. 2014
    2014 Maintenance of cultural diversity: Social roles, social networks, and cognitive networksBehavioral and Brain Sciences.  37:254-255. 2014
    2013 A moderate role for cognitive models in agent-based modeling of cultural changeComplex Adaptive Systems Modeling.  1. 2013
    2013 Populations and pigeons: Prosaic pluralism about evolutionary causesStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.  44:294-301. 2013
    2012 Implications of use of wright's F ST for the role of probability and causation in evolutionPhilosophy of Science.  79:596-608. 2012
    2012 Measured, modeled, and causal conceptions of fitnessFrontiers in Genetics.  3. 2012
    2012 Mechanistic probabilitySynthese.  187:343-375. 2012
    2011 Natural selection at genomic regions associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes: East Asians and sub-Saharan Africans exhibit high levels of differentiation at type-2 diabetes regionsHuman Genetics.  129:407-418. 2011
    2009 Fitness "kinematics": Biological function, altruism, and organism-environment developmentBiology and Philosophy.  24:487-504. 2009
    2009 The unity of fitnessPhilosophy of Science.  76:750-761. 2009
    2009 What determines biological fitness? the problem of the reference environmentSynthese.  166:21-40. 2009
    2007 How do natural selection and random drift interact?Philosophy of Science.  74:666-679. 2007
    2007 Fitness and propensity's annulment?Biology and Philosophy.  22:115-130. 2007
    2006 Infinite populations and counterfactual frequencies in evolutionary theoryStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.  37:256-268. 2006
    2005 Teleosemantics without natural selectionBiology and Philosophy.  20:97-116. 2005

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2017 Probability and chance in mechanisms.  169-184. 2017

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Abrams’ research focuses mainly on two groups of questions:

    Probability and science: What is probability? How can we understand the nature of probability and causality—particularly in biological and social sciences—in a way that make sense of successful scientific practices? What do the ways that scientists use probability tell us about the nature of the processes they study?

    Science and the humanities: Should scientific research on human societies incorporate insights from the humanities? How? Dr. Abrams has been investigating the possibility that scientists can use new kinds of models to try to bring insights from humanistic research into the domain of science.

    While most of Dr. Abrams’ research is philosophical and interdisciplinary, he also collaborates on purely scientific research.

    Keywords - Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Social Science, Philosophy of Probability, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Modern Philosophy, Symbolic Logic
  • Teaching Activities

  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2020) 2020
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL270 - Science Knowledge and Reality (Fall Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL390 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL270 - Science Knowledge and Reality (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL375 - Philosophy of Mind (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL312 - Philosophy of Biology (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL492 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL270 - Science Knowledge and Reality (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL375 - Philosophy of Mind (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL270 - Science Knowledge and Reality (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL375 - Philosophy of Mind (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL491 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL391 - 98 (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL491 - Philosophy Seminar (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL270 - The Scientific Enterprise (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL375 - Philosophy of Mind (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • HON319 - Seminar: Philosophy (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Fall Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PY320 - Contemporary Issues in Psych (Spring Term 2011) 2011
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PHL270 - The Scientific Enterprise (Fall Term 2010) 2010
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Summer Term 2010) 2010
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2010) 2010
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL270 - The Scientific Enterprise (Fall Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Summer Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2009) 2009
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL270 - The Scientific Enterprise (Fall Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Summer Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL372 - Minds and Machines (Spring Term 2008) 2008
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2007) 2007
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Fall Term 2007) 2007
  • PY220 - Contemporary Issues in Psych (Fall Term 2007) 2007
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Chicago 2002
  • Full Name

  • Marshall Abrams