Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Oxford Philosophy of Biology Reading group is go!

I'm pretty excited to announce that, as of friday this week, Jessica Laimann and I are convening a brand new shiny reading group. Theme is 'Inheritance and Cooperation', this week's reading is 'The major evolutionary transitions' by Szathm√°ry and Maynard Smith 1995 (the paper, not the book) and tickets are selling fast. Not literally, obviously, although I am thinking about flogging a commemorative mug.

We'll be a mixed group of Philosophy BPhil students (that's masters students to you and I, but masters students on an exceptionally competitive two-year course) and zoologists, with maybe an anthropologist or two for luck. The plan is to fly through some foundational readings in transitions/cooperation theory, and then bring in some evo-devo, some stuff on different systems of inheritance and some stuff on biological information. We're going to take in a bit of Axelrod, some Jablonka, some Hull, some Griffiths & Stotz, a generous handful of readings from Cooperation and its evolution' (Sterelny, Joyce, Calcott and Fraser 2013), a little bit of niche construction theory, a little bit on the ultimate/proximate distinction, some infotel semantics, plus a whole glorious mash up of Birch, Okasha, Frank, Lewens, Skyrms, and more.

Even more exciting, just when you thought that wasn't possible, we're going to help ourselves to a greedy selection of readings with possible guest appearances from home-grown Inheritance and Cooperation superstars, including Cecilia Heyes, Nicholas Shea, Tobias Uller, John Odling-Smee, Kevin Foster, Robin Dunbar and Stuart West.

Email me if you wanna go on the mailing list!

Now how am I going to get to sleep tonight?

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