Elliott Sober - April 04, 2005

Elliott Sober

Hans Reichenbach Professor and William Vilas Research Professor Department of Philosophy University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Creationism versus Evolution"

8:00 PM Monday, April 04, 2005
University Theatre

"Morgan's Canon"

3:10 PM Monday, April 04, 2005
Gallagher Business Building 123

You are cordially invited to attend a seminar with Elliott Sober. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard in 1974, he began teaching at the University of Wisconsin . He now holds two endowed professorships there. A distinguished philosopher of science, he has presented nearly 400 papers at academic conferences. He now has more than 200 papers, reviews, and articles in print. Among Professor Sober's book publications are:

  • Simplicity (Oxford University Press, 1975);
  • Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology: An Anthology , editor (MIT Press, 1984);
  • The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus (MIT Press, 1984);
  • Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference (MIT Press, 1988);
  • Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings (Macmillan, 1990; 4th ed., 2005)
  • Reconstructing Marxism: Essays on Explanation and the Theory of History , with Erik Wright and Andrew Levine (Verso Press, 1992);
  • Philosophy of Biology (Westview Press, 1993);
  • From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1994);
  • Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior , with David S. Wilson (Harvard University Press, 1998); and
  • Adaptationism and Optimality , edited with Steven Orzack (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Cambridge University Press will publish his forthcoming book, "Scientific Realism and Scientific Inference."

In his seminar, Professor Sober will discuss the standing today of "Morgan's Canon." C. Lloyd Morgan invented this principle of inference to counteract the tendency to anthropomorphize the behavior of non-human animals. The idea is that if one can explain an organism's behavior without attributing it to "higher" cognitive faculties, one should do so.