University at Albany, SUNY, USA
Fall Term 2010
The Enquiry Relativity of Natural Kinds
P.D. Magnus is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, SUNY. His primary work is an attempt to articulate a falliblist but nonsceptical philosophy of science, especially in relation to the underdetermination of theory by data. He argues against wholesale approaches which aim to draw substantive conclusions about all or most of science. Once such approaches are set aside, there will not be monolithic victories for any of the old opposites like realism or anti-realism.
He has also published on the nature of scientific theories, the history of philosophy (on Thomas Reid and on pragmatism), the philosophy of technology (on the epistemology of Wikipedia), and on the ontology of musical performance. He is currently thinking about natural kinds.
The book that P.D. wrote during his Fall 2010 fellowship at the Center is forthcoming in September from Palgrave Macmillian; it will be titled Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards. The project has also led to several articles that are either forthcoming or under review.
The book that P.D. wrote while visiting the Center was published in October (Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards, Palgrave Macmillan). A paper that he and Heather Douglas devised when they were officemates at the Center is forthcoming in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science ("Why novel prediction matters"). He also has some published articles which didn't incubate in his semester at the Center. He continues to teach at SUNY Albany, where he will be department chair next year.