STEPHEN M DOWNES portrait
  • Professor, Philosophy
  • Adjunct Professor, School Of Biological Sciences

Research Statement

My research is in philosophy of science and philosophy of biology. I currently have two main research interests: Biology of Human Behavior and Models and Images in Science.

Research Keywords

  • Philosophy of Biology

Presentations

  • “Joint agency and the uniquely-human-cooperation hypothesis” (with Patrick Forber) Philosophy of Science Association, Biennial Meeting, Baltimore, November 2021. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 11/2021.
    https://psa2020.philsci.org/program-schedule/spons...
  • “Genetic Causation,” International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology Meeting, Woods Hole, MA (via Zoom), July 2021. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 07/2021.
  • “Genetic Causation,” Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Marist College, New York (via Zoom), May 2021. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2021.
  • “A History of the Heritability Coefficient Applied to Humans,” Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Indiana University, Bloomington (via Zoom), March 2021. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2021.
  • "Why we should care about Genome Wide Association Studies". Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/24/2020.
    https://sites.google.com/view/pobam2020/schedule
  • “Hiring in Philosophy” presented in the APA Committee Session: Diversity in Philosophy Departments, APA Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, CA, April 2019. Presentation, Presented, 04/2019.
  • "Tens of Thousands of Associations but No Causal Mechanisms Revealed: Mismatches between GWAS and Developmental Molecular Biology," Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting, Seattle, 2018. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 11/03/2018.
    https://psa2018.philsci.org/en/74-program/program-...
  • “Tens of Thousands of Associations but No Causal Mechanisms Revealed: Mismatches between GWAS and Developmental Molecular Biology,” Behavior Genetics Association Meeting, Boston, May 2018. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 06/21/2018.
    http://programme.exordo.com/bga18/
  • "Is there a gene for language," Washington University, St. Louis, April 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2017.
  • "What is Missing Heritability?" PBDB 10, Moruya, NSW, Australia, August 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/2016.
  • "Budgie Grammar, FoxP2 and Human Linguistic Uniqueness," Evolution of Language Workshop, Australian National University, August 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 08/2016.
  • "Response to Gillian Barker Beyond Biofatalism: Human Nature for an Evolving World," Pacific Division American Philosophical Association Meeting, San Francisco, March-April 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 03/2016.
  • "Assessing the evolutionary challenges to human nature," IV Colombian Conference on Logic, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, Bogota, Colombia, February 2016. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 02/2016.
  • "Causation in Evolutionary Anthropology," International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology Meeting, Montreal, July 2015. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 07/2015.

Publications

  • Stephen M. Downes and Jonathan M. Kaplan “Changes in Heritability: Unpredictable and of Limited Use” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (Forthcoming 2021). Accepted, 09/2021.
  • Stephen M. Downes and Eric Turkheimer “An Early History of the Heritability Coefficient Applied to Humans (1918-1960)” Biological Theory (Online First Nov 2021). Published, 11/2021.
    https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s13752-021-...
  • Stephen M. Downes “The role of ancient DNA research in archaeology,” Topoi Vol. 40: 285–293 (2021). Published, 03/2021.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11245-0...
  • Stephen M Downes (2020). Models and Modeling in the Sciences: A Philosophical Introduction. (pp. 104). Routledge. Published, 07/10/2020.
    https://www.routledge.com/Models-and-Modelling-in-...
  • Stephen M Downes (2020). Diversifying Tenure-Line Faculty. [Website/Blog] URL https://blog.apaonline.org/2020/07/09/diversifying-tenure-line-faculty/h. Published, 07/09/2020.
    https://blog.apaonline.org/2020/07/09/diversifying...
  • Stephen M Downes & Lucas J. Matthews (2019). "Heritability". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Published, 12/2019.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heredity/
  • "Review of Maria Kronfeldner What's Left of Human Nature?," BJPS Review of Books (2019). Published, 07/2019.
    http://www.thebsps.org/2019/07/downes-on-kronfeldn...
  • "Evolutionary Psychology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition), revised version of “Evolutionary Psychology” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Published, 09/2018.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2018/entri...
  • “Human nature: An Overview” in R. Joyce (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. New York: Routledge: 155-166. Published, 04/2018.
  • “Variability of Aggression” (with James Tabery) in T. Shackleford and V.A. Weekes-Shackleford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, Springer. Published, 12/2017.
  • “Scientific Imperialism and explanatory appeals to evolution in the social sciences,” in U. Mäki, A. Walsh and M. Fernández Pinto (Eds.) Scientific Imperialism, New York: Routledge: 224-236. Published, 12/2017.
  • “Review of How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism,” Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture Vol 1: 149-152. Published, 03/2017.
  • “Evolutionary Psychology” in L. McIntyre and A. Rosenberg (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York: Routledge: 330-339 (2016). Published, 12/2016.
  • “Reform for the evolutionary social sciences or a new theory of human nature?” Metascience, Vol. 25:479-485 (2016). Published, 11/2016.
  • “Confronting Variation in the Social and Behavioral Sciences,” Philosophy of Science: 909-920 (2016). Published, 12/2016.
  • “Evolutionary Psychology, Adaptation and Design” in Heams, T. et al. (Eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer: 659-673. Published, 01/2015.
  • "Evolutionary Psychology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Published, 05/2014.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries...
  • “No Magic Bullet Explains the Evolution of Unique Human Traits,” Biological Theory, Vol. 8, No. 1: 37-43. Published, 04/2013.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13752-01...
  • “Evolutionary psychology is not the only productive evolutionary approach to understanding consumer behavior,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 3: 400-403. Published, 03/2013.
  • Arguing About Human Nature (Co-edited with Edouard Machery). Routledge. Published, 03/2013.
    http://www.routledge.com/philosophy/articles/inter...
  • Philosophy of Science Vol. 78, Issue 5: Proceedings of the 2010 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association: Part 2 Symposia Papers. University of Chicago Press. Published, 12/12/2012.
  • “How much work do scientific images do?” Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 6, No. 1: 115-130. Published, 10/2012.
  • Special issue of Human Nature: Evolution and Human Aggression (Co-edited with Elizabeth Cashdan), Vol 23, No. 1. Published, 03/2012.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/1045-6767/23/1...
  • "Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Aggression: Introduction to the Special Issue” (Co-authored with Elizabeth Cashdan). Human Nature 23: 1-4. Published, 03/2012.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/1045-6767/23/1...
  • Philosophy of Science Vol. 78, Issue 5: Proceedings of the Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association, Part I Contributed Papers. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Published, 12/31/2011.
  • "Scientific Models" Philosophy Compass, 10:757-764. Published, 11/10/2011.
    http://philosophy-compass.com/
  • “La Psychologie Évolutionniste, L’Adaptation et L’Orginisation” (E-Edition) in Heams, T. et al. (Eds.) Les Mondes Darwiniens: 1115-1140. Published, 09/2011.
    http://www.materiologiques.com/Les-mondes-darwinie...