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.
- Philosophy of Biology
- “Joint agency and the uniquely-human-cooperation hypothesis” (with Patrick Forber) Philosophy of Science Association, Biennial Meeting, Baltimore, November 2021.
Conference Paper, Refereed,
- “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".
- “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,
- “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,
- "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.
- 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).
- Stephen M. Downes “The role of ancient DNA research in archaeology,” Topoi Vol. 40: 285–293 (2021).
- Stephen M Downes (2020). Models and Modeling in the Sciences: A Philosophical Introduction. (pp. 104). Routledge.
- Stephen M Downes (2020). Diversifying Tenure-Line Faculty. [Website/Blog] URL https://blog.apaonline.org/2020/07/09/diversifying-tenure-line-faculty/h.
- Stephen M Downes & Lucas J. Matthews (2019). "Heritability". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- "Review of Maria Kronfeldner What's Left of Human Nature?," BJPS Review of Books (2019).
- "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.).
- “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.).
- “No Magic Bullet Explains the Evolution of Unique Human Traits,” Biological Theory, Vol. 8, No. 1: 37-43.
- “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.
- 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.
- "Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Aggression: Introduction to the Special Issue” (Co-authored with Elizabeth Cashdan). Human Nature 23: 1-4.
- 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.
- “La Psychologie Évolutionniste, L’Adaptation et L’Orginisation” (E-Edition) in Heams, T. et al. (Eds.) Les Mondes Darwiniens: 1115-1140.