Denis Walsh

University of Toronto, Department of philosophy, IHPST

Denis Walsh has been part of University of Toronto's faculty since 2005 after teaching at the University of Edinburgh. He is also part of the IHPST and holds the Canada Chair in Philosophy of Biology. His research revolves around the three distinct modes of explanation deployed in evolutionnary biology: causal, statistical and teleological. He's investigating the nature and relation of these kinds of explanations to gain (i) a better understanding of the structure of evolutionary theory and (ii) an understanding of the phenomenon of scientific explanation in general. Another area of his recent research involves the role of development, and particularly the place of the organism, in evolutionary biology. Related to this, he is also working towards a naturalized account of teleological explanation in biology, and rationalizing explanation in folk psychology, that draws upon recent research in complex systems dynamics.

Recent articles and collective works:

"The Pomp of Superfluous Causes: Interpreting the Modern Synthesis" (forthcoming)

"Teleology." In Ruse, M. (ed.) Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Biology. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

"Development: Three Grades of Ontogenetic Involvement." In (Matthen, M and C. Stephens (eds.) Handbook for the Philosophy of Science: Vol 3, Philosophy of Biology. (forthcoming)

"Organisms as Natural Purposes: The Contemporary Evolutionary Perspective." (2006)

"Evolutionary Essentialism." (2006)