ABOUT ME
I'm a philosopher at Hunter College-CUNY, where I'm an associate professor. My main interest is thinking about how biology can help us make progress on traditional problems of human nature. For example, what does evolutionary biology tell us about altruism? What do molecular biology and developmental biology tell us about nature and nurture? How do meaning and representation originate in the brain? What are mental disorders, and do they stem from brain dysfunctions? 

My first book, The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction (Routledge, 2015) gives an overview of what philosophers of biology have had to say on topics like altruism, evolutionary psychology, nature and nurture, free will, the origin of meaning, and mental illness. My second book, A Critical Overview of Biological Functions (Springer, 2016), is about the biological functions debate and its relevance to philosophy of mind and medicine. I’ve also written extensively on general topics in the philosophy of biology such as the nature of biological functions, biological information, and mechanisms.

I’m also interested in environmental philosophy and recently co-edited The Routledge Companion of Philosophy of Biodiversity . This large volume brought together over 20 scientists, philosophers, lawyers, and policy makers to think about what biodiversity is, why it matters, and how to protect it while respecting the rights of human communities in the process. I am currently serving as acting director for the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities

I also write on the history of science, with an emphasis on neuroscience and psychiatry. My view is that it's hard to understand how scientists use certain concepts today, like the concept of biological information, without understanding why they began using them in the first place. I have written on social and historical aspects of the concept of information in neuroscience and recently wrote a book chapter on the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia. I am in the early stages of writing a book on the history and philosophy of American psychiatry in the twentieth century, Madness as Dysfunction and as Strategy

In 2015, I was a recipient of the Feliks Gross Award, CUNY's highest award for junior faculty. 

In 2009, my family and I lived in Gulu, Northern Uganda, to support children affected by war. We started a coffee shop, Cafe Larem (which is now owned by a Ugandan family), and used the proceeds to help organizations such as Child Voice International and St. Jude Children's Home

I received my PhD in philosophy, and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, in 2006. Sahotra Sarkar was my dissertation advisor. 

You can download my full
CV here, and contact me here