BIO
Justin Garson
I'm an associate professor of philosopher at Hunter College-CUNY. My main interest is thinking about how biology can help us make progress on traditional problems of human nature. 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), looks at problems 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), surveys the controversial biological functions debate. My most recent book, What Biological Functions are and Why They Matter (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), presents and defends a new theory of functions. I've also written on other topics in the philosophy of biology such as information and mechanisms. 

I’m also interested in environmental philosophy and recently co-edited The Routledge Companion of Philosophy of Biodiversity . I'm a faculty associate at  Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute , and recently served 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'm 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,  Café 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, at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006.