BOOKS
  1. The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction (Routledge, 2015)
    From the publisher: For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? ​​The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. "In this accessible and interesting book, Justin Garson shows why philosophy matters to understanding the biology of the mind. Scientists have made great progress on questions about altruism, free will, consciousness, and the impact of genes on mental activity, but it takes a philosopher to provide the needed clarification, connection, and caution. Garson is that philosopher." - Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
  2. From the publisher: The debate about biological functions is still as relevant and important to biology and philosophy as it ever was. Recent controversies surrounding the ENCODE Project Consortium in genetics, the nature of psychiatric classification, and the value of ecological restoration, all point to the continuing relevance to biology of philosophical discussion about the nature of functions. In philosophy, ongoing debates about the nature of biological information, intentionality, health and disease, mechanism, and even biological trait classification, are closely related to debates about biological functions.​ This book is a critical survey of and guidebook to the literature on biological functions. It ties in with current debates and developments, and at the same time, it looks back on the state of discourse in naturalized teleology prior to the 1970s. In addition to outlining a novel theory of functions, it assesses three recent theories of function: the organizational view, the weak etiological theory, and the modal theory of function. ​
  3. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity (Routledge, 2017)
    From the publisher: Biological diversity - or ‘biodiversity’ - is the degree of variation of life within an ecosystem. It is a relatively new topic of study but has grown enormously in recent years. Because of its interdisciplinary nature the very concept of biodiversity is the subject of debate amongst philosophers, biologists, geographers and environmentalists. ​The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity is an outstanding reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. "The authors in this excellent Handbook step back to question what we mean when we discuss the perils to "biodiversity", and to consider the myriad ways that our values intermingle with both the term and the biological world it represents. By examining the interactions between biodiversity’s epistemology, ontology, and biology, they help us understand how and why we might steward the nonhuman world around us." - David Takacs, University of California Hastings, USA
  4. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter (Cambridge, 2019)
    From the publisher: The biological functions debate is a perennial topic in the philosophy of science. In the first full-length account of the nature and importance of biological functions for many years, Justin Garson presents an innovative new theory, the "generalized selected effects theory of function," which seamlessly integrates evolutionary and developmental perspectives on biological functions. He develops the implications of the theory for contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry, the philosophy of biology, and biology itself, addressing issues ranging from the nature of mental representation to our understanding of the function of the human genome. Clear, jargon-free, and engagingly written, with accessible examples and explanatory diagrams to illustrate the discussion, his book will be highly valuable for readers across philosophical and scientific disciplines.