Podlich Distinguished Fellow

Deconstructing Darwin
DAVID HULL
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2001

David Hull is one of the leading philosophers of science of our time and the
founder of the contemporary philosophy of biology. His philosophical insights
into evolutionary theory have led him to the bold view that the principles of
biology also apply to developments in history and to the history of science in particular. While studying the cultural history of science, Hull has argued convincingly against
views that science and its findings are mere social constructions. Nevertheless, he has shown
the ways that science itself can and should be studied scientifically, avoiding the blinders of
"great men" accounts of historical development. How does Darwin himself appear under
scrutiny of Hull's philosophy of cultural evolution? The Dressler Professor of Philosophy at
Northwestern University, Hull is the author of numerous books including Science and
Selection
(Cambridge, 2001), Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science (1988) and Darwin and his Critics: The Reception of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community (1973) (both from
the University of Chicago Press), and The Philosophy of Biology (Oxford 1998). He has been
president of the both the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society of Systematic
Zoology. Professor Hull will be in residence at Claremont McKenna College until February
17 as a Podlich Distinguished Fellow. This year's Podlich program focuses on the implications
of Darwin and evolution. The other fellows this year include Professors Michael Ghiselin of
the California Academy of Sciences and Richard Lewontin of Harvard University (both also in
residence in February) and Professor Dame Gillian Beer of Cambridge University (in residence
in late March and April).