Alan C. Love

Director of Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science
735 Heller Hall
+1 612 625 4510

Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Science, History of Biology, Epistemology

My research focuses on conceptual issues that arise in different areas of biological science. Much of my work has concentrated on the concepts of evolutionary innovation and novelty, which have been at the center of the research agenda articulated by many biologists situated in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo). I am also interested in issues that arise in developmental biology and functional morphology. I use a combination of approaches to investigate a variety of philosophical questions: conceptual change, explanatory pluralism, the structure of evolutionary theory, reductionism, the nature of historical science, and interdisciplinary epistemology. Another area of interest concerns methodological questions, such as the role of history in philosophical research and the nature of intuitions generated by thought experiments in philosophical inquiry.

Recent Publications

Love, A.C. and I. Brigandt. 2017. Philosophical dimensions of individuality. In S. Lidgard and L.K. Nyhart (eds), Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 318–348.

Love, A.C. 2017. Building integrated explanatory models of complex biological phenomena: From Mill’s methods to a causal mosaic. In M. Massimi and J.-W. Romeijn (eds), EPSA15 Selected Papers: European Studies in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 5. Dordrecht: Springer, 221–232.

Liu, K.E., A.C. Love, and M. Travisano. 2017. How cancer spreads: reconceptualizing a disease. In G. Boniolo and M.J. Nathan (eds), Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Research and Practice. New York and London: Routledge, 100–121.

Hüttemann, A. and A.C. Love. 2016. Reduction. In P. Humphries (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 460–484.

Love, A.C. 2016. Explaining the origins of multicellularity: between evolutionary dynamics and developmental mechanisms. In: K.J. Niklas and S.A. Newman (eds.), Multicellularity: Origins and Evolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 279–295.

Love, A.C. 2015. Developmental biology. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Love, A.C. and M.J. Nathan. 2015. The idealization of causation in mechanistic explanation. Philosophy of Science 82:761–774.

Love, A.C. ed. 2015. Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science (Volume 307). Berlin: Springer.

Love, A.C. 2015. Collaborative explanation, explanatory roles, and scientific explaining in practice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 52:88–94.