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                                            philosophy of biology

Stefan Linquist's homepage

contact: linquist@uoguelph.ca

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During an undergrad degree in philosophy at Simon Fraser University I became captivated by  various theoretical issues in biology. This eventually led me to  Binghamton University, for an MSc. under the supervision of evolutionary biologist D.S. Wilson. Then on to Duke University where I completed a PhD. in 2005 under philosopher Alex Rosenberg.  From 2006-7 I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland working with philosopher Paul Griffiths.

I get excited when the biological world can be understood  in light of ecological and evolutionary theories. Much of my work involves extending these theories into new domains. For example, explaining human emotions in terms of cultural evolution, or extending ecology into the realm of molecular genetics. The thing I like most about being a philosopher of biology is that it enables me to work on such diverse systems and problems. Philosophy, in my view, is continuous with science. It investigates the questions that science cannot, or does not yet know how to resolve.

I have a longstanding interst in octopus behaviour. During my MSc. I conducted a research project on den choice in the Giant Pacific Octopus (O. dofleini). I am currently studying socially directed behaviour in the Sydney Octopus (O. tetricus).

More recently I have become interested in the ways that environmental issues are understood and debated. This has arisen largely out of my visits to Clayoquot Sound. You can read more about this in the Philosophy Field Course Blog or listen to a radio interview. I have also co-authored a book and written several articles on the related topic of biodiversity conservation.

I am one of the founding directors of the Ucluelet Aquarium Society, located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This is a unique institution that exhibits only local species which are all eventually released back into the wild. There's a strong emphasis on science education.

I live in Toronto but spend a lot of time at my cottage in South Frontenac. I have two amazing daughters: Marita (2012) and Katarina (2015). They live with me half of the time and are major priorities in my life.

I work at the University of Guelph in the Department of Philosophy. Much of my research is in conjunction with an excellent group of scientists. I consider our work quite innovative, deeply philosophical, and broadly relevant. 
It speaks highly of the research culture at this institution that we are able to carry on a productive, interdisciplinary collaboration. 


  Treehouse completed in 2020                          

Miss Emily show 2022