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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Professor of Philosophy of Science

Research interests: Philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, philosophical bioethics

From 2016 to 2019 Tim was an investigator on a large, multi-institution project 'Putting the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis to the Test', funded by the John Templeton Foundation. He was also Principal Investigator for the ERC-funded project A Science of Human Nature? (2011–2016). From 2009 to 2015 he was a Council Member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and served on the working parties for two Nuffield Council reports: Novel Techniques for the Prevention of Mitochondrial DNA Disorders: An Ethical Review (June 2012), and Human Bodies: Donation for Medicine and Research (October 2011). From 2014 to 2017 he was the Deputy Director of CRASSH, the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.


Selected publications

Why We Disagree About Human Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). Edited with Elizabeth Hannon.

The Meaning of Science (London: Penguin, 2015)

Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)

The Biological Foundations of Bioethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)

Risk: Philosophical Perspectives, editor (London: Routledge, 2007)

Darwin (London: Routledge, 2007)

Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere, Bradford Books, Life and Mind Series (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004)

'The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: What is the Debate About, and What Might Success for the Extenders Look Like?' Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 127: 707-721.

'Blurring the Germline: Genome Editing and Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance', Bioethics (2019): 10.1111/bioe.12606

'Neo-Paleyan Biology', Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 76 (2019):101185

'The Division of Advisory Labour: The Case of Mitochondrial "Donation"', European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2019): 10

'From Bricolage to Biobricks™: Synthetic Biology and Rational Design', Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2013): 641–648

'Human Nature: The Very Idea', Philosophy and Technology 25 (2012): 459–474

'Species, Essence and Explanation', Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2012): 751–757

'Pheneticism Reconsidered', Biology and Philosophy 27 (2012): 159–177

Full list of publications by Tim Lewens