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Centre Research Associates (in Residence)

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Oliver Curry

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Oliver Curry is a post-doctoral researcher in the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and a Research Associate in the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics. Oliver completed his Ph.D. in 2005 in the Department of Government at LSE. His thesis argued that morality could be seen as the product of a suite of 'adaptations for cooperation' that evolved to solve the problems of cooperation and conflict recurrent in the lives of our ancestors. He is currently engaged in a number of empirical projects testing evolutionary theories of human social behaviour, including work on trust, fairness and coalition formation. (For more information, see: www.olivercurry.com|.)

Project: The Evolution of Human Moral Sentiments|
Contact details: email|

Tom Dickins

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Tom Dickins is a Reader in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of East London. Tom has published on the evolution of language, evolutionary constraints on cognitive architecture, sexual orientation and aggression, fertility scheduling in humans and theoretical aspects of the human evolutionary behavioural sciences. His initial project in the Centre was on information, inheritance and evolution. This resulted in a number of publications. Now, in a continuation of the initial project, he is working on issues around epigenetic inheritance and niche construction. As a part of his role at CPNSS Tom convenes the Work in Progress Group every Monday evening in term time. This group consists of evolutionary behavioural scientists from around London who meet to discuss core theoretical aspects of their work.

Project: Misconceptions in the Human Evolutionary Behavioural Sciences|
Contact details: t.dickins@uel.ac.uk|; t.dickins@lse.ac.uk|

Website: http://dissentwithmodification.com |

Philippe Fontaine

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Philippe Fontaine is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Management at the École normale supérieure de Cachan and a Senior Fellow of the Institut universitaire de France. He was in the Philosophy Department at LSE as Ludwig Lachmann Research Fellow from 2003 to 2005. He is currently a Research Associate at the Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science. His principal research interest is the history of postwar social science (especially economics, sociology and political science). His publications include The History of the Social Sciences since 1945 (2010) and The Unsocial Social Science? Economics and Neighboring Disciplines since 1945, both co-edited with Roger Backhouse. In 2010-2011, together with Roger Backhouse, he will be organising a seminar series on the history of post-war social science and working of cross-disciplinary research ventures in American research universities since 1945. He also is convenor for the:

Jeremy Hardie

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Jeremy Hardie was until 1975 an academic economist, and then until 1999 in business and public life in a variety of companies and institutions in Britain. He is now a Research Associate at the CPNSS. Drawing on his experience outside academia his research concentrates on the relationship between rationalist theories of deciding, and the role of intuition, judgment, expertise and emotion. This work spans theories of practical reason, the insights of experimental psychology, and the practicalities of decision making in business and government. Its main focus is on the conflict between the need for accountability and transparency in public life and the complexity of how decisions are made, which cannot be reduced even ex post facto to the operation of systematic, explicit, rational procedures.

 

John Pemberton

John Pemberton photoJohn Pemberton| is a research associate at the CPNSS focusing on the relationship between models and reality. Starting as a mathematician and actuary, John has worked mainly in the financial and commercial world, with senior positions in investment analysis, business strategy and company management. A common theme of his work has been the use of mathematical models to predict and control practical situations involving financial risk. John proposes that for models to successfully capture reality they must respect the causal structure of the reality they seek to model – where the causal structure is changing, this will generally require explicit modelling of dominant local causes (see e.g. Why idealized models in economics have limited use in Idealization XII: Correcting the Model, Edited by Martin R. Jones and Nancy Cartwright). His current work in this area seeks to developed ideas from Nancy Cartwright and the mechanists (e.g. Machamer, Darden, Craver, Bechtel, Glennan).

John Skoyles

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John Skoyles is an evolutionary psychologist with both neuroscience (UCL) and philosophy (LSE) backgrounds. These interests were brought together in a book recently published by McGraw-Hill (2002): Up From Dragons: the evolution of human intelligence. Recently with Prof Nicholas Humphrey he has researched a family of five adult human quadrupeds. He is presently reviewing the role of balance in the human evolution of bipedality and the role of pathological conditions in paleaoanthropolgical science. Among, other scientific projects, he is also developing a theory of nonHamiltonian spite, and a new theory of pathogen detecting in the gut among. He also has a interest in methodological and is working upon the implications of the rules and practice distinction for the application of Bayesian logic to the rational theory choices of working scientists.

Peter Sozou

Peter Sozou works mostly in theoretical biology. Much of his work has a close connection to economic theory. His recent work includes problems concerned with discounting the future, ageing, and signalling in courtship.
More information personal webpage: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/sozou/|

  • Contact details: Room KGS 2.02 (Kings Chambers), 020 7955-7085 email

Max Steuer

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Max Steuer is a founding member of the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science. He is the editor of the Centre's Discussion Paper Series, now in its twelfth year with over seventy publications. He currently is Reader Emeritus and joined the Economics Department at the London School of Economics in 1959. Publications include Mathematical Sociology (with Janet Holland), The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on the United Kingdom (Steuer et.al.) and The Scientific Study of Society. His current research interests are in the philosophy of history, and on the role and nature of laws and assumptions in scientific enquiry, with particular emphasis on the social sciences. He is a regular participant in the Centre's 'Work in Progress' group studying aspects of evolutionary theory. He teaches on the M.Sc. Economics and Philosophy and on the M.Sc. Operations Research.

Arhat Virdi

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Arhat Virdi's doctoral thesis is on the concept of truth, supervised by Professor Colin Howson. His research interests lie in philosophical logic, the philosophy of science and analytic philosophy generally. He teaches in various areas for the departments of Philosophy, Economics and Management. He did his MSc (Philosophy) at LSE and BA (P.P.E.) at Oxford. He currently holds a research fellowship with the University of Bielefeld examining general equilibrium theory, the logical structure of models based on it (in particular computable models), the models' relation to the background theory and their use in economic policy advice.

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