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A Science of Human Nature?

Philosophical Disputes at the Interface of Natural and Social Science

Dr Adrian Boutel

Postdoctoral Researcher


I am trying to understand the explanatory and ontological relations and differences between social and natural sciences. My doctoral thesis—across the river in Cambridge's Philosophy Faculty—was in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, defending physicalism about consciousness. Remarkable though our subjective experience is, and however physically inexplicable it may seem, I argued, it is nonetheless part of the natural world. Now on the SCINAT project I've moved on from zombies, but I'm pursuing the same broad naturalistic project, borrowing notions of explanatory pluralism from metaphysics to fit the various sciences of people into an ontologically unified world. Before returning to philosophy, I was a US tax lawyer, but I remember nothing.