This Friday, departing faculty member Peter Godfrey-Smith will deliver his last lecture at CUNY before he begins a full-time position at the University of Sydney.
The talk will be followed by a party; please join us in celebrating Professor Godfrey-Smith’s time at the Graduate Center, and to wish him well in his next steps.
This event belongs to a series run by the NJ/NY Philosophy of Science Group, and is co-sponsored by the Departments of Philosophy at Columbia, Rutgers, and NYU.
The Subject as Cause and Effect of Evolution
Peter Godfrey-Smith (CUNY)
Friday December 2nd, 4-6 pm
CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5307
Abstract: Organisms physically transform their environments in ways that affect their downstream evolution. The importance of this fact has been a topic in recent debates in and around evolutionary biology. I’ll discuss this theme in a general way and then extend it. A subset of “niche construction” phenomena work by way of the perceptual, cognitive, and agential properties of organisms. These cases have distinctive features seen on several scales. I’ll look at these in relation to both the large-scale history of life and attempts to give a materialist account of the place of mind in nature.