Research topics

I conduct philosophical, modelling, and experimental research on how evolution, mind, and culture link together. I focus in particular on the topics below. There are a few short, accessible essays on these and related topics here.

COGNITION & CULTURE
Culture emerges as the product of many micro-interactions between individual minds. But how, exactly, and how should we study culture from a naturalistic, materialist point-of-view? How do psychology and anthropology relate to one another? How should they?

EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
The social sciences increasingly recognise the potential and utility of evolutionary perspectives, as part of proper explanations of human behaviour, and the mind. However, the exact nature and extent of this potential is disputed. What exactly does an evolutionary perspective offer, and what are its limits?

COMMUNICATION IN HUMANS & OTHER SPECIES
Human communication is manifestly different to the communication of other species. However, the exact nature of this difference remains disputed. To what extent is the communication of other species, and of human children, like that of mature human adults? What are the differences? What are the similarities?

EVOLUTION & EMERGENCE OF COMMUNICATION
Communication is not a trait possessed by one or another individual; it is an interaction between two (or more) individuals. Signals and responses are fundamentally interdependent, and this interdependence poses a number of interesting, foundational questions about how communication systems can (& do) emerge and evolve.

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