Massimo Pigliucci (16 January 1964 - )
An American philosopher born in Monrovia, Liberia, but raised in Rome, Pigliucci is the son of Elena Coppola and Alessandro Pigliucci.
He has carried out post-doctoral research in evolutionary ecology at Brown University and is currently Professor of Ecology and Evolution and of Philosophy at SUNY-Stony Brook. Dr. Pigliucci’s fields of research in biology include ecological and evolutionary genetics, experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of organismal responses to environmental change (nature vs. nurture), and the extent of limits and constraints on natural selection.
In philosophy, Pigliucci’s interests include philosophy of science and the relationship between science and philosophy as far as the pursue of joint research programs is concerned.
He is an associate editor for Biology & Philosophy and for the Quarterly Review of Biology, a member of the Philosophy of Science Association, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He writes regularly for Philosophy Now, a magazine devoted to public understanding of philosophy.
Publications in Philosophy
Books (including science-oriented ones)
Pigliucci, M. and J. Kaplan (2006). Making Sense of Evolution: Toward a Coherent Picture of Evolutionary Theory. Chicago, Illinois, Chicago University Press.
- “An outstanding contribution to current discussion of the future of evolutionary biology. Pigliucci and Kaplan's vision of that future is philosophically sophisticated, highly readable, and often challenging, as well as being thoroughly grounded in the actual practice of science. Their arguments will provoke extensive discussion in both biology and philosophy of science. This is a 'must-read' book for researchers in both fields.” (Paul E. Griffiths, University of Queensland)
- “In this wide-ranging and provocative investigation, Pigliucci and Kaplan provide incisive and illuminating analyses of a number of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological problems at the heart of evolutionary biology. Seamlessly blending scientific and philosophical sophistication, it is an excellent book, a veritable prolegomenon to any future evolutionary theory.” (David J. Buller, Northern Illinois University)
- “As biological knowledge grows at an ever faster pace, and the level of biological expertise expected of philosophers of biology grows commensurately, interdisciplinary collaboration appears increasingly inevitable. This book provides a paradigm for the philosophy of biology as a collaboration between a philosopher and a biologist. The result is the most sophisticated philosophical treatment of evolutionary theory to date, and a book that will become the mandatory starting point for subsequent work in this area.” (John Dupré, University of Exeter)
Pigliucci, M. and K. Preston, Eds. (2004). Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Pigliucci, M. (2002). Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer.
Pigliucci, M. (2001). Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture. Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Pigliucci, M. (2000). Tales of the Rational: Skeptical Essays About Nature and Science. Atlanta, GA, Freethought Press.
Schlichting, C. D. and M. Pigliucci (1998). Phenotypic Evolution, a Reaction Norm Perspective. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer.
Pigliucci, M. (forthcoming) "Primates vs. Philosophers: on the biological roots of human morality. Commentary on F. De Waal's Primates and Philosophers," Princeton University Press. Biology and Philosophy, 2007.
Pigliucci, M., C. J. Murren, et al. (2006). "Phenotypic plasticity and evolution by genetic assimilation." Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 2362-2367. Pigliucci, M. (2006). "Genetic variance-covariance matrices: a critique of the evolutionary quantitative genetics research program." Biology & Philosophy 21: 1- 23.
Kaplan, J. and M. Pigliucci (2004). "On the concept of biological race and its applicability to humans." Philosophy of Science 70: 1161-1172.
Pigliucci, M. (2003). "From molecules to phenotypes? The promise and limits of integrative biology." Basic and Applied Ecology 4: 297-306.
Pigliucci, M. (2003). "Species as family resemblance concepts: the (dis-)solution of the species problem?" BioEssays 25: 596-602.
Pigliucci, M. (2003). "On the relationship between science and ethics." Zygon 38: 871- 894.
Pigliucci, M. (2002). "Are ecology and evolutionary biology "soft" sciences?" Annales Zoologici Finnici 39: 87-98.
Kaplan, J. and M. Pigliucci (2001). "Genes 'for' phenotypes: a modern history view." Biology and Philosophy 16: 189-213.
Pigliucci, M. and J. Kaplan (2000). "The fall and rise of Dr. Pangloss: adaptationism and the Spandrels paper 20 years later." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 15: 66-70.
Pigliucci, M. and C. D. Schlichting (1997). "On the limits of quantitative genetics for the study of phenotypic evolution." Acta Biotheoretica 45: 143-160.
Pigliucci, M. (In press). "What is a thought experiment, anyhow? Philosophy Now.
Pigliucci, M. (2006). "Is ethics a science?" Philosophy Now. 55: 25.
Pigliucci, M. (2005). "Wittgenstein solves (posthumously) the species problem. Philosophy Now: 50: 51.
Pigliucci, M. (2004)." What is philosophy of science good for?" Philosophy Now: 45.
Pigliucci, M., J. Banta, et al. (2004). "The alleged fallacies of evolutionary theory." Philosophy Now: 36-39.
Pigliucci, M. (2002). "Beyond nature vs. nurture: philosophy and science wrestling with an age-old question." The Philosopher's Magazine: 20-22.
Pigliucci, M. (2002). "Philosophizing about the mind - A brief look at the history and current schools of philosophy of mind". Philosophy Now: 11-13.
Pigliucci, M. (2001). "The ethics of tit-for-tat". Philosophy Now: 28-29.
Pigliucci, M. (2001). "Design yes, intelligent no: a critique of intelligent design theory and neo-creationism." Philosophy Now: 26-29.
Dr. Pigliucci in a lecture at the New York Ethical Society asks, "What's Science Got to Do With It?" Standing at the same spot where Julian Huxley gave an address about evolution in the late 1940s or early 1950s, he asks if science can prove or disprove the existence of God or of gods. In a sometimes humorous and thoroughly argued platform, Pigliucci discusses why Frank J. Tipler's Physics of Christianity does not at all prove that God exists but also that Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion fails to prove that God and the gods do not exist. Science, in short, can neither prove nor disprove such metaphysical problems, but he explains what science can prove.
Dr. Pigliucci, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has one daughter.