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Publications in VIVO

Cleland, Carol



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Cleland's current research is in the area of philosophy of science: (1) the methodology and justification of the historical natural sciences and how these practices differ from those of classical experimental science (2) differences in methodology between historical and non-historical field sciences (3) the structure of scientific theories and role of anomalies in scientific discovery, (4) Issues in Philosophy of Biology (nature of life, conceptual problems with theories of the origins and nature of life, the possibility of a 'shadow biosphere'(a term she coined), and microbiology. In addition to her work in philosophy of science she has contributed to the philosophical literature on causation, the structure of space, the concept of supervenience, and the concept of an event. In philosophy of logic, she has written several, now classic, papers on the Church-Turing thesis, effective procedures, and hypercomputation. Dr Cleland often works closely with scientists on issues in the philosophy of science.


  • philosophy of science (scientific methodology, scientific theory, biology, astrobiology, and geology), philosophy of logic (computability and effective procedures), metaphysics (causation, events, supervenience, space and time)


selected publications


courses taught

  • FYSM 1000 - First Year Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Provide first year students with an immersive experience in an interdisciplinary topic that addresses current issues including social, technical and global topics. Taught by faculty from across campus, the course provides students with an opportunity to interact in small classes, have project based learning experiences and gain valuable communication skills. Seminar style classes focused on discussion and projects.
  • PHIL 1400 - Philosophy and the Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2024
    Considers philosophical topics and concepts related to the natural sciences, such as the following: science and pseudo-science; scientific method; the nature of explanation, theory, confirmation, and falsification; the effect of science on basic concepts like mind, freedom, time, and causality; ethics of experimentation; and the relation of science to society.
  • PHIL 5550 - Metaphysics and Epistemology Proseminar
    Secondary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Covers seminal classic texts and/or fundamental topics in analytic metaphysics and epistemology.
  • PHIL 5810 - Special Topics in Philosophy
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Instructor meets regularly with three or more students to discuss special topics in philosophy. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.
  • PHIL 6400 - Seminar in Philosophy of Science
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2024
    Topics connected with development of nature of science: the structure of scientific theories, the testing of hypotheses, the theory of decisions in science and the basic conceptions and models of abstraction in the history of science.
  • PHIL 6940 - Master's Candidate for Degree
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2023
    May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours.
  • PHIL 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Spring 2023
    May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours.


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