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Publications in VIVO

Cleland, Carol Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Cleland is Director of the Center for the Study of Origins. Her 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 numerical and computer models in scientific research (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, concepts 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.


  • 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

  • PHIL 1400 - Philosophy and the Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    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 6400 - Seminar in Philosophy of Science
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    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.


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