University of Minnesota
Department of Philosophy
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Department of Philosophy

Alan C Love

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Alan C Love

Philosophy 735 Heller Hall 271 19th Ave S

Department Affiliations


My research focuses on conceptual issues that arise in different areas of biological science. Much of my work has concentrated on the concepts of evolutionary innovation and novelty, which have been at the center of the research agenda articulated by many biologists situated in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo). I am also interested in issues that arise in developmental biology and functional morphology. I use a combination of approaches to investigate a variety of philosophical questions: conceptual change, explanatory pluralism, the structure of evolutionary theory, reductionism, the nature of historical science, and interdisciplinary epistemology. Another area of interest concerns methodological questions, such as the role of history in philosophical research and the nature of intuitions generated by thought experiments in philosophical inquiry.


  • Philosophy of biology
  • Philosophy of science
  • Darwin
  • History of biology
  • Science and religion

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2005.
  • M.A.: Biology (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Program), Indiana University, Bloomington, 2004.
  • M.A.: Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 2002.
  • B.S.: Biology (Minor: Philosophy), M.I.T., 1995.


  • Love, Alan C (2009). Typology Reconfigured: From the Metaphysics of Essentialism to the Epistemology of Representation. Acta Biotheoretica, 57, 51-75.
  • Love, Alan C (2009). Marine invertebrates, model organisms, and the modern synthesis: epistemic values, evo-devo, and exclusion. Theory in Biosciences, 128, 19-42.
  • Love, Alan C (2008). Explaining Evolutionary Innovation and Novelty: Criteria of Adequacy and Multidisciplinary Prerequisites. Philosophy of Science, 75, 874-886.
  • Love, Alan C (2008). From Philosophy to Science (to Natural Philosophy): Evolutionary Developmental Perspectives. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 83, 65-76.
  • Love, Alan C (2007). Functional Homology and Homology of Function: Biological Concepts and Philosophical Consequences. Biology & Philosophy, 22, 691-708.
  • Love, Alan C (in press). Idealization in Evolutionary Developmental Investigation: A Tension between Phenotypic Plasticity and Normal Stages. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • Love, Alan C (in press) “Rethinking the structure of evolutionary theory for an extended synthesis“, in G. Mí¼ller and M. Pigliucci (eds.) Toward an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, 2009 - 2011

Courses Taught

  • PHIL 1005/1005H - Scientific Reasoning
  • PHIL 3602 - Science, Technology and Society: Darwin and Design
  • PHIL 4607 - Philosophy of the Biological Sciences
  • PHIL 5602 - Scientific Representation and Explanation
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Departmental Main Office
 - Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

General Information
831 Heller Hall
271 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455