Robert N. Brandon, Professor  

Robert N. Brandon

Robert N. Brandon (Ph.D. 1979, Harvard) joined the Duke Faculty in fall of 1979. He holds a joint appointment in Philosophy and Biology . He has published articles in Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, PSA 1980 and PSA 1982, some of which have subsequently been anthologized. He has co-edited (with Richard Burian) Genes, Organisms, Populations: Controversies over the Units of Selection (Bradford Books, MIT Press, 1984), and his book, Adaptation and Environment was published by Princeton University Press in 1990. His most recent book Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology (Cambridge) was published in 1996. During the spring of 1984 he had a visiting appointment at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Brandon is a member of Duke's Center for the Philosophy of Biology.

Ph.D.,  Harvard University, 1979
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1974

Office Location: 209 West Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 660-3067
Email Address:

Philosophy of Biology

Areas of Interest:
Philosophy of Science, 
Philosophy of Biology, 

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Fleming, L; Brandon, R, Why flying dogs are rare: A general theory of luck in evolutionary transitions., Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 49 (February, 2015), pp. 24-31 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Brandon, R; Fleming, L, Drift sometimes dominates selection, and vice versa: A reply to Clatterbuck, Sober and Lewontin, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 29 no. 4 (January, 2014), pp. 577-585, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  3. Brandon, RN, A general case for functional pluralism, in Functions: Selection and Mechanisms, edited by Huneman, P (January, Accepted, 2013), pp. 97-104, Springer Netherlands [doi]  [abs].
  4. Brandon, RN; McShea, DW, Four solutions for four puzzles, edited by K. Sterelny, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 27 no. 5 (September, 2012), pp. 737-744, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  5. Ramsey, G; Brandon, R, Why reciprocal altruism is not a kind of group selection, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 26 no. 3 (May, 2011), pp. 385-400, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].

Curriculum Vitae