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College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Brandon Conley

Brandon Conley

Lecturer in Philosophy

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Ph.D., Cornell University; B.A., Appalachian State University

Curriculum Vitae


Brandon received his BA in philosophy and mathematics at Appalachian State University in 2009 and his PhD in philosophy at Cornell University in 2018. He specializes in the philosophy of science with a focus on biology and cognitive science, especially where these fields intersect with philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and ethics. Generally his work seeks to clarify how distinctively human features like language, morality, and a sense of purpose make contact with the sciences of human and animal behavior. Recent work has addressed questions like 'what is the role of our values in defining which biological states count as diseases?', 'how do we integrate the study of the evolution of behavior with fields like neuroscience, genetics, and psychology?', 'do genomes and/or brains work in some ways like a computer?', and 'what does it mean when biologists say that a part is not functioning properly?'. He enjoys teaching a wide range of courses, not only in his areas of research specialization, but also things like logic, environmental ethics, early modern philosophy, and political philosophy. When not doing philosophy, Brandon is likely doing something nerdy to do with science, video games, music, or foreign languages.

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