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Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin. Sober is noted for his work in philosophy of biology and general philosophy of science. Sober taught for one year at Stanford University and has been a regular visiting professor at the London School of Economics. He earned his Ph.D in philosophy from Harvard University under the supervision of Hilary Putnam. His work has also been strongly influenced by the biologist Richard Lewontin, and he has collaborated with biologist David Sloan Wilson. Sober has been a prominent critic of intelligent design which he has attacked as not testable.

One of Sober's key fields of research has been the subject of simplicity or parsimony in connection with theory evaluation in the philosophy of science. To this end he published Simplicity (1975) and, since then, a growing number of influential articles in mainstream philosophical journals.

Besides contributing to philosophy, Sober also works in the field of social psychology. Sober is currently on the Editorial Board of Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. Sober's contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships.

Published booksEdit

  • Evidence and Evolution, Cambridge University Press, in preparation.
  • (edited with Steven Orzack) Adaptationism and Optimality, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • (with David S. Wilson) Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Harvard University

Press, 1998 (Spanish edition, Siglo Veintiouno de EspaÁa Editores, 2000).

  • From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Philosophy of Biology, Westview Press (in UK: Oxford University Press), 1993; 2nd edition, 1999. Spanish edition,

Alianza, 1996; Chinese edition, 2000; Korean edition (Chul Hak Kwa Hyun Sil Sa Pubishing Co.), 2004.

  • (with Erik Wright and Andrew Levine) Reconstructing Marxism: Essays on Explanation and the Theory of

History, Verso Press, 1992; Portuguese edition, 1993.

  • Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Macmillan 1990; Prentice Hall 2nd edition 1995, 3rd

edition 2000; 4th edition 2005.

  • Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference. Bradford/MIT Press, 1988. Japanese

edition, Souju Publishers, Tokyo, 1996.

  • The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus. Bradford/MIT Press, 1984;

2nd edition, University of Chicago Press, 1993.

  • (edited) Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology: An Anthology, Bradford/MIT Press, 1984; 2nd edition


  • Simplicity, Oxford University Press, 1975.

External linksEdit

de:Elliott Sober
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