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::: center home >> people >> visiting fellows >> preston

Beth Preston
Boston University, USA
Visiting Fellow and Mellon Postdoc
Academic Year 1989-90

Univeristy of Georgia

Forthcoming Book

A Philosophy of Material Culture:  Action, Function and Mind.  To be published by Routledge, hopefully before the end of 2012.
Articles and Book Chapters

Philosophical Theories of Artifact Function, in Handbooks of Philosophy of Science, series editors Dov Gabbay, Paul Thagard, and John Woods; The Handbook of the Philosophy of Technological Sciences, Anthonie Meijers, ed.,  Amsterdam:  Elsevier, 2009.

Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective, in Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds:  Comparative Philosophical Perspectives (Vienna Studies in Theoretical Biology, Volume 9), Ulrich Krohs and Peter Kroes, eds. MIT Press, 2009.

The Shrinkage Factor:  Comment on Lynne Rudder Baker’s “The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects,” American Philosophical Association:   Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 8 (1) (Fall 2008). http://www.apaonline.org/publications/newsletters/v08n1_Computers_12.aspx

The Functions of Things: A Philosophical Perspective on Material Culture, in Matter, Materiality and  Modern Culture, Paul Graves-Brown, ed., Routledge, 2000: 22-49.

Cognition and Tool Use, Mind & Language 13 (4), December 1998: 513-547.Why is a Wing Like a Spoon?  A Pluralist Theory of Function, The Journal of Philosophy 95 (5), May 1998:215-254.


My book came out with Routledge at the end of 2012:

Beth Preston. A Philosophy of Material Culture: Action, Function, and Mind. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Another recent article that might be of interest to the Center's affiliates is:

Beth Preston. "Synthetic Biology as Red Herring." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Volume 44, Issue 4, Part B, December 2013: 649–659.


Revised 06/18/2015 - Copyright 2010