Gordon Purves joined the Department of Philosophy at Sacred Heart University in
2012. Dr. Purves’ interests tend to focus more on the applications of philosophical
methods and ideas to more concrete problems. His main interests are in the philosophy of
science, in particular in questions concerning what makes certain scientific
methodologies and investigations successful (or unsuccessful) and producing true
knowledge, and in applied ethics, principally animal ethics and environmental ethics. 

Degrees: Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Physics, Bucknell University; Ph.D. in Philosophy,
University of South Carolina. 

Teaching Responsibilities: Dr. Purves primarily teaches logic and philosophy in the
contemporary Anglophone traditions. 

Much of Dr. Purves’ research has been in a prolonged investigation of the various ways
that scientists use falsehoods in models that generate true knowledge of the world. He
also has strong interests in interpretations of quantum theory, in particular quantum
statistical mechanics and quantum field theory, and a correlate interest in the
representative power of abstract mathematical models. In addition to his work in
philosophy of science, Dr. Purves done research in applied ethics, in particular
environmental ethics and animal ethics, and is currently completing a project on the
nature of rationality and risk assessment in environmental policy. 

Articles

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Finding Truth in Fiction: Identifying Non-fictions in Imaginary Cracks, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications (2013)

I critically examine some recent work on the philosophy of scientific fictions, focusing on the...

 

Dissertation

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The Productive Roles of Falsehoods in Science, Theses and Dissertations (2012)

The use of falsehoods is a common, if rarely recognized, part of many good scientific...