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Marshall Abrams

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(205) 996-7483

Marshall Abrams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He loves thinking about philosophy of science and other areas of philosophy, and about the relationship between sciences and humanities. Philosophy of science is the area of philosophy that investigates how scientific knowledge depends on the ways that scientists design and perform experiments, observe nature, formulate their ideas, and use mathematical models and computers. Dr. Abrams teaches courses on philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind and AI, and on general philosophy of science, among other topics. Sometimes he writes computer programs to help people understand scientific concepts. You can find some of these at his website.

Dr. Abrams’ research focuses mainly on two groups of questions:

  • Probability and science: What is probability? How can we understand the nature of probability and causality—particularly in biological and social sciences—in a way that make sense of successful scientific practices? What do the ways that scientists use probability tell us about the nature of the processes they study?
  • Science and the humanities: Should scientific research on human societies incorporate insights from the humanities? How? Dr. Abrams has been investigating the possibility that scientists can use new kinds of models to try to bring insights from humanistic research into the domain of science.

While most of Dr. Abrams’ research is philosophical and interdisciplinary, he also collaborates on purely scientific research.