Andrew Buskell is a Leverhulme Early-Career Fellow at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and a College Research Associate at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Andrew’s work analyses issues at the intersection of human cognition, culture, politics, and biology—and he has written on evolutionary theory, cultural evolution, and problems of extrapolation from brain-size measurements.
In Pittsburgh, Andrew will be analyzing how cultures are individuated. That is, how researchers decide that this population of people, beliefs, and/or practices constitutes a culture, while that population constitutes another. This work explores three key issues: (i) what metaontological and ontological assumptions are built into strategies for individuating cultures, (ii) how such assumptions constrain scientific research, and (iii) how different individuation strategies intersect with political and ethical concerns. More specifically, during his months at the Center Andrew will be looking at how these issues play out in data-driven projects aimed at reconstructing human history.