Fellow: Awarded 2017
Field of Study: Philosophy
Competition: US & Canada
Michael Strevens is a professor of philosophy at New York University. His academic work is principally concerned with the nature of science, covering topics such as scientific explanation, understanding, complex systems, probability of various sorts, causation, and the social structure of science. A related set of projects uses contemporary work in cognitive psychology to explain aspects of both philosophical and scientific thinking. He is currently writing a trade book that explains why science is so successful at creating knowledge and why it took so long for humans to figure out how to do it right.
His Guggenheim Fellowship research will take off from his interest in scientific explanation and understanding, contrasting the sciences and the humanities and asking how the sort of understanding pursued by historians, in particular, differs from the understanding produced by social scientists working on historical topics.