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Profile: Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo)
  1. Carla Fehr, Feminism and Science: Mechanism Without Reductionism.
    During the scientific revolution reductionism and mechanism were introduced together. These concepts remained intertwined through much of the ensuing history of philosophy and science, resulting in the privileging of approaches to research that focus on the smallest bits of nature. This combination of concepts has been the object of intense feminist criticism, as it encourages biological determinism, narrows researchers’ choices of problems and methods, and allows researchers to ignore the contextual features of the phenomena they investigate. I argue that (...)
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  2. Carla Fehr, Explanations of the Evolution of Sex: A Plurality of Local Mechanisms[I].
    The evolutionary maintenance of sexual reproduction is a case of explanatory pluralism of central importance to evolutionary biology. I analyze this pluralism from an epistemological perspective. My thesis is that the various explanations of sex are explanatory by virtue of local factors and hence are importantly distinct from one another and cannot be subsumed under a single unifying framework. A critic may argue that philosophical accounts of mechanism can provide just such a framework. I show that this attempt at unification (...)
     
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  3. Carla Fehr (2012). Feminist Engagement with Evolutionary Psychology. Hypatia 27 (1):50-72.
    In this paper, I ask feminist philosophers and science studies scholars to consider the goals of developing critical analyses of evolutionary psychology. These goals can include development of scholarship in feminist philosophy and science studies, mediation of the uptake of evolutionary psychology by other academic and lay communities, and improvement of the practices and products of evolutionary psychology itself. I evaluate ways that some practices of feminist philosophy and science studies facilitate or hinder meeting these goals, and consider the merits (...)
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  4. Kathryn S. Plaisance & Carla Fehr (eds.) (2010). Making Philosophy of Science More Socially Relevant Vol. 177. Springer.
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  5. Kathryn S. Plaisance & Carla Fehr (2010). Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science: An Introduction. Synthese 177 (3):301-316.
    This paper provides an argument for a more socially relevant philosophy of science (SRPOS). Our aims in this paper are to characterize this body of work in philosophy of science, to argue for its importance, and to demonstrate that there are significant opportunities for philosophy of science to engage with and support this type of research. The impetus of this project was a keen sense of missed opportunities for philosophy of science to have a broader social impact. We illustrate various (...)
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  6. Carla Fehr (2001). Pluralism and Sex: More Than a Pragmatic Issue. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S237-.
    The evolution of sexual reproduction is a case of explanatory pluralism, meaning that there is more than one explanation for this phenomenon. I use the concept of a domain to more clearly explicate the various explananda that can be found in this case. I argue that although pluralism with respect to some types of domains can be decreased using van Fraassen’s pragmatics of explanation, there remains an important class of domain, an orthogonal domain, for which this is not the case.
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  7. Carla Fehr (2001). The Evolution of Sex: Domains and Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 16 (2):145-170.
    The evolution of sexual reproduction is a striking case of explanatory pluralism, meaning that one needs to refer to more than one explanation in order to adequately account for it. I develop the concept a domain of phenomena in order to analysis this pluralism. Pluralism exists when a phenomenon can be included in more that one homogeneous domain or in a heterogeneous domain. I argue that in some cases domain partitioning can be used to decrease pluralism, but that in the (...)
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  8. Carla Fehr, Sex and Explanatory Pluralism: Is It a Case of Causal Mechanism Versus Unifying Theories of Explanation?
    There is more than one explanation for the evolution of sexual reproduction. This paper investigates the possibility that this pluralism exists because these different explanations rely on intuitions provided by different philosophical theories of explanation, namely unifying views and causal mechanical views. I conclude that this is not the case.
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