Derek Turner

Contact Derek Turner
Mailbox: 5606
Office: 306 Blaustein Humanities
Phone: (860) 439-2675
Fax: (860) 439-5340

Derek Turner, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Associate Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Associate Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

Joined Connecticut College: 2001

B.A., American University; M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Philosophy of science
Philosophy of biology
Environmental philosophy

A past winner of the John S. King Award for Excellence in Teaching, Derek Turner regularly teaches Introduction to Philosophy, Logic, Bioethics, Thinking Philosophically About the Environment, Philosophy of Science, and Darwin. He also enjoys teaching courses on the history of philosophy.

Turner belongs to the College's Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment.

In his book, Paleontology: A Philosophical Introduction (2011), Turner explores the many philosophical questions inherent in the larger field of paleontology, or the study of fossils (dinosaur and otherwise). These questions are broad, Turner says, and have great impact and relevance not only to paleontology, but to other fields of study and to our general understanding of our world.

Selected papers:

  • "Gould's Replay Revisited," Biology and Philosophy 26(2010): 65-79.
  • With Simon Feldman, "Why Not NIMBY?", Ethics, Policy and Environment, 13 (2010):251-266.
  • “Just Another Drug? A Philosophical Assessment of Randomized, Controlled Studies of Intercessory Prayer,” Journal of Medical Ethics 32(2006): 487-490.
  • “Local Underdetermination in Historical Science,” Philosophy of Science 72(2005): 209-230.
  • “Are We at War With Nature?” Environmental Values 14(2005): 21-36. Reprinted in Michael Ruse, ed., Philosophy of Biology, second edition. Prometheus Books, 2007, pp. 329-345.
  • "The Functions of Fossils: Inference and Explanation in Functional Morphology," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science C: Biology and Biomedical Sciences 31(March 2000): 193-212.

Visit the philosophy department website.

Majoring in Philosophy. 

Majoring in Environmental Studies.