Frédéric Bouchard is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Full Professor in the Philosophy Department at the Université de Montréal. As a philosopher of science and philosopher of biology, his interdisciplinary research focuses on the theoretical foundations of evolutionary biology and ecology as well as on the relationship between science and society.

After a BA and MA at the Université de Montréal, he pursued a doctorate in philosophy at Duke University (Ph.D. 2004), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto (2005).Professor at Université de Montréal since 2005, and the first chairholder of its ÉSOPE chair of philosophy (2014-2016), he also served as Deputy Vice-Rector for Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation (2015-2017). He was also the director of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie  (CIRST 2014-2015). He received the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and from the Université de Montréal.

He also contributes his time and expertise to several organizations involved in the development of academic research. He served as the president of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) (2015-2017) as well as President (2014-2015) of the Canadian Philosophical Association. He is currently member of the board of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and served as member of the Board of Directors of the funding agency Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et Culture FRQSC (2012-2015).

Among his other service activities, he is currently chairman of the digital publishing platform Érudit and is board member of  MILA (Institut québécois d’intelligence artificielle ), l’Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, the RUIS de l’Université de Montréal and the CIUSS du Nord de l’île de Montréal.

 

Research

Through his research and teaching, Frédéric Bouchard shows the contribution of philosophy to scientific research and our understanding of nature and, conversely, how advances in science can contribute to classical philosophical problems. His recent work focuses on the foundations of evolutionary theory (particularly the ways in which biologists define and measure fitness) and ecology (how to conceive of ecosystems and biodiversity). He is also interested in various philosophy of science issues such as the role of scientific expertise in democratic society and public decisions, and also the ontological question of biological individuality (e.g. can termite colonies and ecosystems be studied as a ‘superorganisms’ and what does this tell us about our understanding of what is an individual).

 

With colleagues from Université de Paris I, University of Cambridge, Duke University, University of Toronto and Université de Montréal, he founded the Consortium for the history and philosophy of biology (www.chpb.info) in order to facilitate exchanges among students and professors of the five partner universities. The consortium led among other things to a prestigious grant LIA (International Associated Laboratory) between Paris I-CNRS, the University of Toronto and the Université de Montréal.

 

You can read his thoughts on these issues in Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Biological Theory, Microbiome, PNAS, and in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

He has co-edited two volumes

Frédéric Bouchard and Philippe Huneman (CRNS-Paris I) From Groups to Individuals: Evolution and Emerging Individuality, MIT Press, 288p, 2013.

Julien Prud’homme, Pierre Doray, Frédéric Bouchard (Eds), Science, technologies et sociétés de A à Z, Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 249 p, 2015.

(see Publications )

More info

More information is available in his short CV or le complete CV.