Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Massimo Pigliucci

Updated on
Edit
Like
Comment
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Massimo Pigliucci
Role  Professor

Massimo Pigliucci Whoa Dude We39re Not Inside a Computer Right Now VICE

Born  January 16, 1964 (age 51) (1964-01-16) Monrovia, Liberia
Alma mater  University of Tennessee, Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science University of Connecticut, Ph.D. in Botany University of Ferrara, Italy, Doctorate in Genetics Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, B.S. and Masters in Biological Sciences
Main interests  Philosophy of science, Philosophy of pseudoscience, Relationship between science and religion
Areas of interest  Pseudoscience, Relationship between religion and science, Philosophy of science
Education  University of Connecticut, University of Tennessee, University of Ferrara
People also search for  Jonathan Kaplan, Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Mark W. Durm, Stephen Jay Gould
Books  Nonsense on Stilts: How to T, Answers for Aristotle, Denying Evolution: Creationi, Making Sense of Evolution, Phenotypic plasticity

Schools of thought  Scientific skepticism

How To Be A Stoic w/ Prof. Massimo Pigliucci


Massimo Pigliucci ([ˈmassimo piʎˈʎuttʃi]; born January 16, 1964) is Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-City College, formerly co-host of the Rationally Speaking Podcast, and formerly the editor in chief for the online magazine Scientia Salon. He is an outspoken critic of pseudoscience and creationism, and an advocate for secularism, science education and modern Stoicism.

Contents

Massimo Pigliucci Skeptic eSkeptic March 10 2010

Biography

Massimo Pigliucci httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Pigliucci was born in Monrovia, Liberia and raised in Rome, Italy. He has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Ferrara, Italy, a PhD in biology from the University of Connecticut, and a PhD in philosophy of science from the University of Tennessee. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

Pigliucci was formerly a professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. He explored phenotypic plasticity, genotype-environment interactions, natural selection, and the constraints imposed on natural selection by the genetic and developmental makeup of organisms. In 1997, while working at the University of Tennessee, Pigliucci received the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize the accomplishments and future promise of an outstanding young evolutionary biologist. As a philosopher, Pigliucci is interested in the structure and foundations of evolutionary theory, the relationship between science and philosophy, and the relationship between science and religion. He is a proponent of the extended evolutionary synthesis.

Pigliucci writes regularly for Skeptical Inquirer on topics such as climate change denial, intelligent design, pseudoscience, and philosophy. He has also written for Philosophy Now and maintains a blog called "Rationally Speaking". He has debated "deniers of evolution" (young-earth creationists and intelligent design proponents), including young earth creationists Duane Gish and Kent Hovind and intelligent design proponents William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, on many occasions.

Critical thinking and scepticism

While Pigliucci is an atheist himself, he does not believe that science necessarily demands atheism because of two distinctions: the distinction between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, and the distinction between value judgements and matters of fact. He believes that many scientists and science educators fail to appreciate these differences. Pigliucci has criticized New Atheist writers for embracing what he considers to be scientism (although he largely excludes philosopher Daniel Dennett from this charge). In a discussion of his book Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life, Pigliucci told Skepticality podcast host Derek Colanduno, "Aristotle was the first ancient thinker to really take seriously the idea that you need both empirical facts, you need an evidence-based approach to the world and you need to be able to reflect on the meaning of those facts... If you want answers to moral questions then you don't ask the neurobiologist, you don't ask the evolutionary biologist, you ask the philosopher."

Pigliucci describes the mission of skeptics, referencing Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark saying "What skeptics are about is to keep that candle lit and spread it as much as possible". Pigliucci serves on the board of NYC Skeptics and on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America.

In 2001, he debated William Lane Craig over the existence of God.

Massimo Pigliucci criticised the newspaper article by Pope Francis entitled, "An open dialogue with non-believers". Pigliucci viewed the article as a monologue rather than a dialogue and, in a response personally addressed to Pope Francis, wrote that the Pope only offered non-believers "a reaffirmation of entirely unsubstantiated fantasies about God and his Son...followed by a confusion between the concept of love and truth, the whole peppered by a significant amount of historical revisionism and downright denial of the ugliest facets of your Church (and you will notice that I haven't even brought up the pedophilia stuff!)."

Rationally Speaking

In August 2000 Massimo started with a monthly internet column called Rationally Speaking. In August 2005, the column became a blog, where he wrote posts until March 2014. Since 1 February 2010, he co-hosted the bi-weekly Rationally Speaking podcast together with Julia Galef, whom he first met at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, held in September 2009. The podcast is produced by the New York City Skeptics. He left the podcast in 2015 to pursue other interests. In 2010, Neil DeGrasse Tyson explained on the show his justification for spending large amounts of government money on space programs. He eventually printed the transcript of his performance as a guest on the show in his book Space Chronicles as a full chapter covering eight pages. Another episode in which Tyson explained his position on the label "atheism" received attention on NPR.

References

Massimo Pigliucci Wikipedia