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Sahotra Sarkar

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Name  Sahotra Sarkar

Role  University Professor
Sahotra Sarkar wwwbiosciutexaseduimagesfacultysarkarjpg

Education  University of Chicago, Columbia University
Books  Environmental Philosophy: From The, Biodiversity and Environm, Genetics and reductionism, Doubting Darwin?, Molecular models of life
Similar People  Alexander Rosenberg, Marc Lange, David Papineau, Peter French

Evolution vs id sahotra sarkar vs paul nelson 1

Sahotra Sarkar (born 1962) is a philosopher of science and conservation biologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He is one of the founders of systematic conservation planning within conservation biology, promoting the use of multi-criteria decision analysis and supervising the creation of the ConsNet decision support system. In this context he has advocated participatory environmental planning and strongly criticized the imposition of authoritarian and discriminatory environmental policies on local residents. His laboratory also works on a suite of neglected tropical diseases (or diseases of poverty) including Chagas disease, dengue, leishmaniasis, and tick-borne diseases.


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In the philosophy of biology Sarkar is known for his work on reductionism and criticism of hereditarian thinking in biology as well as the use of informational concepts in molecular biology. In the philosophy of physics Sarkar is known for controversially defending the conventionalism of simultaneity in special relativity (with John Stachel) and suggesting a stochastic modification of quantum dynamics. Earlier in his career he worked in mathematical population genetics where, in collaboration with Wing Ma and Guido Sandri, he was responsible for the standard recursion relation to compute the Luria-Delbruck distribution in bacterial genetics.

Sarkar is also a noted critic of creationism and intelligent design and played an important role in combating attempts to introduce creationism into high school curricula in Texas.

Sarkar is originally from India where he lived in Darjeeling until 1975. He earned a BA from Columbia University, and a MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. He was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (1996 -1997), the Dibner Institute for the History of Science (1993 -1994), and the Edelstein Centre for the Philosophy of Science (1992). He was a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (1997 -1998, 2002 -2003) and taught at McGill University before moving to Texas. His doctoral students include Derek Anderson, Michael Ciarleglio, David Frank, Trevon Fuller, Justin Garson, Susan Mooney, and Samraat Pawar.


  • Sahotra Sarkar, Genetics and Reductionism (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology). Cambridge University Press (October 13, 1998) ISBN 0-521-63713-9
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Molecular Models of Life: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology). The MIT Press (March 30, 2007) ISBN 0-262-69350-X
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology). Cambridge University Press (September 19, 2005) ISBN 0-521-85132-7
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Doubting Darwin: Creationist Designs on Evolution. Blackwell (April 20, 2007) ISBN 1-4051-5491-8
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Environmental Philosophy: From Theory to Practice. Wiley-Blackewell (2012)
  • Chris Margules and Sahotra Sarkar, Systematic Conservation Planning (Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation). Cambridge University Press. (October 8, 2007) ISBN 0-521-70344-1
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Ed., Science and Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Basic Works of Logical Empiricism. 6 Volumes. Routledge (February 1, 1996)
  • Sahotra Sarkar, Ed., Logical Empiricism and the Special Sciences : Reichenbach, Feigl, and Nagel (Science and Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Basic Works of Logical Empiricism) Routledge; 1 edition (February 1, 1996) ISBN 0-8153-2265-8
  • Sahotra Sarkar and Jessica Pfeifer, Eds., The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia Routledge.(December 9, 2005)
  • Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynksi, Eds., Companion to the Philosophy of Biology (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy). Wiley-Blackwell (March 14, 2008) ISBN 1-4051-2572-1
  • References

    Sahotra Sarkar Wikipedia