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Aleta Quinn

Assistant Professor of Philosophy


205G Administration Building



Mailing Address

Department of Politics and Philosophy
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3165
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3165

Aleta Quinn researches the history and philosophy of biology, in particular the study of biodiversity. Prior to coming to the University of Idaho, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at California Institute of Technology and a Research Collaborator with the Smithsonian Institution.

Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2015
B.A. Philosophy, University of Maryland, 2005
B.S. Biology, University of Maryland 2005

Quinn, A. 2019. “Diagnosing discordance: signal in data, conflict in paradigms.” Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11(17). Quinn, A. 2019. “Biological kinds at the turn of the 20th century: characters, genes, and species as theoretical elements.” Pp. 43-60 in Unnatural Kinds: Perspectives on Classification in Synthetic Sciences (Julia Bursten, ed.). London: Routledge History and Philosophy of Technoscience Book Series.
Quinn, A. 2018. “Darwin’s first theory: exploring Darwin’s quest to find a theory of the Earth.” [Book Review]. The Quarterly Review of Biology 93: 356-357.
Quinn, A. 2018. “How to be a systematist.” Pp. 187-198 in Living with Animals: Bonds Across Species (Natalie Porter and Ilana Gershon, eds.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Quinn, A. 2017. “Whewell on Classification and Consilience.” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 64: 65-74.
Quinn, A. 2017. “When is a cladist not a cladist?” Biology and Philosophy 32(4): 581-594.
Quinn, A. “How to Classify Animals.” [Invited]. Forthcoming in How to Do Things with Animals: Imagined Field Guides for Social Tasks (Natalie Porter and Ilana Gershon, eds.). Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.
Quinn, A. 2016. “Run the Experiment, Publish the Study, Close the Sale: Commercialized Biomedical Research.” De Ethica 3(2): 5-21.
Quinn, A. 2016. “Charles Girard: Relationships and Representation in 19th Century Systematics.” Journal of the History of Biology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10739-016-9447-6
Quinn, A. 2016. “William Whewell’s Philosophy of Architecture and the Historicization of Biology.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 59: 11-19.
Quinn, A. 2016. “Phylogenetic Inference to the Best Explanation and the Bad Lot Argument.” Synthese 193(9): 3025-3039.
Helgen, K.M., C.M. Pinto, R. Kays, L.E. Helgen, M.T.N. Tsuchiya, A. Quinn, D.E. Wilson, and J.E. Maldonado. 2013. “Taxonomic Revision of the Olingos (Bassaricyon), with Description of a New Species, the Olinguito.” Zookeys 324: 1-83. 
Quinn, A., and D.E. Wilson. 2005. “Tasmanian Tiger – the Tragic Tale of How the World Lost its Most Mysterious Predator [Book Review].” Journal of Mammalogy 86(3): 639-640.
Quinn, A., and D.E. Wilson. 2005. “The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine [Book Review].” Journal of Mammalogy 86(3): 639.
Quinn, A., and D.E. Wilson. 2004. “Daubentonia madagascariensis.” Mammalian Species 740: 1-6.
Quinn, A., and D.E. Wilson. 2002. “Indri indri.” Mammalian Species 694: 1-5.

SEED Grant, University of Idaho, 2018
Postdoctoral Instructorship in Philosophy of Science, California Institute of Technology, 2016  
Distinguished Research Fellowship, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, 2015  
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of South Florida 2015-2017 [declined]  
University of Pittsburgh Provost’s Development Fund Award, 2014  
Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship, 2014   
Library Resident Research Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, 2014 [declined]  
Elizabeth Baranger Graduate Teaching Award Nominee, 2012  
University of Maryland Honors Program, 2001-2005  
University of Maryland Presidential Honors Scholarship, 2001-2005  
Golden Key International Honors Society, 2001-2005


Department of Politics and Philosophy

Physical Address:
205 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Department of Politics and Philosophy
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3165
Moscow, ID 83844-3165

Phone: 208-885-6328