Jonathan Kaplan

Jon Kaplan

The Phronesis Lab

Associate Professor

Milam 306B
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-3902

Phone:  541-737-9802
email: Jonathan.Kaplan@oregonstate.edu

Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Science and Political Philosophy


Dr. Kaplan came to Oregon State University in 2003. Prior to his position at OSU, he served as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a Lecturer in Philosophy at Stanford University, and was a post-doctoral fellow with the Stanford University Biomedical Ethics Center's Program in Genomics, Ethics and Society.  He currently directs the OSU undergraduate program in Applied Ethics.

Select Publications

Making Sense of Evolution

University of Chicago Press, 2006

(co-written with Massimo Pigliucci)

Making Sense of Evolution
 The Limits and Lies of Human Genetic Research

The Limits and Lies of Human Genetic Research.

Routledge Press, 2000


Select Articles and Chapters

  • Forthcoming. Jonathan M. Kaplan and Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther.  “Prisoners of Abstraction? The Theory and Measure of Genetic Variation, and the Very Concept of ‘Race.’”  Biological Theory.
  • 2012.  “Personalizing Risk: How Behavior Genetics Research into Addiction Makes the Political Personal.” Chapter 14 of Genetic Research on Addiction: Ethics, the Law, and Public Health.  Edited by Audrey R. Chapman.   Cambridge University Press.
  • 2012.  “Conclusions and Recommendations: Ethical Guidance for Genetic Research on Addiction and Its Translation into Public Policy.”  Audrey Chapman, Jonathan Kaplan, and Adrian Carter. Chapter 15 of  Genetic Research on Addiction: Ethics, the Law, and Public Health.  Edited by Audrey R. Chapman.   Cambridge University Press.
  • 2010. “When Socially Determined Categories Make Biological Realities: Understanding Black/White Health Disparities in the U.S.” Forthcoming in The Monist 93(2): 283–299.
  • 2010. “‘Race’: What Biology Can Tell Us About a Social Construct.” In Encyclopedia of Life
    Sciences. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net/
  • 2009. “Misinformation, Misrepresentation, and Misuse of Human Behavioral Genetics
    Research.” In The Impact of Behavioral Sciences on the Criminal Law edited by Nina A.
    Farahany. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-80.
  • 2008. “Phenotypic Plasticity and Reaction Norms.” A Companion to Philosophy of Biology,
    edited by Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynski. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 205-222.
  • 2008. “The Paradox of Stasis and the Nature of Explanations in Evolutionary Biology.”  Philosophy of Science 76(5).
  • 2008. “Economic Rationality and Explaining Human Behavior: An Adaptationist Program?” The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 3(7): 79-94.
  • 2008. “Evolutionary Innovations and Developmental Resources: From Stability to Variation and Back Again.” Philosophy of Science 75: 861-873.
  • 2008. “The End of the Adaptive Landscape Metaphor?”Biology and Philosophy 23: 625-638.

For a complete listing of Dr. Kaplans publications and research activities, visit his homepage!


Philosophy 121: "Reasoning and Writing"
Philosophy 205: "Ethics"
Philosophy 325: "Scientific Reasoning"
Philosophy 444/544: "Biomedical Ethics"
Philosophy 474/574: "Philosophy of Biology"