Julia Bursten

jrbu248's picture
  • Assistant Professor
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Year of Civics and Citizenship in the 21st Century
1427 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:
I specialize in the philosophy of nanoscience. Nanoscience is part chemistry, part physics, and part materials science. It has grown up around the development of practical technologies aimed at solving extra-scientific problems, including medical imaging and the energy crisis. To solve these problems, nanoscientists are synthesizing new materials with never-before-seen properties, and they are using scientific models and theories in new ways to figure out how to manipulate and control these properties in new machines, devices, and medical therapies. As a philosopher of nanoscience, I examine the theories, models, reasoning strategies, and other conceptual tools that nanoscientists use to accomplish their goals, and I study how these conceptual tools can in turn reveal new information about the character of scientific knowledge.

I teach a variety of courses about the relationships between science and society, as well as philosophy of science, logic, and health care ethics.

In Spring 2019, I will be teaching PHI305: Health Care Ethics and PHI560: Philosophy of Science.

Mid-South Philosophy of Science Network

I coordinate the Mid-South Philosophy of Science Network, which connects scholars working in the philosophy of science and adjacent fields who are living and working in the mid-south region of the United States, broadly conceived. Our goal is to make cutting-edge research in philosophy of science more accessible to this part of the country by hosting workshops and conferences, as well as by sharing information about visitors to our campuses and exchanging speakers with each other.

The MSPS listserv aims to advertise philosophy of science events happening across Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, southern Ohio and Indiana, and other nearby areas. To join, click here!

To advertise an event or opportunity, send your message to mspsn@googlegroups.com.


Selected Publications: 

2018. Conceptual Strategies and Inter-Theory Relations: The Case of Nanoscale Cracks. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.

2018. Promoting Cognitive Conflict in Health Care Ethics: Moral Reasoning with Boundary Cases. Proceedings of the International Conference on the Learning Sciences.

2016. Smaller than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

2016. Nano on Reflection. Nature Nanotechnology.

2016. Conceptual Analysis for Nanoscience. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

2014. Microstructure without Essentialism: A New Perspective on Chemical Classification. Philosophy of Science.

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