Paul Griffiths

Paul Griffiths

Paul is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor in the Department of Philosophy. A philosopher of science with a focus on biology and psychology, he was educated at Cambridge and the Australian National University, receiving his PhD in 1989. He taught at Otago University in New Zealand and was later Director of the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, before taking up a Chair in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to Australia in 2004, first as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and from 2007 as a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Paul heads the TM&B project node of the Charles Perkins Centre, a major initiative at Sydney focused on interdisciplinary research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He served as Associate Academic Director for Humanities and Social Sciences while the Centre was being established, and continues to serve on the Executive Committee as Domain Leader for Society and Environment.

Paul is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and of the Royal Society of NSW. He was President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology from 2011-13. From 2006-12 he was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of NHMRC.

Curriculum Vitae




Machery, E., Griffiths, P. E., Linquist, S., & Stotz, K. (2019). Scientists’ Concepts of Innateness: Evolution or Attraction? In R. Samuels & D. Wilkenfeld, Advances in Experimental Philosophy. Bloomsbury Academic. Download
Ronai, I., & Griffiths, P. E. (2019). The Case for Basic Biological Research. Trends in Molecular Medicine. Download


Bourrat, P., & Griffiths, P. E. (2018). Multispecies individuals. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 40(2).
Lynch, K. E., Morandini, J. S., Dar-Nimrod, I., & Griffiths, P. E. (2018). Causal Reasoning About Human Behavior Genetics: Synthesis and Future Directions. Behavior Genetics, 1–14. Download
Griffiths, P. E., & Matthewson, J. (2018). Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 69(2), 301–327. Download
Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. E. (2018). A developmental systems account of human nature. In T. Lewens & E. Hannon, Why we disagree about human nature (pp. 58–75). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.
Griffiths, P. E., & Stotz, K. (2018). Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory. In D. J. Nicholson & J. Dupre, Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology (pp. 225–245). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. Download
Calcott, B., Griffiths, P. E., & Pocheville, A. (2018). Signals that make a Difference. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.


Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Genetic, epigenetic and exogenetic information. In R. Joyce, Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge. Download
Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Communicating genomic complexity. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 150(463/464), 93–103. Retrieved from;dn=075903482941369;res=IELHSS Download
Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Biological Information, causality and specificity – an intimate relationship. In S. I. Walker, P. Davies, & G. Ellis (Eds.), From Matter to Life: Information and Causality (pp. 366–390). Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University  Press. Download
Pocheville, A., Griffiths, P. E., & Stotz, K. (2017). Comparing causes – an information-theoretic approach to specificity, proportionality and stability. In H. Leitgeb, I. Niiniluoto, E. Sober, & Seppälä, Päivi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (pp. 260–275). London: College Publications. Retrieved from Download
Matthewson, J., & Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Biological Criteria of Disease: Four Ways of Going Wrong. The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, 42(4), 447–466. Download
Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Genetic, epigenetic and exogenetic information in development and evolution. Interface Focus, 7(5). Download
Griffiths, P. E. (2017). Mechanisms can be complex: Talia Morag: Emotion, Imagination, and the Limits of Reason. Abingdon, Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2016, 288 pp, £88.00 HB. Metascience, 26(3), 387–391. Download


Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. (2016). A niche for the genome. Biology & Philosophy, 31(1), 143–157.
Griffiths, P. E. (2016). Proximate and Ultimate Information in Biology. In M. Couch & J. Pfeifer (Eds.), The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher (pp. 74–91). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Download
Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. E. (2016). Epigenetics: ambiguities and implications. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 38(4), 1–22. Download


Magnusson, R. S., & Griffiths, P. E. (2015). Who’s afraid of the nanny state? Introduction to a symposium. Public Health, 129(8), 1017–1020. Download
Griffiths, P. E., Pocheville, A., Calcott, B., Stotz, K., Kim, Hyunju, & Knight, R. (2015). Measuring Causal Specificity. Philosophy of Science, 82(4), 529–555. Download
Stotz, K., & Griffiths, P. (2015). Dissecting Developmental Biology. Review of “Towards a Theory of Development.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Download
Griffiths, P. E., & Magnusson, R. S. (2015, October 13). Good laws create freedom, not a nanny state. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from
Griffiths, P. E., & Wilkins, J. S. (2015). Crossing the Milvian Bridge: When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief? In P. Sloan, G. McKenny, & K. Eggelson (Eds.), Darwin in the 21st Century: Nature, Humanity, and God (pp. 201–231). Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press. Download
Griffiths, P. E. (2015). Conceptual change and conceptual diversity contribute to progress in science. In G. Bammer (Ed.), Change! Combining Analytic Approaches with Street Wisdom (pp. 163–176). Acton, ACT: Australian National University Press.
Griffiths, P. E., & Hochman, A. (2015). Developmental Systems Theory. In John Wiley & Sons Ltd (Ed.), eLS (pp. 1–7). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Retrieved from Download
Griffiths, P. E., & West, C. (2015). A balanced intervention ladder: promoting autonomy through public health action. Public Health, 129(8), 1092–1098.