College Research Associate
Research interests"How should cultures be individuated? That is, how should human beings be sorted, if at all, into a set of different cultural groups? The problem raises important empirical issues; for instance, how to categorize archaeological assemblages, identify tips of phylogenetic trees, and determine the ontologies of cross-cultural databases. But this problem of individuation is also a central problem of political and legal theorizing: if the state has duties and obligations towards cultural minorities, that state should be able to determine what cultures are, and which ones are in the minority. My work analyses and synthesizes the various approaches that scientists, philosophers, and humanities scholars have used to describe and individuate cultures. At the same time, I address trenchant critiques of the very idea of ‘culture’ from researchers in social anthropology and science and technology studies."