Rose Novick Department of Philosophy University of Washington
email address: amnovick [at] uw [dot] edu
About Me (Conceptual)
I am a philosopher of biology for positive sums of money and a poet for negative sums of money.
My philosophical research focuses on the philosophy of evolutionary-developmental biology (evo-devo), with an especial focus on evo-devo's place in the long history of structure-function disputes in biology. A short book on this topic, titled Structure and Function, is available from Cambridge University Press as part of their Elements in the Philosophy of Biology series. This work marks the culmination of my first ten years of thinking about this topic (dating back to my first semester in graduate school in Autumn 2012). Going forward, I am beginning work on an extended historical and philosophical study of the 'homology' concept, using its complicated history of change as a window into understanding the behavior of scientific concepts more generally.
My poetry is inquiry by other means, an attempt to get the feel of ideas, to figure out what it is like to inhabit them. My debut poetry collection, The Equalizing Jokebook, was published by Finishing Line Press in March 2023; you can order it at this link. It contains fifty-two short poems. Some of them have been published previously; these can all be read on thePoetry &c page of this site. Not every poem listed there is in the book. Only the good ones. More recently, I have been writing much longer poems. One of these, Yellow Dusk, is forthcoming with Sublunary Editions, a local independent press. Yellow Dusk will probably be available in late 2024 or early 2025.
At the intersection of my poetic and philosophical interests, I have a great fondness for the Warring States Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou. The book that bears his name—the Zhuangzi, in thirty-three chapters—is in my estimation the greatest work of trans philosophy ever written (among other virtues). I am currently working on a verse translation of the so-called "Inner Chapters" (chs. 1-7), traditionally (but controversially) ascribed to Zhuang Zhou himself.
About Me (Academic-Historical)
In Fall 2020, I joined the philosophy department at the University of Washington as an assistant professor. From Fall 2019 - Spring 2020, I worked as an assistant professor of philosophy at Purdue University.
From Fall 2018 - Summer 2019, I worked as a post-doc for Ford Doolittle at Dalhousie University. My research concerned the nature of 'species' concepts, especially in microbial contexts, and (from a philosophical vantage) the influence of lateral gene transfer on gene connectivity.
From 2012-2018, I completed a PhD in the department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where I worked on the history and philosophy of evolutionary-developmental biology, the nature of reasoning in the biological sciences, and the history of systematics in the 19th century.
Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, I majored in biology and philosophy at The College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio.