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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the American bass guitar player, see David Hull
For the Los Angeles radio personality "The Hullabalooer", see Dave Hull
For the rugby league footballer for St. Helens, and Swinton, see David "Dave" Hull
For the rugby league footballer of the 1970s and '80s for St. Helens, Widnes, and Fulham, see David Hull

David Lee Hull (born 15 June 1935) is a philosopher with a particular interest in the philosophy of biology. In addition to his academic prominence, he is well-known as an out gay man who fought for the rights of other gay and lesbian philosophers.[1]

Hull was one of the first graduates of the History and Philosophy of Science department at Indiana University. After earning his PhD from IU he taught at the University of Wisconsin‚ÄďMilwaukee for 20 years before moving to Northwestern, where he taught for another 20 years. Hull is a former president of the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society for Systematic Biology. He was particularly well known for his argument that species are not sets or collections but rather spatially and temporally extended individuals (also called the individuality thesis or "species-as-individuals" thesis).

Hull also proposed an elaborate discussion of science as an evolutionary process in his 1988 book, which also offered a historical account of the "taxonomy wars" of the 1960s and 1970s between three competing schools of taxonomy: phenetics, evolutionary systematics, and cladistics. In Hull's view, science evolves like organisms and populations do, with a demic population structure, subject to selection for ideas (memes) based on "conceptual inclusive credit." Either novelty or citation of work gives credit, and the professional careers of scientists share in credit by using successful research. This is a "hidden hand" account of scientific progress.

He is Dressler Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Northwestern University.



See also


  1. ^ Overmann, R.J. (2000). "David Hull, Hod carrier." Biology and Philosophy 15: 311‚ÄĒ320.

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

David Hull (born 15 June 1935) is a philosopher with a particular interest in the Philosophy of biology.


  • Hypocrisy is the lubricant of society.
    • Quoted in Collection of Quotable Quotes, Advanced Marketing Services, 2004; ISBN 9781903938546


  • What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin's Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.‚Ķ The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.

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