Areas of Research
AOS: Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy and History of Science, Metaphysics
AOC: Philosophy of New and Emerging Technologies (especially of Synthetic Biology and Agriculture), Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of Ethnobiology
Catherine Kendig is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. Her research explores the normative and metaphysical commitments underlying scientific classifications and natural and synthetic kinds broadly construed. Her current research concentrates on (1) philosophical analyses of the notions of proof-of-concept and identity in synthetic biology; (2) ethnobiological kind-making practices and indigenous botanical nomenclatures; and (3) the development of epistemic standards in engineering and agriculture.
Kendig is editor of the collection of interdisciplinary essays Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice (2016 Routledge) which explores the role of kind-making or ‘kinding’ in the work of scientists. She serves as Associate Editor of the journal History & Philosophy of the Life Sciences, and as Co-Editor (with Lydia Patton and Alan Richardson) of the series “History of Philosophy and Science” (De Gruyter). She was elected to the Committee for Integrated History and Philosophy of Science; serves on the Organizing Committee of the International Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice; and board representative to the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering. She was also contributor to the U.K. Nuffield Council on Bioethics International Report on Genome Editing.
Kendig earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Exeter/ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society and her MSc in Philosophy and History of Science at King’s College London. Before joining Michigan State University, she was Lecturer/Teaching Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, and Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Missouri Western State University. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=syuxKBAAAAAJ&hl=en
Genome Consortium for Active Teaching-Synthetic Biology (GCAT-SynBio): http://bio.davidson.edu/projects/gcat/GCATSynBio.html
PHL 101 Introduction to Philosophy
PHL 380 Nature of Science
PHL 480 Philosophy of Science
PHL 880 Seminar in Philosophy of Science: Natural Kinds, Hybrid Beings, and Homology
Kendig, Catherine (2022). “Metaphysical presumptions about species stability: problematic and unavoidable”. In John S. Wilkins, Frank E. Zachos, and Igor Ya. Pavlinov (eds.) Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. https://www.routledge.com/Species-Problems-and-Beyond-Contemporary-Issues-in-Philosophy-and-Practice/Wilkins-Zachos-Pavlinov/p/book/9781032221472
Bursten, Julia and Catherine Kendig (2021). “Growing Knowledge: Epistemic Objects in Agricultural Extension Work”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88: 85-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.03.002
Kendig, Catherine and Wenda K. Bauchspies (2021). “The Ethics of Speculative Anticipation and the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Hypatia 36(1): 228-236. http://doi.org/10.1017/hyp.2020.56
Kendig, Catherine (2020). “Ontology and values anchor indigenous and grey nomenclatures: a case study in lichen naming practices among the Sámi, Sherpa, Scots, and Okanagan”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 84 (101340): 1-11.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2020.101340
Kendig, Catherine and Joeri Witteveen (2020). “History and Philosophy of Taxonomy as an Information Science”. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42: 40-51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-020-00337-8
Ferkany, Matt and Catherine Kendig (2020). “Countering scientism and skepticism in teaching the nature of science through its virtues”. In Wayne Melville and Donald Kerr (eds.) Virtues as Integral to Science Education: Understanding the Intellectual, Moral, and Civic Value of Science and Scientific Inquiry. New York & London: Routledge, pp. 83-101. https://www.routledge.com/Virtues-as-Integral-to-Science-Education-Understanding-the-Intellectual/Melville-Kerr/p/book/9780367421397
Kendig, Catherine and John Grey (2019/2021). “Can the epistemic value of natural kinds be explained independently of their metaphysics?” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2): 359-376. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1093/bjps/axz004
Kendig, Catherine and Bryan A. Bartley (2019). “Synthetic kinds: kind-making in synthetic biology.” In Julia R. S. Bursten (ed.) Perspectives on Classification in Synthetic Sciences: Unnatural Kinds. London: Taylor & Francis, pp. 78-96. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315098838/chapters/10.4324/9781315098838-5
Kendig, Catherine (2018). “Considering the role marked variation plays in classifying humans: a normative approach.” Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10(13): 1-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/ptpbio.16039257.0010.013
Kendig, Catherine (2018). “Grounding knowledge and normative valuation in agent-based action and scientific commitment”. In Hauke Riesch, Nathan Emmerich & Steven Wainwright (eds.) Philosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics: Crossing the Divides. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 41-64. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-92738-1_3
Kendig, Catherine and Eckdahl, Todd T. (2017). “Reengineering metaphysics: modularity, parthood, and evolvability in metabolic engineering”. Special issue: Ontologies of Living Beings (A.M. Ferner and Thomas Pradeu, eds.)Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9(8): 1-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/ptb.6959004.0009.008
Kendig, Catherine (ed.) (2016) Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 1-247. https://www.routledge.com/Natural-Kinds-and-Classification-in-Scientific-Practice/Kendig/p/book/9781138344839
Kendig, Catherine (2016). “Homologizing as kinding”. In Catherine Kendig (ed.) Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 106-125. https://www.routledge.com/products/9781848935402
Kendig, Catherine (2016). “Activities of kinding in scientific practice” In Catherine Kendig (ed.) Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 1-13. https://www.routledge.com/products/9781848935402
Kendig, Catherine (2016). “What is proof of concept research and how does it generate epistemic and ethical categories for future scientific practice?” Science and Engineering Ethics 22(3), 735-753.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11948-015-9654-0
Kendig, Catherine (2014). “Synthetic Biology and Biofuels.” In Paul B. Thompson and David M. Kaplan (eds.),Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Dordrecht: Springer, 1695-1703. http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-007-0929-4_124
Kendig, Catherine (2014). “Hybridity in Agriculture.” In Paul B. Thompson and David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Dordrecht: Springer, 1210-1218. http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-007-0929-4_421
Kendig, Catherine (2014). “Towards a Multidimensional Metaconception of Species.” Ratio 27 (2): 155–172. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rati.12037/full
Kendig, Catherine (2013). “Integrating History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences in Practice to Enhance Science Education: Swammerdam’s Historia Insectorum Generalis and the case of the water flea.” Science & Education22(8): 1939-1961. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11191-013-9596-3
Kendig, Catherine, Swindler, Joshua*, and Anderson, Austin* (2012). “Bringing History and Philosophy of Biology into the Lab.” Bioscene 38(2): 36-42. [* denotes undergraduate contributors] http://www.acube.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2012_2.pdf
Kendig, Catherine (2011). “Race as a Physiosocial Phenomenon.” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33(2): 191–222. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23335116
[Awarded Honorable Mention for the American Philosophical Association 2012 Article Prize]
Kendig, Catherine (2011). “Debates in Philosophy of Biology: One Long Argument, or Many?” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25(1): 73–81. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02698595.2011.552419
Kendig, Catherine (2018). “Review of Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives, Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart (eds).” HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2): 475-480. https://doi.org/10.1086/699184
Kendig, Catherine (2015) “Review of The Nature of Classification by John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach.” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4): 477-479. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40656-015-0083-9
Kendig, Catherine (2012). “Review of The Species Problem by Richard Richards.” The Philosophical Quarterly 62(2): 405–408. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2011.00025.x/abstract
Philosophy of Ethnobotany
Philosophical investigations on non-Linnaean and indigenous lichen nomenclatures”. University Interdisciplinarity Colloquium. East Lansing, Michigan. 28 February 2020.
Kinding kinds and individuating individuals
Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science: Identity, Individuality and Kinds in Biology. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. 15 November 2019.
Growing Knowledge: Epistemic Objects in Agricultural Extension Work (with Julia Bursten)
Biological Engineering Collaboratory (BEC) Seminars 2020. London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom. 4 September 2020.
Homology, Redux: Revisiting Pre-Darwinian Debates within Comparative Biology
Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology Fellows Lecture Series. Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, MO, USA. 24 July 2013.