Charles Rathkopf, Ph.D.
After spending a year in graduate school for neuroscience, Dr. Rathkopf switched to philosophy and received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He then spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at CUNY's Graduate Center on a grant from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rathkopf specializes in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind, and has published on these topics in top-tier journals including Philosophy of Science and Synthese. His dissertation is about the nature of scientific explanation. In particular, his dissertation defends a theory of what makes for a good scientific explanation in areas where the complexity of the target phenomena undermines traditional explanatory strategies. His postdoc was about the appropriate use of semantic and informational concepts in biology and neuroscience. Do the signals transmitted between neurons have any particular meaning? What empirical observations are relevant to answering that question? Since coming to Iona, Dr. Rathkopf has also developed an interest in an "argument-mapping" approach to teaching philosophy, in which students use software to generate graphical representations of argument structure.