Charles H. Pence

Charles Pence

Assistant Professor
Executive Director, LSU Institute for Ethics

Ph.D.: University of Notre Dame (History and Philosophy of Science), 2014

Phone: (225) 578-5508
Office: 110 Coates


Charles Pence received his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2014, following a B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University in 2007.


Areas of Interest

Dr. Pence teaches courses primarily in the philosophy of science and logic, as well as the philosophy and ethics of technology and warfare. His research focuses on the philosophy and history of biology, particularly the conceptual structure of evolutionary theory and the reception of Darwin in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has also worked on the application and ethics of contemporary technology, particularly dual-use technologies in war. His publications include articles in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and HOPOS, as well as an edited volume with University of Chicago Press.

Courses Offered:

  • PHIL 2010 Symbolic Logic I
  • PHIL 2029 Ethics and New Weapons
  • PHIL 3950 Epistemology
  • PHIL 4951 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 4955 Philosophy of Biology


Awards and Honors

  • National Science Foundation HPS Scholars Award, 2015–2016
  • Manship Summer Research Fellowship, 2015
  • Sir Karl Popper Prize, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, 2013
  • Phillip R. Sloan Prize, University of Notre Dame, 2012
  • Lilly Presidential Graduate Fellowship, University of Notre Dame, 2007
  • J. Walker Tomb Prize, Princeton University, 2007


Selected Publications


  • "Is Genetic Drift a Force?" Synthese (2016): doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1031-2.
  • "RLetters: A Web-Based Application for Text Analysis of Journal Articles." PLoS ONE (2016): doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146004.
  • "Is Organismic Fitness at the Basis of Evolutionary Theory?" (with Grant Ramsey). Philosophy of Science 82/5 (2015): 1081-91.
  • "The Early History of Chance in Evolution." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 50 (2015): 48-58.

Edited Volumes

  • "Chance in Evolution. Edited by Grant Ramsey and Charles H. Pence. In press; University of Chicago Press.