Associate Professor of Philosophy; Ronald L. and Linda A. Rossetti Professor for the Humanities; Undergraduate Program Director (Philosophy)
Rory Smead is an associate professor of philosophy and the Ronald L. and Linda A. Rossetti Professor for the Humanities at Northeastern University. Smead’s research interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, logic and game theory. His current research is focused on the evolution of spite, costly behavior that harms others, as well as the emergence of social conventions and ethical behavior.
Nominated for Northeastern’s “Excellence in Teaching” Award in 2011, 2012 and 2014
- Fulker, Z., Forber, P., Smead, R., Riedl, C. (2021). Spite is contagious in dynamic networks. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-9.
- Smead, R. & Forber, P. (2020).* Convention and the Origins of Ownership. Philosophy of Science, 87(5), 884-896, https://doi.org/10.1086/710626.
- Foley, M., Forber P., Smead, R., Riedl C. (2018), “Conflict and Convention in Dynamic Networks,” Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 15(140), 20170835.
- Smead, R. and Forber P.* (2016), “The Coevolution of Recognition and Social Behavior,” Scientific Reports, 6. DOI: 10.1038/srep25813.
- Forber, P. and Smead, R.* (2016), “The Evolution of Spite, Recognition, and Morality,” Philosophy of Science, 83: 884-896.
- Forber, P. and Smead, R.* (2015), “Evolution and the Classification of Social Behavior,” Biology and Philosophy, 30(3), 405-421.
- Smead, R. (2015), “The Role of Social Interaction in the Evolution of Learning,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 66: 161-180.
- Smead, R. (2014), “Deception and the Evolution of Plasticity,” Philosophy of Science, 81(5): 852-865.
- Smead, R., Sandler, R., Forber, P., and Basl, J. (2014), “A Bargaining Game Analysis of International Climate Negotiations,” Nature Climate Change, 4(6):442-445.
- Forber, P. and Smead, R.* (2014), “The Evolution of Fairness Through Spite,” Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 281: 20132439.
- Forber, P. and Smead, R.* (2014), “An Evolutionary Paradox for Pro-Social Behavior,” Journal of Philosophy, 111(3): 151-166.
- Smead, R. and Forber, P.* (2013), “The Evolutionary Dynamics of Spite in Finite Populations,” Evolution, 67(3): 698-707.
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Related Research Centers
Ph.D., Logic and Philosophy of Science
University of California, Irvine
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and by appointment
Ethics and Evolutionary Games
Surveys the basic ideas and principles from evolutionary game theory and how they can be applied to philosophical questions about ethical and social norms. Investigates how cooperation evolves and is maintained; where our sense of fairness comes from and how it affects the way we interact with others; why individuals are altruistic; and whether there is a rational basis for our most basic social norms. Basic ethical norms can involve cooperation, altruism, mutual aid, fairness, coordination, and communication.
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