Department of Philosophy

Pierrick Bourrat

BSc Blaise Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand, Fr), Msc Montpellier (Fr), MA Paris, PhD SydneyPierrick Bourrat

Prior to coming to Australia, Pierrick was a research associate at the University of Oxford, working in the cognitive and evolutionary science of religion. Pierrick completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2015. In 2015-2016, he was an ARC postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at the University of Sydney. He was awarded a Macquarie University Research Fellowship in 2017.

Pierrick's main research interest is the philosophy of biology and more particularly the evolutionary side of it. His other areas of interest include the psychology of altruism, cultural evolution and the cognitive science of religion.

Pierrick has taught at the University of Sydney.

Current Research

Pierrick is currently working on his project on the origins and maintenance of individuality in evolution. This involves questions about levels of selection, heritability and reductionism.


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

1) Bourrat P., Lu Q. (Accepted) Dissolving the missing heritability problem. Philosophy of Science
2) Lu Q., Bourrat P.* (In press) The Evolutionary Gene and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (* Equal first authors)
3) Bourrat P. (2017) Explaining drift from a deterministic setting. Biological Theory, 12(1): 27-38
4) Lynch K.E. *, Bourrat P. * (2017) Interpreting Heritability Causally. Philosophy of Science, 84(1): 14-34  (* Equal first authors)
5) Bourrat P. (2016) Generalizing contextual analysis. Acta Biotheoretica, 64(2):197-217
6) Bourrat P. (2015) Distinguishing natural selection from other evolutionary processes in the evolution of altruism. Biological Theory, 10(4):311-321
7) Bourrat P. (2015) Levels, Time and Fitness in Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality. Philosophy and Theory in Biology, 7
8) Bourrat P. (2015) Levels of selection are artefacts of different temporal fitness measures. Ratio, 28(1): 40-50
9) Bourrat P. (2015) How to read "heritability" in the recipe approach to natural selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 66 (4): 883-903
10) Bourrat P. (2014) From survivors to replicators: Evolution by natural selection revisited. Biology and Philosophy, 29(4), 517-538
11) Atkinson Q.D.*, Bourrat P.* (2011) Beliefs about God, the afterlife and morality support the role of supernatural policing in human cooperation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32(1): 41-49  (* Equally first authors)
12) Viciana H., Bourrat P. (2011) Is God an adaptation? Review of Robert Wright's The Evolution of God, Little Brown, 2009. Philosophia,39(2): 397-408
13) Bourrat P., Atkinson Q.D., Dunbar R.I.M. (2011) Supernatural punishment and individual social compliance across cultures. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1(2): 119-134
14) Bourrat P., Baumard N., McKay R. (2011). Surveillance Cues Enhance Moral Condemnation. Evolutionary Psychology,  9(2): 193-199

Book Chapters

15) Bourrat P., Viciana H. (in press). "Supernatural Beliefs and the Evolution of Cooperation". in J. Liddle and T. Shackelford (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion. Oxford University Press
16) Bourrat P. (2015). "Origins and evolution of religion from a Darwinian point of view: synthesis of different theories". in T. Heams, P. Huneman, G. Lecointre & M. Silberstein (eds.) Handbook of evolutionary thinking in the sciences. Springer  (pp 761-779)
17) Duncan M.*, Bourrat P.*, DeBerardinis J. *, O'Malley M.A. (2013) "Small things, big consequences: microbiological perspectives on biology". in K. Kampourakis (eds.) Philosophical Issues in Biology Education. Springer (pp 373-394) (* Equal first authors)
18) Bourrat P. (2011) "L'évolution de la religion d'un point de vue darwinien : synthèse des différentes théories". in T. Heams, P. Huneman, G. Lecointre & M. Silberstein (eds.) Les mondes darwiniens. L'évolution de l'évolution, Editions Materiologiques (pp 1225-1258)

Book Reviews

19) Bourrat P. (in press). Review of Michaelis Michael's Evolution by Natural Selection : Confidence, Evidence and the Gap, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015

Encyclopedia Entries

20) Bourrat P. (2016) "Sélection Naturelle". L'encyclopédie Philosophique. Available at:


21) Bourrat P. (2013) "Testing more specific hypotheses and going beyond correlations in the origins and evolution of religious beliefs'. Comment on Ara Norenzayan's Book "Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict". International Cognition and Culture Institute

Contact Details

Location: Building W6A Room 726
Phone: (61 2) 9850 7688
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