Finkelman explains what’s in a dinosaur name

Professor Leonard Finkelman, philosophyRemember all of the hard work you put into memorizing the dinosaurs’ names when you were five? Well, you’re not finished yet, says Leonard Finkelman, a Linfield College assistant professor of philosophy.

Finkelman will address the topic in “What, If Anything, is a Tyrannosaurus Rex?” on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.

The event will be live streamed and archived on Linfield Live, a Linfield facebook page.

He will discuss how, even though the fossils of dinosaurs have been named, the animals themselves are still nameless. Finkelman gives the example of a Tyrannosaurus Rex – it’s the name of rocks, but not the name of the animal whose bones became those rocks.

Finkelman received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2013. He specializes in the emerging field of the philosophy of paleontology, working on conceptual issues in extinction and the metaphysical background of dinosaur research. In addition to this research, he has written a number of outreach essays on a variety of topics including ethics, possible-world semantics and human nature.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month. For more information, call 503-883-2409.