Andrea Sullivan-Clarke

Dr. Andrea Sullivan-Clarke

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Andrea Sullivan-Clarke (Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma) is a Native American philosopher whose research focuses on the philosophy of science, particularly the social dimension of knowledge creation. In her dissertation, Analogical Reasoning and Scientific Practice: The Problem of Ingrained Analogy, Dr. Sullivan-Clarke presents a potential problem that arises when scientific communities indiscriminately rely on analogies as part of their practice. Dead metaphors pose an epistemic threat to science. When the analogies underwriting such metaphors are taken for granted, it affects the interpretation as well as the relevancy of data. To mitigate the problem of an ingrained analogy, Dr. Sullivan-Clarke offers scientific communities a set of strategies, which promote a robust critique of a community's metaphors and decrease the likelihood of an analogy becoming ingrained.

Dr. Sullivan-Clarke is a first-generation college student who holds a PhD (2015) and MA (2009) from the University of Washington, and a BA (1999) from Oklahoma State University, all in Philosophy.

She was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at DePauw University, where she taught Feminism and Science, Native American Philosophy, and Ethical Issues in Indian Country. There, she was awarded a Diversity and Inclusion Grant from the American Philosophical Association to develop the Inclusive Summer High School Institute for Philosophy (ISHIP) at DePauw’s Prindle Institute for Ethics. In the summer of 2017, 18 high school students from across the United States participated in the weeklong program, which introduces the benefits of philosophy to high school juniors from social groups underrepresented in the discipline.

An alumnus of American University’s Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS), Dr. Sullivan-Clarke previously interned at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the office of the Director of Tribal Affairs Group.

A member of the Wind clan of the Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma, Dr. Sullivan-Clarke is also interested in topics relevant to Indian Country, such as identity, sovereignty, and mixed-race contributions to knowledge production. She is the chair of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Native American and Indigenous Philosophies.

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