Henry Cowles

Henry Cowles's picture
Assistant Professor of History of Medicine, History, and Psychology
Sterling Hall of Medicine, Room L-218
333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06510-3206
Research Areas: 
Social and Human Sciences since 1800; Mind and Brain; Historical and Scientific Methodology; Pragmatism and Evolutionary Theory; Experimentation in Science, Medicine, and the Arts.


Henry Cowles is an historian of science and medicine in the United States and Great Britain. His work focuses on the social and human sciences and specifically on how issues like choice, authority, spontaneity, consumption, and method have come to be understood as matters of mind and brain since the nineteenth century. His research and teaching interests include psychology and psychiatry, scientific methodology, evolutionary theory, and experimentation in science, medicine, and the arts. He has also written on the concept of extinction and on the history of philosophy and teaches a range of courses, including “Minds and Brains in America,” “History of Addiction,” and “Medicine and the Human Sciences.” Recently, his work has been awarded the Walter D. Love Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies and the Emerging Scholars Prize of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association.

Selected Publications:

“The Age of Methods: William Whewell, Charles Peirce, and Scientific Kinds,’ Isis 107:4 (Dec., 2016): 722–37.

“Introduction” to Focus Section on “Bounded Rationality and the History of Science,” Isis 106:3 (Sept., 2015): 621-2.

“Hypothesis Bound: Trial and Error in the Nineteenth Century,” Isis 106:3 (Sept., 2015): 635–45.

“A Victorian Extinction: Alfred Newton and the Evolution of Animal Protection,” British Journal for the History of Science  46:4 (Dec. 2013): 695-714.


Ph.D., Princeton University, 2015

M.A., Princeton University, 2010

A.B., Harvard College, 2008