Results for 'Elliott Sober'

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  1. Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman’s Theory and a Reply to an Old One.Roche William & Sober Elliott - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman makes (...)
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  2.  2
    Inference to the Best Explanation and the Screening-Off Challenge.William Roche & Elliott Sober - forthcoming - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy.
    We argue in Roche and Sober (2013) that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in that Pr(H | O&EXPL) = Pr(H | O), where H is a hypothesis, O is an observation, and EXPL is the proposition that if H and O were true, then H would explain O. This is a “screening-off” thesis. Here we clarify that thesis, reply to criticisms advanced by Lange (2017), consider alternative formulations of Inference to the Best Explanation, discuss a strengthened screening-off thesis, and consider (...)
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  3. Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency (...)
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  4. Fodor’s Bubbe Meise Against Darwinism.Elliott Sober - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (1):42-49.
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  5. Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon’s Zero Force Evolutionary Law.Martin Barrett, Hayley Clatterbuck, Michael Goldsby, Casey Helgeson, Brian McLoone, Trevor Pearce, Elliott Sober, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):723-735.
    In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.
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  6. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  7.  3
    Observation Selection Effects and Discrimination-Conduciveness.William Roche & Elliott Sober - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    We conceptualize observation selection effects (OSEs) by considering how a shift from one process of observation to another affects discrimination-conduciveness, by which we mean the degree to which possible observations discriminate between hypotheses, given the observation process at work. OSEs in this sense come in degrees and are causal, where the cause is the shift in process, and the effect is a change in degree of discrimination-conduciveness. We contrast our understanding of OSEs with others that have appeared in the literature. (...)
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  8.  86
    Freedom, Determinism, and Causality de Elliott Sober.Rodrigo Cid - 2010 - Filosofia Unisinos 11 (3):348-350.
    A primeira tese de Sober é que não podemos agir livremente, a não ser que o Argumento da Causalidade ou o Argumento da Inevitabilidade tenham alguma falha. O Argumento da Causalidade é o seguinte: nossos estados mentais causam movimentos corporais; mas nossos estados mentais são causados por fatores do mundo físico. Nossa personalidade pode ser reconduzida à nossa experiência e à nossa genética. E tanto a experiência quanto a genética foram causados por itens do mundo físico. Assim, o meio (...)
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  9. Butler's Stone.John J. Tilley - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4): 891–909.
    Early in the eleventh of his Fifteen Sermons, Joseph Butler advances his best-known argument against psychological hedonism. Elliott Sober calls that argument Butler’s stone, and famously objects to it. I consider whether Butler’s stone has philosophical value. In doing so I examine, and reject, two possible ways of overcoming Sober’s objection, each of which has proponents. In examining the first way I discuss Lord Kames’s version of the stone argument, which has hitherto escaped scholarly attention. Finally, I (...)
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  10. How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between (...)
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  11. In Defense of a Causal Requirement on Explanation.Garrett Pendergraft - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 470.
    Causalists about explanation claim that to explain an event is to provide information about the causal history of that event. Some causalists also endorse a proportionality claim, namely that one explanation is better than another insofar as it provides a greater amount of causal information. In this chapter I consider various challenges to these causalist claims. There is a common and influential formulation of the causalist requirement – the ‘Causal Process Requirement’ – that does appear vulnerable to these anti-causalist challenges, (...)
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  12. Sober as a Judge.Gordon Belot - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):387-392.
    In Ockham's Razors: A User's Guide, Elliott Sober argues that parsimony considerations are epistemically relevant on the grounds that certain methods of model selection, such as the Akaike Information Criterion, exhibit good asymptotic behaviour and take the number of adjustable parameters in a model into account. I raise some worries about this form of argument.
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  13.  43
    William Paley.Logan Paul Gage - 2017 - In Paul Copan, I. I. I. Tremper Longman, Christopher L. Reese & Michael G. Strauss (eds.), Dictionary of Christianity and Science: The Definitive Reference for the Intersection of Christian Faith and Contemporary Science. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic. pp. 500.
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  14. Defending the Piggyback Principle Against Shapiro and Sober's Empirical Approach.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):151-168.
    Jaegwon Kim’s supervenience/exclusion argument attempts to show that non-reductive physicalism is incompatible with mental causation. This influential argument can be seen as relying on the following principle, which I call “the piggyback principle”: If, with respect to an effect, E, an instance of a supervenient property, A, has no causal powers over and above, or in addition to, those had by its supervenience base, B, then the instance of A does not cause E (unless A is identical with B). In (...)
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  15. Explanatoriness is Evidentially Irrelevant, or Inference to the Best Explanation Meets Bayesian Confirmation Theory.W. Roche & E. Sober - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):659-668.
    In the world of philosophy of science, the dominant theory of confirmation is Bayesian. In the wider philosophical world, the idea of inference to the best explanation exerts a considerable influence. Here we place the two worlds in collision, using Bayesian confirmation theory to argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant.
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  16.  83
    A Tapestry of Values: Response to My Critics.Kevin C. Elliott - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (11).
    This response addresses the excellent responses to my book provided by Heather Douglas, Janet Kourany, and Matt Brown. First, I provide some comments and clarifications concerning a few of the highlights from their essays. Second, in response to the worries of my critics, I provide more detail than I was able to provide in my book regarding my three conditions for incorporating values in science. Third, I identify some of the most promising avenues for further research that flow out of (...)
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  17.  22
    Betting Against the Zen Monk: On Preferences and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    According to the preference-centric approach to understanding partial belief, the connection between partial beliefs and preferences is key to understanding what partial beliefs are and how they’re measured. As Ramsey put it, the ‘degree of a belief is a causal property of it, which we can express vaguely as the extent to which we are prepared to act on it’ The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays, Routledge, Oxon, pp 156–198, 1931). But this idea is not as popular as (...)
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  18. Optimality Modeling and Explanatory Generality.Angela Potochnik - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):680-691.
    The optimality approach to modeling natural selection has been criticized by many biologists and philosophers of biology. For instance, Lewontin (1979) argues that the optimality approach is a shortcut that will be replaced by models incorporating genetic information, if and when such models become available. In contrast, I think that optimality models have a permanent role in evolutionary study. I base my argument for this claim on what I think it takes to best explain an event. In certain contexts, optimality (...)
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  19. Relational Desires and Empirical Evidence Against Psychological Egoism.Joshua May - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):39–58.
    Roughly, psychological egoism is the thesis that all of a person's intentional actions are ultimately self-interested in some sense; psychological altruism is the thesis that some of a person's intentional actions are not ultimately self-interested, since some are ultimately other-regarding in some sense. C. Daniel Batson and other social psychologists have argued that experiments provide support for a theory called the "empathy-altruism hypothesis" that entails the falsity of psychological egoism. However, several critics claim that there are egoistic explanations of the (...)
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  20.  50
    Comparativism and the Measurement of Partial Belief.Edward J. R. Elliott - manuscript
    Comparativism is the view that comparative beliefs (e.g., believing p to be more likely than q) are more fundamental than partial beliefs (e.g., believing p to some degree x), with the latter explicable as theoretical constructs designed to facilitate reasoning about patterns within systems of comparative beliefs that exist under special conditions. In this paper, I fi rst outline several varieties of comparativism, including two `Ramseyan' varieties which generalise the standard `probabilistic' approaches. I then provide a general critique that applies (...)
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  21. The Power of Humility in Sceptical Religion: Why Ietsism is Preferable to J. L. Schellenberg's Ultimism.James Elliott - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (1):97-116.
    J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...)
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  22. Psychological Altruism Vs. Biological Altruism: Narrowing the Gap with the Baldwin Effect.Mahesh Ananth - 2005 - Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):217-239.
    This paper defends the position that the supposed gap between biological altruism and psychological altruism is not nearly as wide as some scholars (e.g., Elliott Sober) insist. Crucial to this defense is the use of James Mark Baldwin's concepts of “organic selection”and “social heredity” to assist in revealing that the gap between biological and psychological altruism is more of a small lacuna. Specifically, this paper argues that ontogenetic behavioral adjustments, which are crucial to individual survival and reproduction, are (...)
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  23.  61
    Impossible Worlds and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    One response to the problem of logical omniscience in standard possible worlds models of belief is to extend the space of worlds so as to include impossible worlds. It is natural to think that essentially the same strategy can be applied to probabilistic models of partial belief, for which parallel problems also arise. In this paper, I note a difficulty with the inclusion of impossible worlds into probabilistic models. Under weak assumptions about the space of worlds, most of the propositions (...)
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  24.  52
    A Representation Theorem for Frequently Irrational Agents.Edward Elliott - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (5):467-506.
    The standard representation theorem for expected utility theory tells us that if a subject’s preferences conform to certain axioms, then she can be represented as maximising her expected utility given a particular set of credences and utilities—and, moreover, that having those credences and utilities is the only way that she could be maximising her expected utility. However, the kinds of agents these theorems seem apt to tell us anything about are highly idealised, being always probabilistically coherent with infinitely precise degrees (...)
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  25. Reasons, Dispositions, and Value.Aaron P. Elliott - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    In this paper, I will discuss an objection to Buck-Passing accounts of value, such as Reasons Fundamentalism. Buck-Passing views take value to be derivative of or reducible to reasons. The objection is that since there can be value in possible worlds in which there are no reasons, value must not be ontologically derivative of reasons. Thus, BP is false. In this paper, I show that by accepting a dispositionalist revision, BP can allow such worlds while maintaining that reasons are interestingly (...)
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  26. Distinguishing Ecological From Evolutionary Approaches to Transposable Elements.Stefan Linquist, Brent Saylor, Karl Cottenie, Tyler A. Elliott, Stefan C. Kremer & T. Ryan Gregory - 2013 - Biological Reviews 88 (3):573- 584.
    Considerable variation exists not only in the kinds of transposable elements (TEs) occurring within the genomes of different species, but also in their abundance and distribution. Noting a similarity to the assortment of organisms among ecosystems, some researchers have called for an ecological approach to the study of transposon dynamics. However, there are several ways to adopt such an approach, and it is sometimes unclear what an ecological perspective will add to the existing co-evolutionary framework for explaining transposon-host interactions. This (...)
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  27.  40
    Creating Scientific Controversies: Uncertainty and Bias in Science and Society, by David Harker.James Elliott - 2018 - Teaching Philosophy 41 (3):318-322.
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  28. A Structural Approach to Defining Units of Selection.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (3):395-418.
    The conflation of two fundamentally distinct issues has generated serious confusion in the philosophical and biological literature concerning the units of selection. The question of how a unit of selection of defined, theoretically, is rarely distinguished from the question of how to determine the empirical accuracy of claims--either specific or general--concerning which unit(s) is undergoing selection processes. In this paper, I begin by refining a definition of the unit of selection, first presented in the philosophical literature by William Wimsatt, which (...)
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  29. Philosophical Reflections on Darwin and Evolutionary Theory. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2012 - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27 (5):258.
    Few scientists are conscious of the distinc- tion between the logic of what they write and the rhetoric of how they write it. This is because we are taught to write scientific papers and books from a third-person per- spective, using as impersonal (and, almost inevitably, boring [1]) a style as possible. The first chapter in Elliott Sober’s new book examines the difference between Darwin’s logic and his rhetoric in The Origin, and manages to teach some interesting and (...)
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  30.  61
    Maimonides and Spinoza on the Knowledge of Good and Evil: A Reappraisal of W.Z. Harvey.James Elliott - 2017 - Iyyun 66 (3):258-269.
    In an unsung yet excellent paper, W.Z. Harvey set out to explain how both Maimonides and Spinoza have similarly problematic views on the nature of the knowledge of good and evil. In it, he proposed an answer to solving the problem. In the many decades since, debates surrounding this topic have flourished. A recent paper by Joshua Parens, his conclusions mark a distinction between Spinoza and Maimonides that threaten to undermine Harvey’s solution to the problem. I will argue that, although (...)
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  31.  27
    Being Wagner: The Triumph of the Will by Simon Callow (Review). [REVIEW]Richard Elliott - 2018 - Agonist - A Nietzsche Circle Journal 11:121 - 126.
    Review of Simon Callow's book, 'Being Wagner: The Triumph of the Will'.
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  32.  18
    The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious by Paul Katsafanas. [REVIEW]Richard Elliott - 2016 - Agonist - A Nietzsche Circle Journal 10:92 - 100.
    Review of The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious by Paul Katsafanas.
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  33.  45
    Snipping or Editing? Parsimony in the Chimpanzee Mind-Reading Debate.Kristin Andrews - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):377-386.
    on ). -/- Advice about how to move forward on the mindreading debate, particularly when it comes to overcoming the logical problem, is much needed in comparative psychology. In chapter 4 of his book Ockham’s Razors, Elliott Sober takes on the task by suggesting how we might uncover the mechanism that mediates between the environmental stimuli that is visible to all, and chimpanzee social behavior. I argue that Sober's proposed method for deciding between the behaivor-reading and mindreading (...)
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  34.  38
    Images. [REVIEW]James Elliott - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):628-634.
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  35.  39
    The Accidental Environmentalist: Elliott on Anthropocentric Indirect Arguments.Jennifer Mcerlean - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (3):283-285.
    In this brief piece, Jennifer McErlean comments on Kevin Elliott’s thesis that we should decrease or even cease philosophical efforts to build more inclusive biocentric ethical accounts and instead increase efforts to build indirect anthropocentric arguments. While McErlean agrees that it is sensible to marshal a multiplicity of standpoints to strengthen policies that protect the natural world, she disagrees that philosophers no longer need to consider whether nature has intrinsic value. Two specific criticisms are offered. One is that indirect (...)
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  36.  46
    Weaving Value Judgment Into the Tapestry of Science.Matthew J. Brown - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (10).
    I critically analyze Kevin Elliott’s A Tapestry of Values in order to tease out his views on the nature and status of values or value judgments in the text. I show there is a tension in Elliott’s view that is closely connected to a major lacuna in the philosophical literature on values in science: the need for a better theory of values.
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  37. The Myth of Cognitive Enhancement Drugs.Hazem Zohny - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):257-269.
    There are a number of premises underlying much of the vigorous debate on pharmacological cognitive enhancement. Among these are claims in the enhancement literature that such drugs exist and are effective among the cognitively normal. These drugs are deemed to enhance cognition specifically, as opposed to other non-cognitive facets of our psychology, such as mood and motivation. The focus on these drugs as cognitive enhancers also suggests that they raise particular ethical questions, or perhaps more pressing ones, compared to those (...)
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  38.  47
    Enhancement, Authenticity, and Social Acceptance in the Age of Individualism.Nicolae Morar & Daniel R. Kelly - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (1):51-53.
    Public attitudes concerning cognitive enhancements are significant for a number of reasons. They tell us about how socially acceptable these emerging technologies are considered to be, but they also provide a window into the ethical reasons that are likely to get traction in the ongoing debates about them. We thus see Conrad et al’s project of empirically investigating the effect of metaphors and context in shaping attitudes about cognitive enhancements as both interesting and important. We sketch what we suspect is (...)
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  39. Fundamental and Derivative Truths.J. R. G. Williams - 2010 - Mind 119 (473):103 - 141.
    This article investigates the claim that some truths are fundamentally or really true — and that other truths are not. Such a distinction can help us reconcile radically minimal metaphysical views with the verities of common sense. I develop an understanding of the distinction whereby Fundamentality is not itself a metaphysical distinction, but rather a device that must be presupposed to express metaphysical distinctions. Drawing on recent work by Rayo on anti-Quinean theories of ontological commitments, I formulate a rigourous theory (...)
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  40.  77
    From Tapestry to Loom: Broadening the Perspective on Values in Science.Heather Douglas - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (8).
    After raising some minor philosophical points about Kevin Elliott’s A Tapestry of Values (2017), I argue that we should expand on the themes raised in the book and that philosophers of science need to pay as much attention to the loom of science (i.e., the institutional structures which guide the pursuit of science) as the tapestry of science. The loom of science includes such institutional aspects as patents, funding sources, and evaluation regimes that shape how science gets pursued, and (...)
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  41.  32
    Adding to the Tapestry. [REVIEW]Janet A. Kourany - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (9).
    Kevin Elliott’s A Tapestry of Values is a terrific book, chock full of valuable case studies and incisive analyses. It aims to be useful not only to students of philosophy of science and the other areas of science studies but also to practicing scientists, policymakers, and the public at large—a tall order. And it succeeds admirably for many of these folks. In my comments I suggest what it would need for the rest.
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  42. Optimality Modeling in a Suboptimal World.Angela Potochnik - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):183-197.
    The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection (...)
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  43. C. I. Lewis: History and Philosophy of Logic.John Corcoran - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1):1-9.
    C. I. Lewis (I883-I964) was the first major figure in history and philosophy of logic—-a field that has come to be recognized as a separate specialty after years of work by Ivor Grattan-Guinness and others (Dawson 2003, 257).Lewis was among the earliest to accept the challenges offered by this field; he was the first who had the philosophical and mathematical talent, the philosophical, logical, and historical background, and the patience and dedication to objectivity needed to excel. He was blessed with (...)
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  44. Of Fish, Butterflies and Birds: Relativism and Nonrelative Valuation in the Zhuangzi.Robert Elliott Allinson - 2015 - Asian Philosophy 25 (3):238-252.
    I argue that the main theme of the Zhuangzi is that of spiritual transformation. If there is no such theme in the Zhuangzi, it becomes an obscure text with relativistic viewpoints contradicting statements and stories designed to lead the reader to a state of spiritual transformation. I propose to reveal the coherence of the deep structure of the text by clearly dividing relativistic statements designed to break down fixed viewpoints from statements, anecdotes, paradoxes and metaphors designed to lead the reader (...)
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  45. The Nature of Evolutionary Biology: At the Borderlands Between Historical and Experimental Science.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer.
    The scientific status of evolutionary theory seems to be more or less perennially under question. I am not referring here (just) to the silliness of young Earth creation- ism (Pigliucci 2002; Boudry and Braeckman 2010), or even of the barely more intel- lectually sophisticated so-called Intelligent Design theory (Recker 2010; Brigandt this volume), but rather to discussions among scientists and philosophers of science concerning the epistemic status of evolutionary theory (Sober 2010). As we shall see in what follows, this (...)
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  46. Circles Within a Circle: The Condition for the Possibility of Ethical Business Institutions Within a Market System. [REVIEW]Robert Elliott Allinson - 2004 - Journal of Business Ethics 53 (1-2):17-28.
    How can a business institution function as an ethical institution within a wider system if the context of the wider system is inherently unethical? If the primary goal of an institution, no matter how ethical it sets out to be, is to function successfully within a market system, how can it reconcile making a profit and keeping its ethical goals intact? While it has been argued that some ethical businesses do exist, e.g., Johnson and Johnson, the argument I would like (...)
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  47.  33
    “Spinoza on the Value of Humanity”.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Re-Evaluating the Value of Humanity.
    Spinoza is a hardcore realist about the nature of human beings and their desires, ambitions, and delusions. But he is neither a misanthrope nor in the business of glorifying the notion of a primal and innocent non-human nature. As he writes: Let the Satirists laugh as much as they like at human affairs, let the Theologians curse them, let Melancholics praise as much as they can a life that is uncultivated and wild, let them disdain men and admire the lower (...)
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  48.  32
    Constitutive Elements in Science Beyond Physics: The Case of the Hardy–Weinberg Principle.Michele Luchetti - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this paper, I present a new framework supporting the claim that some elements in science play a constitutive function, with the aim of overcoming some limitations of Friedman's (2001) account. More precisely, I focus on what I consider to be the gradualism implicit in Friedman's interpretation of the constitutive a priori, that is, the fact that it seems to allow for degrees of 'constitutivity'. I tease out such gradualism by showing that the constitutive character Friedman aims to track can (...)
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  49. Realism in the Desert.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Massimo Dell’Utri, Fabio Bacchini & Stefano Caputo (eds.), Realism and Ontology without Myths. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 16–31.
    Quine’s desert is generally contrasted with Meinong’s jungle, as a sober ontological alternative to the exuberant luxuriance that comes with the latter. Here I focus instead on the desert as a sober metaphysical alternative to the Aristotelian garden, with its tidily organized varieties of flora and fauna neatly governed by fundamental laws that reflect the essence of things and the way they can be, or the way they must be. In the desert there are no “natural joints”; all (...)
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  50. Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1025-1055.
    Do multi-level selection explanations of the evolution of social traits deepen the understanding provided by single-level explanations? Central to the former is a mathematical theorem, the multi-level Price decomposition. I build a framework through which to understand the explanatory role of such non-empirical decompositions in scientific practice. Applying this general framework to the present case places two tasks on the agenda. The first task is to distinguish the various ways of suppressing within-collective variation in fitness, and moreover to evaluate their (...)
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