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Probability as a guide to life

In David Papineau (ed.), The Roots of Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 217-243 (2003)

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  1. Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  • Review of Efficient Cognition: The Evolution of Representational Decision Making. [REVIEW]Justin Garson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):38.
    Why do some organisms rely on mental representations for making decisions? Why don’t we rely merely on direct mappings from perception to behavior? Armin W. Schulz’ book, Efficient Cognition: The Evolution of Representational Decision Making, offers a novel and empirically-informed perspective on a problem that has not received the amount of philosophical attention it deserves. In his view, representational decision making evolved because creatures that use it have enhanced cognitive and neurological efficiency. Here I provide an overview of the book’s (...)
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  • On Background: Using Two-Argument Chance.Kevin Nelson - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):165-186.
    I follow Hájek (Synthese 137:273–323, 2003c) by taking objective probability to be a function of two propositional arguments—that is, I take conditional probability as primitive. Writing the objective probability of q given r as P(q, r), I argue that r may be chosen to provide less than a complete and exact description of the world’s history or of its state at any time. It follows that nontrivial objective probabilities are possible in deterministic worlds and about the past. A very simple (...)
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