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Casey Helgeson
Pennsylvania State University
  1. Pattern as Observation: Darwin’s ‘Great Facts’ of Geographical Distribution.Casey Helgeson - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):337-351.
    Among philosophical analyses of Darwin’s Origin, a standard view says the theory presented there had no concrete observational consequences against which it might be checked. I challenge this idea with a new analysis of Darwin’s principal geographical distribution observations and how they connect to his common ancestry hypothesis.
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  2. Climate Change Assessments: Confidence, Probability and Decision.Richard Bradley, Casey Helgeson & Brian Hill - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):500–522.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC’s novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
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  3. Expert Judgment for Climate Change Adaptation.Erica Thompson, Roman Frigg & Casey Helgeson - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1110-1121.
    Climate change adaptation is largely a local matter, and adaptation planning can benefit from local climate change projections. Such projections are typically generated by accepting climate model outputs in a relatively uncritical way. We argue, based on the IPCC’s treatment of model outputs from the CMIP5 ensemble, that this approach is unwarranted and that subjective expert judgment should play a central role in the provision of local climate change projections intended to support decision-making.
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  4. 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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  5. There is No Asymmetry of Identity Assumptions in the Debate Over Selection and Individuals.Casey Helgeson - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (1):21-31.
    A long-running dispute concerns which adaptation-related explananda natural selection can be said to explain. At issue are explananda of the form: why a given individual organism has a given adaptation rather than that same individual having another trait. It is broadly agreed that one must be ready to back up a “no” answer with an appropriate theory of trans-world identity for individuals. I argue, against the conventional wisdom, that the same is true for a “yes” answer. My conclusion recasts the (...)
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    Towards Best Practice Framing of Uncertainty in Scientific Publications: A Review of Water Resources Research Abstracts.Joseph Guillaume, Casey Helgeson, Sondoss Elsawah, Anthony Jakeman & Matti Kummu - 2017 - Water Resources Research 53 (8).
    Uncertainty is recognized as a key issue in water resources research, amongst other sciences. Discussions of uncertainty typically focus on tools and techniques applied within an analysis, e.g. uncertainty quantification and model validation. But uncertainty is also addressed outside the analysis, in writing scientific publications. The language that authors use conveys their perspective of the role of uncertainty when interpreting a claim —what we call here “framing” the uncertainty. This article promotes awareness of uncertainty framing in four ways. 1) It (...)
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    The Confirmational Significance of Agreeing Measurements.Casey Helgeson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):721-732.
    Agreement between "independent" measurements of a theoretically posited quantity is intuitively compelling evidence that a theory is, loosely speaking, on the right track. But exactly what conclusion is warranted by such agreement? I propose a new account of the phenomenon's epistemic significance within the framework of Bayesian epistemology. I contrast my proposal with the standard Bayesian treatment, which lumps the phenomenon under the heading of "evidential diversity".
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