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  1. A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
    The propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF) is commonly taken to be subject to a set of simple counterexamples. We argue that three of the most important of these are not counterexamples to the PIF itself, but only to the traditional mathematical model of this propensity: fitness as expected number of offspring. They fail to demonstrate that a new mathematical model of the PIF could not succeed where this older model fails. We then propose a new formalization of the PIF that (...)
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  2. How to Do Digital Philosophy of Science.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):930-941.
    Philosophy of science is expanding via the introduction of new digital data and tools for their analysis. The data comprise digitized published books and journal articles, as well as heretofore unpublished material such as images, archival text, notebooks, meeting notes, and programs. The growth in available data is matched by the extensive development of automated analysis tools. The variety of data sources and tools can be overwhelming. In this article, we survey the state of digital work in the philosophy of (...)
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  3. evoText: A new tool for analyzing the biological sciences.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:83-87.
    We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...)
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  4. Sameness in Biology.Grant Ramsey & Anne Siebels Peterson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):255-275.
    Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
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  5. Causal Inference from Noise.Nevin Climenhaga, Lane DesAutels & Grant Ramsey - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):152-170.
    "Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...)
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  6. What are the ‘levels’ in levels of selection?Markus Ilkka Eronen & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The levels of selection debate is generally taken to be a debate about how natural selection can occur at the various levels of biological organization. In this paper, we argue that questions about levels of selection should be analyzed separately from questions about levels of organization. In the deflationary proposal we defend, all that is necessary for multilevel selection is that there are cases in which particles are nested in collectives, and that both the collectives and the particles that compose (...)
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  7. The concepts and origins of cell mortality.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2023 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 45 (23):1-23.
    Organismal death is foundational to the evolution of life, and many biological concepts such as natural selection and life history strategy are so fashioned only because individuals are mortal. Organisms, irrespective of their organization, are composed of basic functional units—cells—and it is our understanding of cell death that lies at the heart of most general explanatory frameworks for organismal mortality. Cell death can be exogenous, arising from transmissible diseases, predation, or other misfortunes, but there are also endogenous forms of death (...)
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    The Manifold Challenges to Understanding Human Success.Hugh Desmond & Grant Ramsey - 2023 - In Hugh Desmond & Grant Ramsey (eds.), Human Success: Evolutionary Origins and Ethical Implications. Oxford University Press.
    Claims that our species is an “evolutionary success” typically do not feature prominently in academic articles. However, they do seem to be a recurring trope in science popularization. Why do we seem to be attracted to viewing human evolution through the lense of “success”? In this chapter we discuss how evolutionary success has both causal-descriptive and ethical-normative components, and how its ethical status is ambiguous, with possible hints of anthropocentrism. We also place the concept of “success” in a wider context (...)
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  9. Fitness: Philosophical Problems.Grant Ramsey & Charles Pence - 2013 - eLS.
    Fitness plays many roles throughout evolutionary theory, from a measure of populations in the wild to a central element in abstract theoretical presentations of natural selection. It has thus been the subject of an extensive philosophical literature, which has primarily centered on the way to understand the relationship between fitness values and reproductive outcomes. If fitness is a probabilistic or statistical quantity, how is it to be defined in general theoretical contexts? How can it be measured? Can a single conceptual (...)
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  10.  40
    Human Nature.Grant Ramsey - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Human nature is frequently evoked to characterize our species and describe how it differs from others. But how should we understand this concept? What is the nature of a species? Some take our nature to be an essence and argue that because humans lack an essence, they also lack a nature. Others argue for non-essentialist ways of understanding human nature, which usually aim to provide criteria for sorting human traits into one of two bins, the one belonging to our nature (...)
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  11. Elliott Sober, Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Essays on Darwin’s Theory. Amherst, NY: Prometheus (2011), 230 pp., $21.00. [REVIEW]Charles H. Pence, Hope Hollocher, Ryan Nichols, Grant Ramsey, Edwin Siu & Daniel John Sportiello - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):705-709.
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