Selected Papers Jump to:
Topics in Philosophy of Science
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Philosophy of Evolutionary Theory
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Intelligent Design & Naturalism v. Supernaturalism




Topics in Philosophy of Science


"Why is simpler better?." Aeon, 3 May 2016.

"Is the Scientific Method a Myth?." Metode Science Studies Journal, 2015, 5: 195-199.

"Two Cornell Realisms: Moral and Scientific." Philosophical Studies, 2015, 172: 905-924.

(with Mike Steel) "Screening-Off and Causal Incompleteness: A No-Go Theorem." The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2012, 64(3): 513-550.

(with William Roche) "Explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant, or inference to the best explanation meets Bayesian confirmation theory." Analysis, 2013, 73(4): 659-668.

"Coincidences and How to Reason about Them." European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings, 2012, 1: 355-374.

(with Larry Shapiro) "Against Proportionality." Analysis, 2012, 72(1): 89-93.

"Anthropomorphism, Parsimony, and Common Ancestry." Mind and Language, 2012, 27: 229-238.

"Reichenbach's Cube and the Problem of the External World." Synthese, 2011, 181: 3-21.

(with Jordan Ellenberg) "Objective Probabilities in Number Theory." Philosophia Mathematica, 2011, 19: 308-322. 

"Why Philosophy of Science Matters to Science Education." A paper commissioned by the National Academies of Science NRC Board on Science Education (Committee on the Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Discipline Based Education Research).

(with Malcolm Forster) "AIC Scores as Evidence: A Bayesian Interpretation." In M. Forster and P. Bandyopadhyay (eds.), Philosophy of Statistics (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 7), 2011, Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 535-549.

"A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection." Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2011, 89: 571-589.

"Evolutionary Theory and the Reality of Macro Probabilities." In E. Eells and J. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science: In Honor of Ellery Eells (1953-2006)2010, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 133-162.

"Parsimony Arguments in Science and Philosophy—A Test Case for Naturalismp." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 2009, 83(2): 117-155.

"Parsimony and Models of Animal Minds." This paper was published in revised form in R. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds, 2009, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 237-257.

"Absence of evidence and evidence of absence: evidential transitivity in connection with fossils, fishing, fine-tuning, and firing squads." Philosophical Studies, 2009, 143: 63-90.

"Empiricism." In S. Psillos and M. Curd (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science, 2008, New York: Routledge, pp. 129-138.

"Evidence and Value Freedom." In H. Kinkaid, J. Dupré, and A. Wylie (eds.), Value-Free Science: Ideal or Illusion?, 2007, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 109-119.

(with Larry Shapiro) "Epiphenomenalism - the Dos and the Don'ts." In G. Wolters and P. Machamer (eds), Studies in Causality: Historical and Contemporary, 2007, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 235-264.

"Parsimony." in J. Pfeifer and S. Sarkar (ed.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia, 2006, New York: Routledge, pp. 531-538.

(with Malcolm Forster) "Why Likelihood?." In M. Taper and S. Lee (eds.), The Nature of Scientific Evidence, 2004Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 153-165. 

(with Christopher Hitchcock) "Prediction Versus Accommodation and the Risk of Overfitting." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2004, 55: 1-34.

"Likelihood, Model Selection, and the Duhem-Quine Problem." Journal of Philosophy, 2004, 101: 1-22.

"A Modest Proposal, a Review of John Earman's Hume's Abject Failure: the Miracles Argument." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2004, 118: 487-494.

(with Ken Burnham) "Akaike without Tears - a derivation of a special case of Akaike's Theorem (one that simplifies the proof)."

"An Empirical Critique of Two Versions of the Doomsday Argument: Gott's Line and Leslie's Wedge." Synthese, 2003, 135: 415-30.

"What is the Problem of Simplicity?." In A. Zellner, H. Keuzenkamp, and M. McAleer (eds.), Simplicity, Inference, and Modelling, 2002, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 13-32.

"Two Uses of Unification." in F. Stadler (ed.), Institute Vienna Circle Yearbook 2002, 2003, Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 205-216. 

"Instrumentalism, Parsimony, and the Akaike Framework." Philosophy of Science, 2002, 69: S112-S123.

"Bayesianism—Its Scope and Limits." in R. Swinburne (ed.), Bayes' Theorem, 2002, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 21-38.

"Venetian Sea Levels, British Bread Prices, and the Principle of the Common Cause." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2001, 52: 331-346.

"Quine's Two Dogmas." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2000, 74: 237-280.

"Testability." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 1999, 73: 47-76.

"Physicalism from a Probabilistic Point of View." Philosophical Studies, 1999, 95: 135-174.

"The Multiple Realizability Argument Against Reductionism." Philosophy of Science, 1999, 66: 542-564.

"Three Differences between Deliberation and Evolution." In P. Danielson (ed.), Modeling Rationality, Morality, and Evolution, 1998, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.408-422.

"To Give a Surprise Exam, Use Game Theory." Synthese, 1998, 115: 355-373. "Addendum" (to "To Give a Surprise Exam, Use Game Theory").

"Morgan's Canon." In C. Allen and D. Cummins (eds.), The Evolution of Mind, 1998, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.224-242. 

"Instrumentalism Revisited." Critica, 1999, 31: 3-38; short version in Proceedings of the 20th World Congress of Philosophy, Proceedings of the 20th World Congress of Philosophy, 2001, 10: 59-68.

"Black Box Inference: When Should an Intervening Variable be Postulated?British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1998, 49: 469-498.

(with Martin Barrett) "When and Why Does Entropy Increase?." In S. Savitt (ed.), Time's Arrow Today, 1995, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 230-258.

(with Martin Barrett) "The Second Law of Probability Dynamics." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1994, 45: 941-954.

(with Malcolm Forster) "How to Tell When Simpler, More Unified, or Less Ad Hoc Theories Will Provide More Accurate Predictions." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1994, 45:1-36.

"Contrastive Empiricism." In E. Sober, From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy, 1994, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 114-13.

(with Gregory Mougin) "Betting Against Pascal's Wager." Nous, 1994, 28: 382-395.

"Temporally Oriented Laws." Synthese, 1993, 94: 171-189.

"Mathematics and Indispensability." Philosophical Review, 1993, 102, 35-58.

(with Martin Barrett) "Conjunctive Forks and Temporally Asymmetric Inference." Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 1992, 70: 1-23.

"Explanation in Biology: Let's Razor Ockham's Razor." Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 1990, 27:73-93.

"Independent Evidence About A Common Cause.Philosophy of Science, 1989, 56: 275-287.

"The Philosophical Problem of Simplicity." In E. Sober, Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference, 1988, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 37-69.

"Likelihood and Convergence." Philosophy of Science, 1988, 55: 228-37.

"Apportioning Causal Responsibility." Journal of Philosophy, 1988, 85: 303-318.

"The Principle of the Common Cause." In J. Fetzer (ed.), Essays in Honor of Wesley Salmon, 1988,  Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 211-228.

"Confirmation and Law-Likeness." Philosophical Review, 1988, 97: 93-98.

"Explanatory Presupposition." Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 1986, 64: 143-149.

"A Plea For Pseudo-Processes.Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 1985, 66: 303-309.

"Methodological Behaviorism, Evolution, and Game Theory." In J. Fetzer (ed.), Sociobiology and Epistemology, 1985, DordrechtD.Reidel Publishing Company, pp. 181-200. 

"Two Concepts of Cause." PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 1984, 2: 405-24.



Philosophy of Evolutionary Theory

(with Mike Steel) "Similarities as Evidence for Common Ancestry: A Likelihood Epistemology." The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2015, 67: 1-22.

"Precis of "Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?" and Replies to commentators on Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?." Philosophical Studies, 2015, 172: 799-802; 829-840.

"Trait Fitness is not a Propensity, but Fitness Variation Is." Studies in History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2013, 44: 336-341.

(with Hayley Clatterbuck and Richard Lewontin) "Selection Never Dominates Drift (nor vice versa)." Biology and Philosophy, 2013, 28: 577-592. 

(with Mike Steel) "Time and Knowability in Evolutionary Processes." Philosophy of Science, 2014, 81: 537-557.

"Remarkable Facts: Ending Science as We Know It, a Review of Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos." Boston Review, 2012, (November/December 2012): pp. 50-55. A longer version, with footnotes, is here

"Précis of Evidence and Evolution: The Logic behind the Science and Responses to Fitelson, Sansom, and Sarkar.", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2011, 83: 661-665; 692-704.

(with Mike Steel) "Entropy Increase and Information Loss in Markov Models of Evolution." Biology and Philosophy, 2011, 26: 223-250.

"Learning from functionalism: prospects for strong artificial life." In M. Bedau, and C. E. Cleland (eds.),
The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives from Philosophy and Science, 2010, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 225-235.

(with David S. Wilson) "Adaptation and Natural Selection Revisited." Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2011, 24: 462-468.

(with Joel Velasco) "Testing for Treeness: lateral gene transfer, phylogenetic inference, and model selection." Biology and Philosophy, 2010, 25: 675-687.

"Natural Selection, Causation, and Laws: What Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini got Wrong." Philosophy of Science, 2010, 77: 594-607.

(with Mehmet Elgin) "Are There Laws in Biology? A Reply to DesAutels."

"Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?." Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2009, 106: 10048-10055; Spanish translation (¿Escribió Darwin el Origen al revés?) in Revista Filosofía Teorema, 2009, 28: 45-69.

"Darwin y la Selección de Grupo." Ludus Vitalis, 2009, 17: 101-143. 

"Fodor's Bubbe Meise Against Darwinism." Mind and Language, 2008, 23: 42-49.

"The Contest between Likelihood and Parsimony." Systematic Biology, 2004, 53: 644-653.

"Contingency or Inevitability? What would happen if the evolutionary tape were replayed?, a review of Simon Conway Morris's Life's Solution: Inevitable humans in a lonely universe." New York Times, 2003, (November 30).

(with Steven Hecht Orzack) "Common Ancestry and Natural Selection." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2003, 54: 423-437.

"Metaphysical and epistemological issues in modern Darwinian theory." In J. Hodge and G. Radick (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Darwin, 2003, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 267-287.

(with Mike Steel) "Testing the Hypothesis of Common Ancestry." Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2002, 218: 395-408.

"The Two Faces of Fitness." In R. Singh, D. Paul, C. Krimbas, and J. Beatty (eds.), Thinking about Evolution: Historical, Philosophical, and Political Perspectives, 2001, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.309-321.

"Separating Nature and Nurture." In D. Wasserman and R. Wachbroit (eds.), Genetics and Criminal Behavior. Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 47-78.

(with David S. Wilson) "Précis of Unto Others and Replies to Commentators (Barrett and Godfrey-Smith, Dennett, Jamieson, and Skyrms)." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 1999, 59: 681-684; 711-727.

"Two Outbreaks of Lawlessness in Recent Philosophy of Biology.Philosophy of Science, 1997, 64: S458-S467.

"Evolution and Optimality: Feathers, Bowling Balls, and the Thesis of Adaptationism." Council on Philosophic Exchange Annual, 1996, 26: 40-57. 

"Models of Cultural Evolution."  In P. Griffiths (ed.), Trees of Life: Essays in Philosophy of Biology (Australasian Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science), 1991, Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 17-38.

(with David S. Wilson) "A Critical Review of Philosophical Discussion of the Units of Selection Problem." Philosophy of Science, 1994, 61: 534-555.

"The Primacy of Truth Telling and the Evolution of Lying." In E. Sober, From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy, 1994, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 71-92.

"The Adaptive Advantage of Learning and A Priori Prejudice." In E. Sober, From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy, 1994, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 50-69.

(with Stephen Orzack) "A Critical Assessment of Levins's The Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology (1966)." The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1993, 68: 533-546.

"Organisms, Individuals, and Units of Selection." In A. Tauber (ed.), Organism and the Origin of Self, 1991, Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 273-96.

(with Martin Barrett and Michael Donoghue) "Against Consensus." Systematic Zoology, 1991, 40: 486-493. 

"What Is Evolutionary Altruism?." In B. Linsky and M. Matthen (eds.), New Essays on Philosophy and Biology (Canadian Journal of Philosophy Suppl. Vol. XIV), 1988, Calgary: University of Calgary Press, pp. 75-99.           [Turkish version]    [Portuguese version]



Intelligent Design and Naturalism v. Supernaturalism

"Why Methodological Naturalism?." In G. Aulette, M. LeClerc, and R. Martinez (eds.), Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories: A Critical Appraisal 150 Years after The Origin of Species, 2011, Rome: Gregorian Biblical Press, pp. 359-378.
    [Spanish version]

"Evolutionary Theory, Causal Completeness, and Theism: the Case of 'Guided' Mutation." In D. Walsh and P. Thompson (eds.), Evolutionary Biology: Conceptual, Ethical, and Religious Issues, 2014, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 31-44.

"Evolution without Naturalism." In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion: Volume 3, 2011, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 187-221.

"What Is Wrong with Intelligent Design?." Quarterly Review of Biology, 2007, 82: 3-8.

"Sex Ratio Theory, Ancient and Modern: An Eighteenth-Century Debate about Intelligent Design and the Development of Models in Evolutionary Biology." In J. Riskin (ed.), Genesis Redux – Essays on the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life, 2007, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 131-162.

"Intelligent Design and the Supernatural: the 'God or Extraterrestrials' Reply." Faith and Philosophy, 2007, 24: 72-82.

"The Design Argument." An expanded version of a paper first published in W. Mann (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Religion, 2004, Malden: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 117-147.

"Intelligent Design and Probability Reasoning." International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 2002, 52: 65-80.

(with Branden Fitelson and Christopher Stephens) "Review: How Not to Detect Design, a Review of William Dembski's The Design Inference." Philosophy of Science, 1999, 66: 472-488.

(with Branden Fitelson) "Plantinga's Probability Arguments Against Evolutionary Naturalism." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 1998, 79: 115-129.