Samir Okasha Bristol University
Contact
  • No contact info.

Affiliations
  • Faculty, Bristol University
  • DPhil, Oxford University, 1997.

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

blank
About me
Not much to say..
My works
75 items found.
Sort by:
  1. Samir Okasha, Population Genetics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.) (forthcoming). Proceedings of EPSA09. Springer.
  3. Samir Okasha (forthcoming). Darwin's Views on Group and Kin Selection: Comments on Elliott Sober's Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Studies:1-6.
    My comments will focus on the second and third chapters of Sober’s book (Sober 2011a), which explore Darwin’s ideas about altruism, group selection and kin selection (chapter two), and sex-ratio evolution (chapter three). Sober makes a persuasive argument for his main claim: that Darwin was a subtler thinker on these topics than he is often taken to be. While there is much that I admire in Sober’s lucid discussion, I will focus on points of disagreement. Readers should note that this (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Samir Okasha (2014). Emergent Group Traits, Reproduction, and Levels of Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):268-269.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Samir Okasha (2014). The Evolution of Bayesian Updating. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):745-757.
    An evolutionary basis for Bayesian rationality is suggested, by considering how natural selection would operate on an organism’s ‘policy’ for choosing an action depending on an environmental signal. It is shown that the evolutionarily optimal policy, as judged by the criterion of maximal expected reproductive output, is the policy that, for each signal, picks an action that maximizes conditional expected output given that signal. This suggests a possible route by which Bayes-rational creatures might have evolved.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Samir Okasha & Cédric Paternotte (2014). Adaptation, Fitness and the Selection-Optimality Links. Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):225-232.
    We critically examine a number of aspects of Grafen’s ‘formal Darwinism’ project. We argue that Grafen’s ‘selection-optimality’ links do not quite succeed in vindicating the working assumption made by behavioural ecologists and others—that selection will lead organisms to exhibit adaptive behaviour—since these links hold true even in the presence of strong genetic and developmental constraints. However we suggest that the selection-optimality links can profitably be viewed as constituting an axiomatic theory of fitness. Finally, we compare Grafen’s project with Fisher’s ‘fundamental (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Samir Okasha & Cedric Paternotte (2014). The Formal Darwinism Project: Editors' Introduction. Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):153-154.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Ellen Clarke & Samir Okasha (2013). 3 Species and Organisms: What Are the Problems? In Philippe Huneman & Frédéric Bouchard (eds.), From Groups to Individuals. Evolution and Emerging Individuality. Mit Press. 55.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  9. S. Okasha (2013). On a Flawed Argument Against the KK Principle. Analysis 73 (1):80-86.
    Externalists in epistemology often reject the KK principle – which says that if a person knows that p, then they know that they know that p. This paper argues that one standard argument against the KK principle that many externalists make is fallacious, as it involves illicit substitution into an intensional context. The fallacy is exposed and discussed.
    No categories
    Direct download (12 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Samir Okasha (2013). The Origins of Human Cooperation. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):873-878.
    Bowles and Gintis argue that recent work in behavioural economics shows that humans have other-regarding preferences, i.e., are not purely self-interested. They seek to explain how these preferences may have evolved using a multi-level version of gene-culture coevolutionary theory. In this review essay I critically examine their main arguments.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Samir Okasha (2012). Social Justice, Genomic Justice and the Veil of Ignorance: Harsanyi Meets Mendel. Economics and Philosophy 28 (1):43-71.
    John Harsanyi and John Rawls both used the veil of ignorance thought experiment to study the problem of choosing between alternative social arrangements. With his , Harsanyi tried to show that the veil of ignorance argument leads inevitably to utilitarianism, an argument criticized by Sen, Weymark and others. A quite different use of the veil-of-ignorance concept is found in evolutionary biology. In the cell-division process called meiosis, in which sexually reproducing organisms produce gametes, the chromosome number is halved; when meiosis (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. Samir Okasha (2012). Wynne-Edwards and the History of Group Selection. Metascience 21 (2):355-357.
    Wynne-Edwards and the history of group selection Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9613-6 Authors Samir Okasha, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TB UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
    No categories
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Samir Okasha & Ken Binmore (eds.) (2012). Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Cooperation and Strategic Behaviour. Cambridge University Press.
    No categories
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. Samir Okasha & Cedric Paternotte (2012). Group Adaptation, Formal Darwinism and Contextual Analysis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25 (6):1127–1139.
    We consider the question: under what circumstances can the concept of adaptation be applied to groups, rather than individuals? Gardner and Grafen (2009, J. Evol. Biol.22: 659–671) develop a novel approach to this question, building on Grafen's ‘formal Darwinism’ project, which defines adaptation in terms of links between evolutionary dynamics and optimization. They conclude that only clonal groups, and to a lesser extent groups in which reproductive competition is repressed, can be considered as adaptive units. We re-examine the conditions under (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. S. Okasha (2011). Experiment, Observation and the Confirmation of Laws. Analysis 71 (2):222-232.
  16. S. Okasha (2011). Theory Choice and Social Choice: Kuhn Versus Arrow. Mind 120 (477):83-115.
    Kuhn’s famous thesis that there is ‘no unique algorithm’ for choosing between rival scientific theories is analysed using the machinery of social choice theory. It is shown that the problem of theory choice as posed by Kuhn is formally identical to a standard social choice problem. This suggests that analogues of well-known results from the social choice literature, such as Arrow’s impossibility theorem, may apply to theory choice. If an analogue of Arrow’s theorem does hold for theory choice this would (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. Samir Okasha (2011). Biological Ontology and Hierarchical Organization: A Defence of Rank Freedom. In Brett Calcott & Kim Sterelny (eds.), The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited. Mit Press. 53--64.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. Samir Okasha (2011). Optimal Choice in the Face of Risk: Decision Theory Meets Evolution. Philosophy of Science 78 (1):83-104.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. Samir Okasha (2011). Précis of Evolution and the Levels of Selection. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):212-220.
    The ‘levels of selection’ question is one of the most fundamental in evolutionary biology, for it arises directly from the logic of Darwinism. As is well-known, the principle of natural selection is entirely abstract; it says that any entities satisfying certain conditions will evolve by natural selection, whatever those entities are. (These conditions are: variability, associated fitness differences, and heritability (cf. Lewontin 1970).) This fact, when combined with the fact that the biological world is hierarchically structured, i.e. smaller biological units (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. Samir Okasha (2011). Realismo e anti-realismo. Critica.
    No categories
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  21. Samir Okasha (2011). Reply to Sober and Waters. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):241-248.
    Elliott Sober and Ken Waters both raise interesting and difficult challenges for various aspects of the position I set out in Evolution and the Levels of the Selection. I am grateful to them for their penetrating criticisms of my work, and find myself in agreement with many of their points.
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  22. Michael Weisberg, Samir Okasha & Uskali Mäki (2011). Modeling in Biology and Economics. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):613-615.
  23. Samir Okasha (2010). Evolution and Directionality: Lessons From Fisher's Fundamental Theorem. In Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.), Epsa Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Springer. 187--196.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  24. Samir Okasha (2010). Replies to My Critics. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):425-431.
    This paper contains replies to the reviews of my book by Steven Downes, Massimo Pigliucci and Deborah Shelton & Rick Michod.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  25. Samir Okasha, Ken Binmore, Jonathan Grose & Cédric Paternotte (2010). Cooperation, Conflict, Sex and Bargaining. Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):257-267.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  26. Samir Okasha (2009). Causation in Biology. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. 707--725.
    No categories
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  27. Samir Okasha (2009). Individuals, Groups, Fitness and Utility: Multi-Level Selection Meets Social Choice Theory. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):561-584.
    In models of multi-level selection, the property of Darwinian fitness is attributed to entities at more than one level of the biological hierarchy, e.g. individuals and groups. However, the relation between individual and group fitness is a controversial matter. Theorists disagree about whether group fitness should always, or ever, be defined as total (or average) individual fitness. This paper tries to shed light on the issue by drawing on work in social choice theory, and pursuing an analogy between fitness and (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  28. Samir Okasha (2008). Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection—a Philosophical Analysis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):319-351.
    This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the ongoing controversy surrounding R.A. Fisher's famous ‘fundamental theorem’ of natural selection. The difference between the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ interpretations of the theorem is explained. I argue that proponents of the modern interpretation have captured Fisher's intended meaning correctly and shown that the theorem is mathematically correct, pace the traditional consensus. However, whether the theorem has any real biological significance remains an unresolved issue. I argue that the answer depends on whether we accept (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  29. Samir Okasha, Biological Altruism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  30. Samir Okasha (2007). Rational Choice, Risk Aversion, and Evolution. Journal of Philosophy 104 (5):217-235.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  31. Samir Okasha (2007). Re-Reading: Frank Jackson, 'Grue', Journal of Philosophy 5 (1975). Philosophical Papers 36 (3).
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  32. Samir Okasha (2007). Cultural Inheritance and Fisher's “Fundamental Theorem” of Natural Selection. Biological Theory 2 (3):290-299.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  33. Samir Okasha (2007). What Does Goodman's 'Grue' Problem Really Show? Philosophical Papers 36 (3):483-502.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  34. Samir Okasha (2006/2008). Evolution and the Levels of Selection. Oxford University Press.
    Does natural selection act primarily on individual organisms, on groups, on genes, or on whole species? The question of levels of selection - on which biologists and philosophers have long disagreed - is central to evolutionary theory and to the philosophy of biology. Samir Okasha's comprehensive analysis gives a clear account of the philosophical issues at stake in the current debate.
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  35. Samir Okasha (2006). The Levels of Selection Debate: Philosophical Issues. Philosophy Compass 1 (1):74–85.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  36. Samir Okasha (2005). Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):703-725.
    Group selection is one acknowledged mechanism for the evolution of altruism. It is well known that for altruism to spread by natural selection, interactions must be correlated; that is, altruists must tend to associate with one another. But does group selection itself require correlated interactions? Two possible arguments for answering this question affirmatively are explored. The first is a bad argument, for it rests on a product/process confusion. The second is a more subtle argument, whose validity (or otherwise) turns on (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  37. Samir Okasha (2005). Bayesianism and the Traditional Problem of Induction. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):181-194.
    Many philosophers argue that Bayesian epistemology cannot help us with the traditional Humean problem of induction. I argue that this view is partially but not wholly correct. It is true that Bayesianism does not solve Hume’s problem, in the way that the classical and logical theories of probability aimed to do. However I argue that in one important respect, Hume’s sceptical challenge cannot simply be transposed to a probabilistic context, where beliefs come in degrees, rather than being a yes/no matter.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  38. Samir Okasha (2005). Does Hume's Argument Against Induction Rest on a Quantifier-Shift Fallacy? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2):253–271.
    It is widely agreed that Hume's description of human inductive reasoning is inadequate. But many philosophers think that this inadequacy in no way affects the force of Hume's argument for the unjustifiability of inductive reasoning. I argue that this constellation of opinions contains a serious tension, given that Hume was not merely pointing out that induction is fallible. I then explore a recent diagnosis of where Hume's sceptical argument goes wrong, due to Elliott Sober. Sober argues that Hume committed a (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  39. Samir Okasha (2005). Introduction. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):931-932.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  40. Samir Okasha (2005). Multilevel Selection and the Major Transitions in Evolution. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1013-1025.
    A number of recent biologists have used multi-level selection theory to help explain the major transitions in evolution. I argue that in doing so, they have shifted from a ‘synchronic’ to a ‘diachronic’ formulation of the levels of selection question. The implications of this shift in perspective are explored, in relation to an ambiguity in the meaning of multi-level selection. Though the ambiguity is well-known, it has never before been discussed in the context of the major transitions.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  41. Samir Okasha (2005). Maynard Smith on the Levels of Selection Question. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):989-1010.
    The levels of selection problem was central to Maynard Smith’s work throughout his career. This paper traces Maynard Smith’s views on the levels of selection, from his objections to group selection in the 1960s to his concern with the major evolutionary transitions in the 1990s. The relations between Maynard Smith’s position and those of Hamilton and G.C. Williams are explored, as is Maynard Smith’s dislike of the Price equation approach to multi-level selection. Maynard Smith’s account of the ‘core Darwinian principles’ (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  42. Samir Okasha (2005). On Niche Construction and Extended Evolutionary Theory. Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):1-10.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  43. Samir Okasha (2005). Review of William F. Harms, Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (12).
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  44. Samir Okasha (2004). Multi-Level Selection, Covariance and Contextual Analysis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504.
    Two alternative statistical approaches to modelling multi-level selection in nature, both found in the contemporary biological literature, are contrasted. The simple covariance approach partitions the total selection differential on a phenotypic character into within-group and between-group components, and identifies the change due to group selection with the latter. The contextual approach partitions the total selection differential into different components, using multivariate regression analysis. The two approaches have different implications for the question of what constitutes group selection and what does not. (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  45. Samir Okasha (2004). The “Averaging Fallacy” and the Levels of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):167-184.
    This paper compares two well-known arguments in the units of selection literature, one due to , the other due to . Both arguments concern the legitimacy of averaging fitness values across contexts and making inferences about the level of selection on that basis. The first three sections of the paper shows that the two arguments are incompatible if taken at face value, their apparent similarity notwithstanding. If we accept Sober and Lewontin's criterion for when averaging genic fitnesses across diploid genotypes (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  46. Samir Okasha (2004). Wright on the Transmission of Support: A Bayesian Analysis. Analysis 64 (2):139–146.
  47. Noretta Koertge, Janet A. Kourany, Ronald N. Giere, Peter Gildenhuys, Thomas A. C. Reydon, Stéphanie Ruphy, Samir Okasha, Jaakko Hintikka & John Symons (2003). 10. Simulated Experiments: Methodology for a Virtual World Simulated Experiments: Methodology for a Virtual World (Pp. 105-125). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 70 (1).
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  48. S. Okasha (2003). Could Religion Be a Group-Level Adaptation of Homo Sapiens? - Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion and the Nature of Societydavid Sloan Wilson; University of Chicago Press, 2002, Pp. V+268, Price $25 Hardback, ISBN 0-226-90134-. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (4):699-705.
  49. S. Okasha (2003). Fodor on Cognition, Modularity, and Adaptationism. Philosophy of Science 70 (1):68-88.
    This paper critically examines Jerry Fodor's latest attacks on evolutionary psychology. Contra Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, Fodor argues (i) there is no reason to think that human cognition is a Darwinian adaptation in the first place, and (ii) there is no valid inference from adaptationism about the mind to massive modularity. However, Fodor maintains (iii) that there is a valid inference in the converse direction, from modularity to adaptationism, but (iv) that the language module is an exception to the (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  50. Samir Okasha (2003). Does the Concept of “Clade Selection” Make Sense? Philosophy of Science 70 (4):739-751.
    The idea that clades might be units of selection, defended by a number of biologists and philosophers of biology, is critically examined. I argue that only entities which reproduce, i.e. leave offspring, can be units of selection, and that a necessary condition of reproduction is that the offspring entity be able, in principle, to outlive its parental entity. Given that clades are monophlyetic by definition, it follows that clades do not reproduce, so it makes no sense to talk about a (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  51. Samir Okasha (2003). Probabilistic Induction and Hume's Problem: Reply to Lange. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):419–424.
    Marc Lange has criticized my assertion that relative to a Bayesian conception of inductive reasoning, Hume's argument for inductive scepticism cannot be run. I reply that the way in which Lange suggests one should run the Humean argument in a Bayesian framework ignores the fact that in Bayesian models of learning from experience, the domain of an agent's probability measure is exogenously determined. I also show that Lange is incorrect to equate probability distributions which 'support inductive inferences' with probability distributions (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  52. Samir Okasha (2003). Review of Philip Kitcher, In Mendel's Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (9).
  53. Samir Okasha (2003). Scepticism and its Sources. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):610–632.
    A number of recent philosophers, including Michael Williams, Barry Stroud and Donald Davidson, have argued that scepticism about the external world stems from the foundationalist assumption that sensory experience supplies the data for our beliefs about the world. In order to assess this thesis, I offer abrief characterisation of the logical form of sceptical arguments. I suggest that sceptical arguments rely on the idea that many of our beliefs about the world are ‘underdetermined’ by the evidence on which they are (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  54. Samir Okasha (2003). The Concept of Group Heritability. Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):445-461.
    This paper investigates the role of the concept of group heritability in group selection theory, in relation to the well-known distinction between type 1 and type 2 group selection (GS1 and GS2). I argue that group heritability is required for the operation of GS1 but not GS2, despite what a number of authors have claimed. I offer a numerical example of the evolution of altruism in a multi-group population which demonstrates that a group heritability coefficient of zero is perfectly compatible (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  55. Samir Okasha (2002). Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism. Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  56. Samir Okasha (2002). Genetic Relatedness and the Evolution of Altruism. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):138-149.
    In their recent book, Elliott Sober and David Wilson (1998) argue that evolutionary biologists have wrongly regarded kinship as the exclusive means by which altruistic behavior can evolve, at the expense of other mechanisms. I argue that Sober and Wilson overlook certain genetical considerations which suggest that kinship is likely to be a more powerful means for generating complex altruistic adaptations than the alternative mechanisms they propose.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  57. Samir Okasha (2002). How to Be a Selective Quinean. Dialectica 56 (1):37–47.
    No categories
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  58. Samir Okasha (2002). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
    What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the (...)
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  59. Samir Okasha (2002). Philosophical Theories of Probability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):151-156.
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  60. Samir Okasha (2002). Underdetermination, Holism and the Theory/Data Distinction. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):303-319.
    I examine the argument that scientific theories are typically 'underdetermined' by the data, an argument which has often been used to combat scientific realism. I deal with two objections to the underdetermination argument: (i) that the argument conflicts with the holistic nature of confirmation, and (ii) that the argument rests on an untenable theory/data dualism. I discuss possible responses to both objections, and argue that in both cases the proponent of underdetermination can respond in ways which are individually plausible, but (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  61. Samir Okasha (2001). Living Philosophers. Philosophy Now 33:51-51.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  62. Samir Okasha (2001). Verificationism, Realism and Scepticism. Erkenntnis 55 (3):371-385.
    Verificationism has often seemed attractive to philosophers because of its apparent abilityto deliver us from scepticism. However, I argue that purely epistemological considerationsprovide insufficient reason for embracing verificationism over realism. I distinguish twotypes of sceptical problem: those that stem from underdetermination by the actual data,and those that stem from underdetermination by all possible data. Verificationismevades problems of the second sort, but is powerless in the face of problems of the firstsort. But problems of the first sort are equally pressing. Furthermore, (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  63. Samir Okasha (2001). What Did Hume Really Show About Induction? Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):307-327.
  64. Samir Okasha (2001). “Which Processes Are Selection Processes?”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):548-549.
    I argue that population-level selection does not necessarily have to be invoked to explain the polymorphism at the MHC locus. I argue that the authors' attempt to model operant conditioning in Darwinian terms faces a serious problem. Depending on how many operant responses we take to comprise a sequence, different conclusions about whether or not evolution is occurring in an operant lineage will be reached.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  65. Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
    The group selection controversy is about whether natural selection ever operates at the level of groups, rather than at the level of individual organisms. Traditionally, group selection has been invoked to explain the existence of altruistic behaviour in nature. However, most contemporary evolutionary biologists are highly sceptical of the hypothesis of group selection, which they regard as biologically implausible and not needed to explain the evolution of altruism anyway. But in their recent book, Elliot Sober and David Sloan Wilson [1998] (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  66. S. Okasha (2000). Holism About Meaning and About Evidence: In Defence of W. V. Quine. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 52 (1):39-61.
    Holistic claims about evidence are a commonplace inthe philosophy of science; holistic claims aboutmeaning are a commonplace in the philosophy oflanguage. W. V. Quine has advocated both types ofholism, and argued for an intimate link between thetwo. Semantic holism may be inferred from theconjunction of confirmation holism andverificationism, he maintains. But in their recentbook Holism: a Shopper's Guide, Jerry Fodor andErnest Lepore (1992) claim that this inference isfallacious. In what follows, I defend Quine's argumentfor semantic holism from Fodor and Lepore'smulti-pronged (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  67. S. Okasha (2000). Review. Genetics and Reductionism. S Sarkar. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):181-185.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  68. S. Okasha (2000). Van Fraassen's Critique of Inference to the Best Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (4):691-710.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  69. Samir Okasha (2000). Bayes, Levi, and the Taxicabs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):693-693.
    Stanovich & West (S&W) are wrong to think that all “reject-the-norm” theorists simply wish to reduce the normative/descriptive gap. They have misunderstood Issac Levi's reasons for rejecting Tversky and Kahneman's normative assumptions in the “base-rate” experiments. In their discussion of the taxicab experiment, (S&W) erroneously claim that subjects' responses indicate whether they have reasoned in accordance with Bayesian principles or not.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  70. Samir Okasha (2000). The Explanation of Scientific Belief: Reply to W.E. Jones. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):305 – 306.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  71. Samir Okasha (2000). The Underdetermination of Theory by Data and the "Strong Programme" in the Sociology of Knowledge. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):283 – 297.
    Advocates of the "strong programme" in the sociology of knowledge have argued that, because scientific theories are "underdetermined" by data, sociological factors must be invoked to explain why scientists believe the theories they do. I examine this argument, and the responses to it by J.R. Brown (1989) and L. Laudan (1996). I distinguish between a number of different versions of the underdetermination thesis, some trivial, some substantive. I show that Brown's and Laudan's attempts to refute the sociologists' argument fail. Nonetheless, (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  72. Samir Okasha (1999). Epistemic Justification and Deductive Closure. Critica 31 (92):37 - 51.
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  73. Samir Okasha (1997). Laudan and Leplin on Empirical Equivalence. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):251-256.
    In this paper, I explore Larry Laudan's and Jarrett Leplin's recent claim that empirically equivalent theories may be differentially confirmed. I show that their attempt to prise apart empirical equivalence and epistemic parity commits them to two principles of confirmation that Hempel demonstrated to be incompatible.
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  74. Samir Okasha, Leplin on the Antirealist Argument for Underdetermination.
    No categories
    Translate to English
    |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  75. Andrew Hamilton, Samir Okasha & Jay Odenbaugh, Philosophy of Biology.
    Philosophy of biology is a vibrant and growing field. From initial roots in the metaphysics of species (Ghiselin, Hull), questions about whether biology has laws of nature akin to those of physics (Ruse, Hull), and discussions of teleology and function (Grene 1974, Brandon 1981), the field has grown since the 1970s to include a vast range of topics. Over the last few decades, philosophy has had an important impact on biology, partly through following the model of engagement with science that (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
Is this list right?