Year:

Forthcoming articles
  1. Jordan Bartol (forthcoming). Biochemical Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu046.
    Chemical kinds (e.g. gold) are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds (e.g. goldfinches) are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This paper defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which–namely, evolutionarily conserved units–are also biological kinds.On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be resolved or dissolved.
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  2. Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter (forthcoming). Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv003.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how Woodward’s theory can be adapted in such a way that (...)
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  3. Vincent Bergeron (forthcoming). Functional Independence and Cognitive Architecture. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv005.
    In cognitive science, the concept of dissociation has been central to the functional individuation and decomposition of cognitive systems. Setting aside debates about the legitimacy of inferring the existence of dissociable systems from behavioral dissociation data, the main idea behind the dissociation approach is that two cognitive systems are dissociable, and therefore viewed as distinct, if each can be damaged, or impaired, without affecting the other system’s functions. In this paper, I propose a notion of functional independence that does not (...)
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  4. Lisa Bortolotti (forthcoming). Epistemic Benefits of Elaborated and Systematised Delusions in Schizophrenia. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper I ask whether elaborated and systematised delusions emerging in the context of schizophrenia have the potential for epistemic innocence. I define epistemic innocence as the status of those cognitions that have significant epistemic benefits that could not be attained otherwise. In particular, I propose that a cognition is epistemically innocent if it delivers some significant epistemic benefit to a given agent at a given time; and if alternative cognitions delivering the same epistemic benefit are unavailable to that (...)
     
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  5. Darren Bradley (forthcoming). Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty: Reply to Wilson. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt042.
    In Bradley ([2011b]), I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics (EQM). I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson ([forthcoming]) agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s ([2000]) thirder argument on Sleeping (...)
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  6. Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson (forthcoming). Counterfactual Desirability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability maximising. We (...)
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  7. Cameron Buckner (forthcoming). Transitional Gradation in the Mind: Rethinking Psychological Kindhood. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv020.
    I here critique the application of the traditional, similarity-based account of natural kinds to debates in psychology. A challenge to such accounts of kindhood—familiar from the study of biological species—is a metaphysical phenomenon that I call ‘transitional gradation’: the systematic progression of slightly modified transitional forms between related candidate kinds. Where such gradation proliferates, it renders the selection of similarity criteria for kinds arbitrary. Reflection on general features of learning—especially on the gradual revision of concepts throughout the acquisition of expertise—shows (...)
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  8. Sheldon J. Chow (forthcoming). Many Meanings of 'Heuristic'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu028.
    A survey of contemporary philosophical and scientific literatures reveals that different authors employ the term ``heuristic'' in ways that deviate from, and are sometimes inconsistent with, one another. Given its widespread use in philosophy and cognitive science generally, it is striking that there appears little concern for a clear account of what phenomena heuristics pick out or refer to. In response, I consider several accounts of ``heuristic'', and I draw a number of distinctions between different sorts of heuristics in order (...)
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  9. Christopher Clarke (forthcoming). Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv008.
    Do multi-level selection explanations of the evolution of social traits deepen the understanding provided by single-level explanations? Central to the former is a mathematical theorem, the multi-level Price decomposition. I build a framework through which to understand the explanatory role of such non-empirical decompositions in scientific practice. Applying this general framework to the present case places two tasks on the agenda. The first task is to distinguish the various ways of suppressing within-collective variation in fitness, and moreover to evaluate their (...)
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  10. Michael E. Cuffaro (forthcoming). On the Significance of the Gottesman-Knill Theorem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    According to the Gottesman-Knill theorem, quantum algorithms which utilise only the operations belonging to a certain restricted set are efficiently simulable classically. Since some of the operations in this set generate entangled states, it is commonly concluded that entanglement is insufficient to enable quantum computers to outperform classical computers. I argue in this paper that this conclusion is misleading. First, the statement of the theorem (that the particular set of quantum operations in question can be simulated using a classical computer) (...)
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  11. Shamik Dasgupta (forthcoming). Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu049.
    Symmetries in physics are a guide to reality. That much is well known. But what is less well known is why symmetry is a guide to reality. What justifies inferences that draw conclusions about reality from premises about symmetries? I argue that answering this question reveals that symmetry is an epistemic notion twice over. First, these inferences must proceed via epistemic lemmas: premises about symmetries in the first instance justify epistemic lemmas about our powers of detection, and only from those (...)
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  12. Santiago Echeverri (forthcoming). Indexing the World? Visual Tracking, Modularity, and the Perception-Cognition Interface. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu033.
    Research in vision science, developmental psychology, and the foundations of cognitive science has led some theorists to posit referential mechanisms similar to indices. This hypothesis has been framed within a Fodorian conception of the early vision module. The article shows that this conception is mistaken, for it cannot handle the ‘interface problem’—roughly, how indexing mechanisms relate to higher cognition and conceptual thought. As a result, I reject the inaccessibility of early vision to higher cognition and make some constructive remarks on (...)
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  13. L. R. Franklin-Hall (forthcoming). High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist's 'Variables Problem'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu040.
    The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward (2003), has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, as (...)
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  14. Sean Gryb & Karim P. Y. Thébault (forthcoming). Time Remains. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv009.
    On one popular view, the general covariance of gravity implies that change is relational in a strong sense, such that all it is for a physical degree of freedom to change is for it to vary with regard to a second physical degree of freedom. At a quantum level, this view of change as relative variation leads to a fundamentally timeless formalism for quantum gravity. Here, we will show how one may avoid this acute ‘problem of time’. Under our view, (...)
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  15. Stephan Hartmann & Matteo Colombo (forthcoming). Bayesian Cognitive Science, Unification and Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    It is often claimed that the greatest value of the Bayesian framework in cognitive science consists in its unifying power. Several Bayesian cognitive scientists assume that unification is obviously linked to explanatory power. But this link is not obvious, as unification in science is a heterogeneous notion, which may have little to do with explanation. While a crucial feature of most adequate explanations in cognitive science is that they reveal aspects of the causal mechanism that produces the phenomenon to be (...)
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  16. J. Christopher Jenson (forthcoming). The Belief Illusion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv006.
    I offer a new argument for the elimination of ‘beliefs’ from cognitive science based on Wimsatt’s concept of robustness and a related concept of fragility. Theoretical entities are robust if multiple independent means of measurement produce invariant results in detecting them. Theoretical entities are fragile when multiple independent means of detecting them produce highly variant results. I argue that sufficiently fragile theoretical entities do not exist. Recent studies in psychology show radical variance between what self-report and non-verbal behaviour indicate about (...)
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  17. Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel (forthcoming). The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The central aim of this paper is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena (i.e. of phenomena that are explained in constitutive mechanistic explanations). After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as (...)
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  18. David Ludwig (forthcoming). Indigenous and Scientific Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The aim of this article is to discuss the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds on the basis of contemporary ethnobiological research. I argue that ethnobiological accounts of taxonomic convergence-divergence patters challenge common philosophical models of the relation between folk concepts and natural kinds. Furthermore, I outline a positive model of taxonomic convergence-divergence patterns that is based on Slater's [2014] notion of “stable property clusters” and Franklin-Hall's [2014] discussion of natural kinds as “categorical bottlenecks.” Finally, I argue that this model (...)
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  19. Dana Matthiessen (forthcoming). Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv011.
    It is argued that once biological systems reach a certain level of complexity, mechanistic explanations provide an inadequate account of many relevant phenomena. In this article, I evaluate such claims with respect to a representative programme in systems biological research: the study of regulatory networks within single-celled organisms. I argue that these networks are amenable to mechanistic philosophy without need to appeal to some alternate form of explanation. In particular, I claim that we can understand the mathematical modelling techniques of (...)
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  20. Cailin O'Connor (forthcoming). Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  21. Matthew Parrott (forthcoming). Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu036.
    The Capgras delusion is a condition in which a person believes that an imposter has replaced some close friend or relative. Recent theorists have appealed to Bayesianism to help explain both why a subject with the Capgras delusion adopts this delusional belief and why it persists despite counter-evidence. The Bayesian approach is useful for addressing these questions; however, the main proposal of this essay is that Capgras subjects also have a delusional conception of epistemic possibility, more specifically, they think more (...)
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  22. Ronald J. Planer (forthcoming). Are Genetic Representations Read in Development? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu043.
    The status of genes as bearers of semantic content remains very much in dispute among philosophers of biology. In a series of papers, Nicholas Shea has argued that his ‘infotel’ theory of semantics vindicates the claim that genes carry semantic content. On Shea’s account, each organism is associated with a ‘developmental system’ that takes genetic representations as inputs and produces whole-organism traits as outputs. Moreover, at least in his most recent work on the topic, Shea is explicit in claiming that (...)
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  23. Juha Saatsi (forthcoming). On Explanations From 'Geometry of Motion'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from "geometry of motion" with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
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  24. Eran Tal (forthcoming). Making Time: A Study in the Epistemology of Measurement. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu037.
    This article develops a model-based account of the standardization of physical measurement, taking the contemporary standardization of time as its central case-study. To standardize the measurement of a quantity, I argue, is to legislate the mode of application of a quantity-concept to a collection of exemplary artefacts. Legislation involves an iterative exchange between top-down adjustments to theoretical and statistical models regulating the application of a concept, and bottom-up adjustments to material artefacts in light of remaining gaps. The model-based account clarifies (...)
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  25. A. Vicente & F. Martinez Manrique (forthcoming). The Big Concepts Paper: A Defence of Hybridism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu022.
    The renewed interest in concepts and their role in psychological theorizing is partially motivated by Machery’s claim that concepts are so heterogeneous that they have no explanatory role. Against this, pluralism argues that there is multiplicity of different concepts for any given category, while hybridism argues that a concept is constituted by a rich common representation. This article aims to advance the understanding of the hybrid view of concepts. First, we examine the main arguments against hybrid concepts and conclude that, (...)
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  26. Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martínez-Manrique (forthcoming). The Big Concepts Paper: A Defence of Hybridism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu022.
    The renewed interest in concepts and their role in psychological theorizing is partially motivated by Machery’s claim that concepts are so heterogeneous that they have no explanatory role. Against this, pluralism argues that there is multiplicity of different concepts for any given category, while hybridism argues that a concept is constituted by a rich common representation. This paper aims to advance the understanding of the hybrid view of concepts. First, we examine the main arguments against hybrid concepts, and conclude that, (...)
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  27. Brad Weslake (forthcoming). A Partial Theory of Actual Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    One part of the true theory of actual causation is a set of conditions responsible for eliminating all of the non-causes of an effect that can be discerned at the level of counterfactual structure. I defend a proposal for this part of the theory.
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  28. G. Betz (forthcoming). Truth in Evidence and Truth in Arguments Without Logical Omniscience. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv015.
    Science advances by means of argument and debate. Based on a formal model of complex argumentation, this article assesses the interplay between evidential and inferential drivers in scientific controversy, and explains, in particular, why both evidence accumulation and argumentation are veritistically valuable. By improving the conditions for applying veritistic indicators , novel evidence and arguments allow us to distinguish true from false hypotheses more reliably. Because such veritistic indicators also underpin inductive reasoning, evidence accumulation and argumentation enhance the reliability of (...)
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  29. L. Casini (forthcoming). Can Interventions Rescue Glennan's Mechanistic Account of Causality? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv014.
    Glennan appeals to interventions to solve the ontological and explanatory regresses that threaten his mechanistic account of causality . I argue that Glennan’s manoeuvre fails. The appeal to interventions is not able to address the ontological regress, and it blocks the explanatory regress only at the cost of making the account inapplicable to non-modular mechanisms. I offer a solution to the explanatory regress that makes use of dynamic Bayesian networks. My argument is illustrated by a case study from systems biology, (...)
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  30. M. P. Cohen (forthcoming). On Three Measures of Explanatory Power with Axiomatic Representations. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv017.
    Jonah N. Schupbach and Jan Sprenger and Vincenzo Crupi and Katya Tentori have recently proposed measures of explanatory power and have shown that they are characterized by certain arguably desirable conditions or axioms. I further examine the properties of these two measures, and a third measure considered by I. J. Good and Timothy McGrew . This third measure also has an axiomatic representation. I consider a simple coin-tossing example in which only the Crupi–Tentori measure does not perform well. The Schupbach–Sprenger (...)
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  31. C. Glymour & C. Hanson (forthcoming). Reverse Inference in Neuropsychology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv019.
    Reverse inference in cognitive neuropsychology has been characterized as inference to ‘psychological processes’ from ‘patterns of activation’ revealed by functional magnetic resonance or other scanning techniques. Several arguments have been provided against the possibility. Focusing on Machery’s presentation, we attempt to clarify the issues, rebut the impossibility arguments, and propose and illustrate a strategy for reverse inference. 1 The Problem of Reverse Inference in Cognitive Neuropsychology2 The Arguments2.1 The anti-Bayesian argument3 Patterns of Activation4 Reverse Inference Practiced5 Seek and Ye Shall (...)
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  32. E. Kummerfeld & K. J. S. Zollman (forthcoming). Conservatism and the Scientific State of Nature. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv013.
    Those who comment on modern scientific institutions are often quick to praise institutional structures that leave scientists to their own devices. These comments reveal an underlying presumption that scientists do best when left alone—when they operate in what we call the ‘scientific state of nature’. Through computer simulation, we challenge this presumption by illustrating an inefficiency that arises in the scientific state of nature. This inefficiency suggests that one cannot simply presume that science is most efficient when institutional control is (...)
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  33. Kenneth Aizawa & Carl Gillett (forthcoming). Multiple Realization and Methodology in Neuroscience and Psychology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  34. A. Ariew, C. Rice & Y. Rohwer (forthcoming). Autonomous-Statistical Explanations and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt054.
    Shapiro and Sober claim that Walsh, Ariew, Lewens, and Matthen give a mistaken, a priori defense of natural selection and drift as epiphenomenal. Contrary to Shapiro and Sober’s claims, we first argue that WALM’s explanatory doctrine does not require a defense of epiphenomenalism. We then defend WALM’s explanatory doctrine by arguing that the explanations provided by the modern genetical theory of natural selection are ‘autonomous-statistical explanations’ analogous to Galton’s explanation of reversion to mediocrity and an explanation of the diffusion ofgases. (...)
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  35. Jody Azzouni & Otávio Bueno (forthcoming). True Nominalism: Referring Versus Coding. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv004.
    One major motivation for nominalism, at least according to Hartry Field, is the desirability of intrinsic explanations: explanations that don’t invoke objects that are causally irrelevant to the phenomena being explained. There is something right about the search for such explanations. But that search must be carefully implemented. Nothing is gained if, to avoid a certain class of objects, one only introduces other objects and relations that are just as nominalistically questionable. We will argue that this is the case for (...)
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  36. Tudor M. Baetu (forthcoming). The ‘Big Picture’: The Problem of Extrapolation in Basic Research. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv018.
    Both clinical research and basic science rely on the epistemic practice of extrapolation from surrogate models, to the point that explanatory accounts presented in review papers and biology textbooks are in fact composite pictures reconstituted from data gathered in a variety of distinct experimental setups. This raises two new challenges to previously proposed mechanistic-similarity solutions to the problem of extrapolation: one pertaining to the absence of mechanistic knowledge in the early stages of research and the second to the large number (...)
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  37. A. Baker (forthcoming). Christopher Pincock * Mathematics and Scientific Representation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu010.
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  38. Y. Balashov & M. Janssen (forthcoming). Presentism and Relativity, Http:/Philsci-Archive. Pitt. Edu, Forthcoming In. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  39. Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen (forthcoming). Forthcoming.“Presentism and Relativity.”. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  40. T. W. Barrett (forthcoming). On the Structure of Classical Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu005.
    The standard view is that the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics are theoretically equivalent. Jill North , however, argues that they are not. In particular, she argues that the state-space of Hamiltonian mechanics has less structure than the state-space of Lagrangian mechanics. I will isolate two arguments that North puts forward for this conclusion and argue that neither yet succeeds. 1 Introduction2 Hamiltonian State-space Has less Structure than Lagrangian State-space2.1 Lagrangian state-space is metrical2.2 Hamiltonian state-space is symplectic2.3 Metric (...)
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  41. R. W. Batterman (forthcoming). Lawrence Sklar Philosophy and the Foundations of Dynamics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu011.
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  42. R. Bishop & Leonard A. Smith (forthcoming). Beyond the Shadow Lies Doubt. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
     
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  43. P. Bourrat (forthcoming). How to Read 'Heritability' in the Recipe Approach to Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu015.
    There are two ways evolution by natural selection is conceptualized in the literature. One provides a ‘recipe’ for ENS incorporating three ingredients: variation, differences in fitness, and heritability. The other provides formal equations of evolutionary change and partitions out selection from other causes of evolutionary changes such as transmission biases or drift. When comparing the two approaches there seems to be a tension around the concept of heritability. A recent claim has been made that the recipe approach is flawed and (...)
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  44. M. Colombo (forthcoming). For a Few Neurons More: Tractability and Neurally Informed Economic Modelling. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu013.
    There continues to be significant confusion about the goals, scope, and nature of modelling practice in neuroeconomics. This article aims to dispel some such confusion by using one of the most recent critiques of neuroeconomic modelling as a foil. The article argues for two claims. First, currently, for at least some economic model of choice behaviour, the benefits derivable from neurally informing an economic model do not involve special tractability costs. Second, modelling in neuroeconomics is best understood within Marr’s three-level (...)
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  45. Charles Wesley Cowan & Roderich Tumulka (forthcoming). Epistemology of Wave Function Collapse in Quantum Physics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu038.
    Among several possibilities for what reality could be like in view of the empirical facts of quantum mechanics, one is provided by theories of spontaneous wave function collapse, the best known of which is the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory. We show mathematically that in GRW theory there are limitations to knowledge, that is, inhabitants of a GRW universe cannot find out all the facts true of their universe. As a specific example, they cannot accurately measure the number of collapses that a given (...)
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  46. A. Currie (forthcoming). Melinda Fagan Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu032.
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  47. Radin Dardashti, Karim P. Y. Thébault & Eric Winsberg (forthcoming). Confirmation Via Analogue Simulation: What Dumb Holes Could Tell Us About Gravity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv010.
    In this article we argue for the existence of ‘analogue simulation’ as a novel form of scientific inference with the potential to be confirmatory. This notion is distinct from the modes of analogical reasoning detailed in the literature, and draws inspiration from fluid dynamical ‘dumb hole’ analogues to gravitational black holes. For that case, which is considered in detail, we defend the claim that the phenomena of gravitational Hawking radiation could be confirmed in the case that its counterpart is detected (...)
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  48. Matthias Egg (forthcoming). Expanding Our Grasp: Causal Knowledge and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu025.
    I argue that scientific realism, insofar as it is only committed to those scientific posits of which we have causal knowledge, is immune to Kyle Stanford’s argument from unconceived alternatives. This causal strategy is shown not to repeat the shortcomings of previous realist responses to Stanford’s argument. Furthermore, I show that the notion of causal knowledge underlying it can be made sufficiently precise by means of conceptual tools recently introduced into the debate on scientific realism. Finally, I apply this strategy (...)
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  49. B. Feintzeig (forthcoming). Hidden Variables and Incompatible Observables in Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu017.
    This article takes up a suggestion that the reason we cannot find certain hidden variable theories for quantum mechanics, as in Bell’s theorem, is that we require them to assign joint probability distributions on incompatible observables. These joint distributions are problematic because they are empirically meaningless on one standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. Some have proposed getting around this problem by using generalized probability spaces. I present a theorem to show a sense in which generalized probability spaces can’t serve as (...)
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  50. Samuel C. Fletcher (forthcoming). Similarity, Topology, and Physical Significance in Relativity Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu044.
    Stephen Hawking, among others, has proposed that the topological stability of a property of space-time is a necessary condition for it to be physically significant. What counts as stable, however, depends crucially on the choice of topology. Some physicists have thus suggested that one should find a canonical topology, a single ‘right’ topology for every inquiry. While certain such choices might be initially motivated, some little-discussed examples of Robert Geroch and some propositions of my own show that the main candidates—and (...)
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  51. S. Friederich (forthcoming). Symmetry, Empirical Equivalence, and Identity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt046.
    The article proposes a novel approach to the much discussed question of which symmetries have ‘direct empirical significance’ and which do not. The approach is based on a development of a recently proposed framework by Hilary Greaves and David Wallace, who claim that, contrary to the standard folklore among philosophers of physics, ‘local’ symmetries may have direct empirical significance no less than ‘global’ ones. Partly vindicating the standard folklore, a result is derived here from a number of plausible assumptions, that (...)
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  52. Greg Gandenberger (forthcoming). A New Proof of the Likelihood Principle. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt039.
    I present a new proof of the likelihood principle that avoids two responses to a well-known proof due to Birnbaum ([1962]). I also respond to arguments that Birnbaum’s proof is fallacious, which if correct could be adapted to this new proof. On the other hand, I urge caution in interpreting proofs of the likelihood principle as arguments against the use of frequentist statistical methods. 1 Introduction2 The New Proof3 How the New Proof Addresses Proposals to Restrict Birnbaum’s Premises4 A Response (...)
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  53. C. Glymour (forthcoming). Probability and the Explanatory Virtues. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt051.
    Recent literature in philosophy of science has addressed purported notions of explanatory virtues—‘explanatory power’, ‘unification’, and ‘coherence’. In each case, a probabilistic relation between a theory and data is said to measure the power of an explanation, or degree of unification, or degree of coherence. This essay argues that the measures do not capture cases that are paradigms of scientific explanation, that the available psychological evidence indicates that the measures do not capture judgements of explanatory power, and, finally, that the (...)
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  54. David W. Harker (forthcoming). How to Split a Theory: Scientific Realism and a Defence of Convergence Without Proximity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  55. E. Irvine (forthcoming). Model-Based Theorizing in Cognitive Neuroscience. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu034.
    Weisberg and Godfrey-Smith distinguish between two forms of theorizing: data-driven ‘abstract direct representation’ and modelling. The key difference is that when using a data-driven approach, theories are intended to represent specific phenomena and so directly represent them, while models may not be intended to represent anything and so represent targets indirectly, if at all. The aim here is to compare and analyse these practices, in order to outline an account of model-based theorizing that involves direct representational relationships. This is based (...)
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  56. S. John (forthcoming). Alex Broadbent Philosophy of Epidemiology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu019.
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  57. Elselijn Kingma (forthcoming). Situation-Specific Disease and Dispositional Function. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu041.
    In , I argued that Boorse's biostatistical theory of health is unable to accommodate diseases that are the normal result of harmful environments. Hausman disagrees: if the BST compares normal dispositional function against the whole population or reference class, rather than against organisms in similar circumstances as I proposed, then my challenge can be avoided. In this paper, I argue that Hausman's response fails: his proposal cannot accommodate a series of common physiological processes, such as sleep and those involved in (...)
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  58. Colin Klein (forthcoming). Consciousness, Intention, and Command-Following in the Vegetative State. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv012.
    Some vegetative state patients show fMRI responses similar to those of healthy controls when instructed to perform mental imagery tasks. Many authors have argued that this provides evidence that such patients are in fact conscious, as response to commands requires intentional agency. I argue for an alternative reading, on which responsive patients have a deficit similar to that seen in severe forms of akinetic mutism. Akinetic mutism is marked by the inability to form and maintain intentions to act. Responsive patients (...)
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  59. Kerry McKenzie (forthcoming). Stephen Mumford and Matthew Tugby Metaphysics and Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu050.
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  60. Gregory McWhirter (forthcoming). Behavioural Deception and Formal Models of Communication. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv001.
    Having a satisfactory definition of behavioural deception is important for understanding several types of evolutionary questions. No definition offered in the literature so far is adequate on all fronts. After identifying characteristics that are important for a definition, a new definition of behavioural deception is offered. The new definition, like some other proposed attempts, relies on formal game-theoretic models of signalling. Unlike others, it incorporates explicit consideration of the population in which the potentially deceptive interactions occur. The general structure of (...)
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  61. Samir Okasha (forthcoming). The Relation Between Kin and Multilevel Selection: An Approach Using Causal Graphs. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu047.
    Kin selection and multilevel selection are alternative approaches for studying the evolution of social behaviour, the relation between which has long been a source of controversy. Many recent theorists regard the two approaches as ultimately equivalent, on the grounds that gene frequency change can be correctly expressed using either. However, this shows only that the two are formally equivalent, not that they offer equally good causal representations of the evolutionary process. This article articulates the notion of an ‘adequate causal representation’ (...)
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  62. J. Otsuka (forthcoming). Causal Foundations of Evolutionary Genetics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu039.
    The causal nature of evolution is one of the central topics in the philosophy of biology. The issue concerns whether equations used in evolutionary genetics point to some causal processes or purely phenomenological patterns. To address this question the present article builds well-defined causal models that underlie standard equations in evolutionary genetics. These models are based on minimal and biologically plausible hypotheses about selection and reproduction, and generate statistics to predict evolutionary changes. The causal reconstruction of the evolutionary principles shows (...)
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  63. A. Paseau (forthcoming). Knowledge of Mathematics Without Proof. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu012.
    Mathematicians do not claim to know a proposition unless they think they possess a proof of it. For all their confidence in the truth of a proposition with weighty non-deductive support , they maintain that, strictly speaking, the proposition remains unknown until such time as someone has proved it. This article challenges this conception of knowledge, which is quasi-universal within mathematics. We present four arguments to the effect that non-deductive evidence can yield knowledge of a mathematical proposition. We also show (...)
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  64. C. Pincock (forthcoming). Abstract Explanations in Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu016.
    This article focuses on a case that expert practitioners count as an explanation: a mathematical account of Plateau’s laws for soap films. I argue that this example falls into a class of explanations that I call abstract explanations.explanations involve an appeal to a more abstract entity than the state of affairs being explained. I show that the abstract entity need not be causally relevant to the explanandum for its features to be explanatorily relevant. However, it remains unclear how to unify (...)
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  65. T. A. C. Reydon & M. Scholz (forthcoming). Searching for Darwinism in Generalized Darwinism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt049.
    While evolutionary thinking is increasingly becoming popular in fields of investigation outside the biological sciences, it remains unclear how helpful it is there and whether it actually yields good explanations of the phenomena under study. Here we examine the ontology of a recent approach to applying evolutionary thinking outside biology, the generalized Darwinism approach proposed by Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen. We examine the ontology of populations in biology and in GD, and argue that biological evolutionary theory sets ontological criteria (...)
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  66. Dean Rickles (forthcoming). Richard Dawid String Theory and the Scientific Method. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu051.
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  67. S. Sarkar (forthcoming). The Genomic Challenge to Adaptationism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu002.
    Since the late 1990s, the characterization of complete DNA sequences for a large and taxonomically diverse set of species has continued to gain in speed and accuracy. Sequence analyses have indicated a strikingly baroque structure for most eukaryotic genomes, with multiple repeats of DNA sequences and with very little of the DNA specifying proteins. Much of the DNA in these genomes has no known function. These results have generated strong interest in the factors that govern the evolution of genome architecture. (...)
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  68. W. Schwarz (forthcoming). Belief Update Across Fission. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu001.
    When an agent undergoes fission, how should the beliefs of the fission results relate to the pre-fission beliefs? This question is important for the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics, but it is of independent philosophical interest. Among other things, fission scenarios demonstrate that ‘self-locating’ information can affect the probability of uncentred propositions even if an agent has no essentially self-locating uncertainty. I present a general update rule for centred beliefs that gives sensible verdicts in cases of fission, without relying on (...)
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  69. M. H. Slater (forthcoming). Muhammad Ali khAlidi Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu021.
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  70. Ulrich E. Stegmann (forthcoming). Genetic Coding’ Reconsidered: An Analysis of Actual Usage. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv007.
    This article reconsiders the theoretical role of the genetic code. By drawing on published and unpublished sources from the 1950s, I analyse how the code metaphor was actually employed by the scientists who first promoted its use. The analysis shows that the term ‘code’ picked out mechanism sketches, consisting of more or less detailed descriptions of ordinary molecular components, processes, and structural properties of the mechanism of protein synthesis. The sketches provided how-possibly explanations for the ordering of amino acids by (...)
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  71. K. Sterelny (forthcoming). Cooperation, Culture, and Conflict. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu024.
    In this article I develop a big picture of the evolution of human cooperation, and contrast it to an alternative based on group selection. The crucial claim is that hominin history has seen two major transitions in cooperation, and hence poses two deep puzzles about the origins and stability of cooperation. The first is the transition from great ape social lives to the lives of Pleistocene cooperative foragers; the second is the stability of the social contract through the early Holocene (...)
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  72. Kim Sterelny (forthcoming). Review of Darwinism Evolving: System Dynamics and the Genealogy of Natural Selection. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
     
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  73. J. P. Studd (forthcoming). Abstraction Reconceived. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu035.
    Neologicists have sought to ground mathematical knowledge in abstraction. One especially obstinate problem for this account is the bad company problem. The leading neologicist strategy for resolving this problem is to attempt to sift the good abstraction principles from the bad. This response faces a dilemma: the system of ‘good’ abstraction principles either falls foul of the Scylla of inconsistency or the Charybdis of being unable to recover a modest portion of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with its intended generality. This article (...)
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  74. N. J. Teh (forthcoming). Gravity and Gauge. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu029.
    Philosophers of physics and physicists have long been intrigued by the analogies and disanalogies between gravitational theories and gauge theories. Indeed, repeated attempts to collapse these disanalogies have made us acutely aware that there are fairly general obstacles to doing so. Nonetheless, there is a special case space-time dimensions) in which gravity is often claimed to be identical to a gauge theory. I subject this claim to philosophical scrutiny in this article. In particular, I analyse how the standard disanalogies can (...)
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  75. Karim P. Y. Thébault (forthcoming). Quantization as a Guide to Ontic Structure. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu023.
    The ontic structural realist stance is motivated by a desire to do philosophical justice to the success of science, whilst withstanding the metaphysical undermining generated by the various species of ontological underdetermination. We are, however, as yet in want of general principles to provide a scaffold for the explicit construction of structural ontologies. Here we will attempt to bridge this gap by utilizing the formal procedure of quantization as a guide to ontic structure of modern physical theory. The example of (...)
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  76. N. Tosh (forthcoming). Finite Frequentism in a Big World. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu027.
    The view that chances are relative frequencies of occurrence within actual, finite reference classes has long been written off. I argue that it ought to be reconsidered. Focusing on non-deterministic chance, I defend a version of finite frequentism in which reference classmates are required to have qualitatively identical pasts. While my analysis can evade or resist several standard objections, it has a counterintuitive consequence: non-trivial chances entail the existence of past light cones that are perfect intrinsic duplicates. In mitigation, I (...)
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  77. E. O. Wagner (forthcoming). Conventional Semantic Meaning in Signalling Games with Conflicting Interests. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu006.
    Lewis signalling games are often used to explain how it is possible for simple agents to develop systems of conventional semantic meaning. In these games, all players obtain identical payoffs in every outcome. This is an unrealistic payoff structure, but it is often employed because it is thought that semantic meaning will not emerge if interests conflict. Here it is shown that not only is conventional meaning possible when interests conflict, but it is the most likely outcome in a finite (...)
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  78. Charlotte Werndl (forthcoming). On Defining Climate and Climate Change. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu048.
    The aim of the article is to provide a clear and thorough conceptual analysis of the main candidates for a definition of climate and climate change. Five desiderata on a definition of climate are presented: it should be empirically applicable; it should correctly classify different climates; it should not depend on our knowledge; it should be applicable to the past, present, and future; and it should be mathematically well-defined. Then five definitions are discussed: climate as distribution over time for constant (...)
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  79. Charlotte Werndl & Katie Siobhan Steele (forthcoming). Climate Models, Confirmation and Calibration. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We argue that concerns about double-counting -- using the same evidence both to calibrate or tune climate models and also to confirm or verify that the models are adequate --deserve more careful scrutiny in climate modelling circles. It is widely held that double-counting is bad and that separate data must be used for calibration and confirmation. We show that this is far from obviously true, and that climate scientists may be confusing their targets. Our analysis turns on a Bayesian/relative-likelihood approach (...)
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  80. J. H. Woodger (forthcoming). A Reply to Professor Haldane's "a Logical Basis for Genetics". British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Woodger discusses what he claims to be haldane's misunderstandings about his article "what do we mean by unborn?" these include primarily the structure of woodger's definitions. (staff).
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  81. Z. Yudell (forthcoming). Matteo Morganti Combining Science and Metaphysics: Contemporary Physics, Conceptual Revision, and Common Sense. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu042.
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