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Profile: Christopher Stephens (University of British Columbia)
  1. Christopher Lee Stephens (2011). A Bayesian Approach to Absent Evidence Reasoning. Informal Logic 31 (1):56-65.
    Normal 0 0 1 85 487 UBC 4 1 598 11.773 0 0 0 Under what conditions is the failure to have evidence that p evidence that p is false? Absent evidence reasoning is common in many sciences, including astronomy, archeology, biology and medicine. An often-repeated epistemological motto is that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Analysis of absent evidence reasoning usually takes place in a deductive or frequentist hypothesis-testing framework. Instead, I develop a Bayesian analysis of (...)
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  2. Christopher Stephens (2010). Forces and Causes in Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):716-727.
  3. Christopher Stephens (2005). What Can Evolutionary Theory Teach Us About Human Nature? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (1):221-232.
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  4. Christopher Stephens (2005). Strong Reciprocity and the Comparative Method. Analyse and Kritik 27 (1):97-105.
    Ernst Fehr and his collaborators have argued that traditional explanations of human cooperation cannot account for strong reciprocity. They provide substantial empirical evidence that strong reciprocity is an important phenomenon that cannot be explained by the traditional models of kin selection or reciprocal altruism. In this note, however, I argue that it will be di cult to test speci c adaptive explanations of strong reciprocity because it is apparently unique to humans. Consequently, it is di cult to employ the comparative (...)
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  5. Christopher Stephens (2004). Selection, Drift, and the “Forces” of Evolution. Philosophy of Science 71 (4):550-570.
    Recently, several philosophers have challenged the view that evolutionary theory is usefully understood by way of an analogy with Newtonian mechanics. Instead, they argue that evolutionary theory is merely a statistical theory. According to this alternate approach, natural selection and random genetic drift are not even causes, much less forces. I argue that, properly understood, the Newtonian analogy is unproblematic and illuminating. I defend the view that selection and drift are causes in part by attending to a pair of important (...)
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  6. Christopher Stephens & Mohan Matthen (eds.) (2004). Elsevier Handbook in Philosophy of Biology. Elsevier.
    This collection of 25 essays by leading researchers provides an overview of the state of the field.
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  7. Christopher L. Stephens (2001). When is It Selectively Advantageous to Have True Beliefs? Sandwiching the Better Safe Than Sorry Argument. Philosophical Studies 105 (2):161-189.
    Several philosophers have argued that natural selection will favor reliable belief formation; others have been more skeptical. These traditional approaches to the evolution of rationality have been either too sketchy or else have assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be equated with having a mind. Here I develop a new model to explore the functional utility of belief and desire formation mechanisms, and defend the claim that natural selection favors reliable inference methods in a broad, but not universal, range of circumstances.
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  8. Christopher L. Stephens, Janine Jones & What Could Turn Out (2001). Mary Kate Mcgowan/Privileging Properties 1–23 Crawford L. Elder/the Problem of Harmonizing Laws 25–41 Gary Ebbs/is Skepticism About Self-Knowledge Coherent? 43–58 David Braun/Russellianism and Prediction 59–105. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 105:309-310.
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  9. Brandon Fitelson, Christopher Stephens & Elliott Sober (1999). How Not to Detect Design: Critical Notice of The Design Inference by William A. Dembski. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 66 (3):472-488.
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  10. Christopher Stephens (1996). Modelling Reciprocal Altruism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):533-551.
    Biologists rely extensively on the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game to model reciprocal altruism. After examining the informal conditions necessary for reciprocal altruism, I argue that formal games besides the standard iterated Prisoner's Dilemma meet these conditions. One alternate representation, the modified Prisoner's Dilemma game, removes a standard but unnecessary condition; the other game is what I call a Cook's Dilemma. We should explore these new models of reciprocal altruism because they predict different stability characteristics for various strategies; for instance, I (...)
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  11. Charles D. Laughlin, John Mcmanus & Christopher D. Stephens (1981). A Model of Brain and Symbol. Semiotica 33 (3-4).
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