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Profile: Paul Davies (University of South Wales)
Profile: Paul Sheldon Davies (College of William and Mary)
  1. Paul Cw Davies (2006). The Physics of Downward Causation. In P. Davies & P. Clayton (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press
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  2.  6
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2016). Giving Reasons for What We Do. Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (1):135-144.
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  3.  64
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2000). Malfunctions. Biology and Philosophy 15 (1):19-38.
    A persistent boast of the historical approach to functions is that functional properties are normative. The claim is that a token trait retains its functional status even when it is defective, diseased, or damaged and consequently unable to perform the relevant task. This is because historical functional categories are defined in terms of some sort of historical success -- success in natural selection, typically -- which imposes a norm upon the performance of descendent tokens. Descendents thus are supposed to perform (...)
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  4. Paul Sheldon Davies (2006). The Physics of Downward Causation. In Philip Clayton & Paul Sheldon Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press
  5.  22
    Paul Davies (1977). The Physics of Time Asymmetry. University of California Press.
    The physics of time asymmetry has never been a single well-defined subject, but more a collection of consistency problems which arise in almost all branches ...
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  6.  54
    Paul Davies (2010). The Nature of the Laws of Physics and Their Mysterious Bio-Friendliness. In Science and Religion in Dialogue. Wiley-Blackwell 767--788.
    This chapter contains sections titled: * 1 The Universe Is Weirdly Fine-Tuned for Life * 2 The Cosmic Code * 3 The Concept of Laws * 4 Are the Laws Real? * 5 Does a Multiverse Explain the Goldilocks Enigma? * 6 Many Scientists Hate the Multiverse Idea * 7 Who Designed the Multiverse? * 8 If There Were a Unique Final Theory, God Would Be Redundant * 9 What Exists and What Doesn’t: Who or What Gets to Decide? * (...)
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  7.  57
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2000). The Nature of Natural Norms: Why Selected Functions Are Systemic Capacity Functions. Noûs 34 (1):85–107.
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  8.  43
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2009). Subjects of the World: Darwin's Rhetoric and the Study of Agency in Nature. The University of Chicago Press.
    Part one: A progressive orientation: naturalism as exploration -- The vividness of truth: Darwin's romantic rhetoric and the evolutionary framework -- Our most vexing problem: conceptual conservatism and conceptual imperialism -- Naturalism as exploration: the elements of reform -- Part two: The allure of agency: "purpose" in biology -- The real heart of Darwinian evolutionary biology -- A formative power of a self-propagating kind: natural purposes and the concept location project -- A persistent mode of understanding: the psychological power of (...)
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  9. Paul Davies, The Implications of a Cosmological Information Bound for Complexity, Quantum Information and the Nature of Physical Law.
    The finite age of the universe and the existence of cosmological horizons provides a strong argument that the observable universe represents a finite causal region with finite material and informational resources. A similar conclusion follows from the holographic principle. In this paper I address the question of whether the cosmological information bound has implications for fundamental physics. Orthodox physics is based on Platonism: the laws are treated as infinitely precise, perfect, immutable mathematical relationships that transcend the physical universe and remain (...)
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  10. Paul Davies, A Quantum Recipe for Life.
    One of the most influential physics books of the twentieth century was actually about biology. In a series of lectures, Erwin Schrödinger described how he believed that quantum mechanics, or some variant of it, would soon solve the riddle of life. These lectures were published in 1944 under the title What is life? and are credited by some as ushering in the age of molecular biology. In the nineteenth century, many scientists thought they knew the answer to Schrödinger’s rhetorical question. (...)
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  11.  43
    Paul Sheldon Davies (1996). Discovering the Functional Mesh: On the Methods of Evolutionary Psychology. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (4):559-585.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify and critically assess the methods of evolutionary psychology, and offer a sketch of an alternative methodology. My thesis is threefold. (1) The methods of inquiry unique to evolutionary psychology rest upon the claim that the discovery of theadaptive functions of ancestral psychological capacities leads to the discovery of thepsychological functions of those ancestral capacities. (2) But this claim is false; in fact, just the opposite is true. We first must discover the psychological (...)
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  12.  30
    Pauls Heldon Davies (1996). Books Reviews. Mind 105 (418):337-341.
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  13. Paul Davies (1994). The Mind of God. Science and Society 58 (2):233-237.
     
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  14.  60
    Paul Sheldon Davies (1995). 'Defending' Direct Proper Functions. Analysis 55 (4):299 - 306.
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  15. Paul Davies, How Bio-Friendly is the Universe ?
    : The oft-repeated claim that life is ‘ written into ’ the laws of nature is examined and criticised. Arguments are given in favour of life spreading between near-neighbour planets in rocky impact ejecta (transpermia), but against panspermia, leading to the conclusion that if life is indeed found to be widespread in the universe, some form of life principle or biological determinism must be at work in the process of biogenesis. Criteria for what would constitute a credible life principle are (...)
     
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  16.  82
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2009). Some Evolutionary Model or Other: Aspirations and Evidence in Evolutionary Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):83 – 97.
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  17. Paul Davies (2004). The Fifth Miracle. Zygon 39 (1):261 - 265.
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  18.  38
    Paul Sheldon Davies (1994). Troubles for Direct Proper Functions. Noûs 28 (3):363-381.
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  19.  50
    Paul Davies (2002). How Far Can the Generalized Second Law Be Generalized? Foundations of Physics 32 (12):1877-1889.
    Jacob Bekenstein's identification of black hole event horizon area with entropy proved to be a landmark in theoretical physics. In this paper we trace the subsequent development of the resulting generalized second law of thermodynamics (GSL), especially its extension to incorporate cosmological event horizons. In spite of the fact that cosmological horizons do not generally have well-defined thermal properties, we find that the GSL is satisfied for a wide range of models. We explore in particular the case of an asymptotically (...)
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  20. Felisa Wolfe-Simon & Paul C. W. Davies, Did Nature Also Choose Arsenic ?
    : All known life requires phosphorus (P) in the form of inorganic phosphate (PO43x or Pi) and phosphate-containing organic molecules. Pi serves as the backbone of the nucleic acids that constitute genetic material and as the major repository of chemical energy for metabolism in polyphosphate bonds. Arsenic (As) lies directly below P on the periodic table and so the two elements share many chemical properties, although their chemistries are sufficiently dissimilar that As cannot directly replace P in modern biochemistry. Arsenic (...)
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  21.  44
    Paul Sheldon Davies (1996). Preface: Evolutionary Theory in Cognitive Psychology. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (4):445-462.
  22.  15
    Paul Davies (1994). Being Faithful to Impossibility. Southern Journal of Philosophy 32 (Supplement):19-25.
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  23.  49
    Paul Davies (1998). Sincerity and the End of Theodicy: Three Remarks on Levinas and Kant. Research in Phenomenology 28 (1):126-151.
  24. Paul Sheldon Davies (2009). Conceptual Conservatism : The Case of Normative Functions. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press
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  25.  17
    Paul Sheldon Davies, James H. Fetzer & Thomas R. Foster (1995). Logical Reasoning and Domain Specificity. Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):1-37.
    The social exchange theory of reasoning, which is championed by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, falls under the general rubric evolutionary psychology and asserts that human reasoning is governed by content-dependent, domain-specific, evolutionarily-derived algorithms. According to Cosmides and Tooby, the presumptive existence of what they call cheater-detection algorithms disconfirms the claim that we reason via general-purpose mechanisms or via inductively acquired principles. We contend that the Cosmides/Tooby arguments in favor of domain-specific algorithms or evolutionarily-derived mechanisms fail and that the notion (...)
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  26.  37
    Paul Davies (2005). Asymmetry and Transcendence: On Scepticism and First Philosophy. Research in Phenomenology 35 (1):118-140.
    In attempting to re-think the notion of asymmetry and its relations with 'first philosophy' and to see how that notion is tracked by the provocation of scepticism, the paper demonstrates something about the implications of Levinas' ethical asymmetry. The paper considers Levinas' tendency to introduce the topic of scepticism when confronted by the logical and textual difficulties that necessarily befall his account of the ethical relation. It argues that such an introduction commits Levinas to the claim: first philosophy entails a (...)
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  27. Paul C. W. Davies, Carol E. Cleland & Christopher P. McKay, Signatures of a Shadow Biosphere.
    Astrobiologists are aware that extraterrestrial life might differ from known life, and considerable thought has been given to possible signatures associated with weird forms of life on other planets. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to the possibility that our own planet might also host communities of weird life. If life arises readily in Earth-like conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have formed many times on Earth itself, which raises the question whether one or (...)
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  28. Derek Abbott & Paul C. W. Davies, Order From Disorder: The Role of Noise in Creative Processes. A Special Issue On Game Theory And.
    The importance of applying game theory to the evolution of information in the presence of noise has recently become widely recognized. This Special Issue addresses the theme of spontaneously emergent order in both classical and quantum systems subject to external noise, and includes papers directly related to game theory or the development of supporting techniques. In the following editorial overview we examine the broader context of the subject, including the tension between the destructive and creative aspects of noise, and foreshadow (...)
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  29.  11
    Paul Davies (1991). Telling Tales: Notes on Heidegger's “Career,” the “Heidegger Affair,” and the Assumptions of Narrativity. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 14 (2/1):267-293.
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  30. Paul Davies, Detecting the Rotating Quantum Vacuum.
    We derive conditions for rotating particle detectors to respond in a variety of bounded spacetimes and compare the results with the folklore that particle detectors do not respond in the vacuum state appropriate to their motion. Applications involving possible violations of the second law of thermodynamics are briefly addressed.
     
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  31.  10
    Paul Davies (1994). Commentary: Being Faithful to Impossibility. Southern Journal of Philosophy 32 (S1):19-25.
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  32. Paul Davies, The Origin of Life I: When and Where Did It Begin?
    For decades most scientists assumed that life emerged billions of years ago in a “primordial soup” somewhere on the Earth’s surface. Evidence is mounting, however, that life may have begun deep beneath the surface, perhaps near a volcanic ocean vent or even inside the hot crust itself. Since there are hints that life’s history on Earth extends back through the phase of massive cosmic bombardment, it may be that life started on Mars and came here later, perhaps inside rocks ejected (...)
     
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  33.  31
    Paul Sheldon Davies (1997). Deflating Consciousness: A Critical Review of Fred Dretske's Naturalizing the Mind. Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):541-550.
    Fred Dretske asserts that the conscious or phenomenal experiences associated with our perceptual states—e.g. the qualitative or subjective features involved in visual or auditory states—are identical to properties that things have according to our representations of them. This is Dretske's version of the currently popular representational theory of consciousness . After explicating the core of Dretske's representational thesis, I offer two criticisms. I suggest that Dretske's view fails to apply to a broad range of mental phenomena that have rather distinctive (...)
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  34.  25
    Paul Davies (1988). Difficult Friendship. Research in Phenomenology 18 (1):149-172.
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  35. Paul Davies, Quantum Mechanics and the Equivalence Principle.
    A quantum particle moving in a gravitational field may penetrate the classically forbidden region of the gravitational potential. This raises the question of whether the time of flight of a quantum particle in a gravitational field might deviate systematically from that of a classical particle due to tunnelling delay, representing a violation of the weak equivalence principle. I investigate this using a model quantum clock to measure the time of flight of a quantum particle in a uniform gravitational field, and (...)
     
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  36. Paul C. W. Davies, Was Mars the Cradle of Life?
    The problem of life’s origin remains one of the great outstanding challenges to science. Ever since Charles Darwin mused about a “warm little pond” incubating life beneath sunny primeval skies, scientists have speculated about the exact location of this transforming event. Nearly a century and a half later, we remain almost completely ignorant of the physical processes that led from a nonliving chemical mixture to the first autonomous organism. However, some progress at least has been made on tracking down where (...)
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  37. Paul Davies, Emergent Biological Principles and the Computational Properties of the Universe.
    T he term emergence is used to describe the appearance of new properties that arise when a system exceeds a certain level of size or complexity, properties that are absent from the constituents of the system. It is a concept often summed up by the phrase that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and it is a key notion in the burgeoning field of complexity science. Life is often cited as a classic example of an emergent (...)
     
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  38.  20
    Robert N. Brandon, Janis Antonovics, Richard Burian, Scott Carson, Greg Cooper, Paul Sheldon Davies, Christopher Horvath, Brent D. Mishler, Robert C. Richardson, Kelly Smith & Peter Thrall (1994). Sober on Brandon on Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection. Philosophy of Science 61 (3):475-486.
    Sober (1992) has recently evaluated Brandon's (1982, 1990; see also 1985, 1988) use of Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off in the philosophy of biology. He critiques three particular issues, each of which will be considered in this discussion.
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  39.  17
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2002). Does Past Selective Efficacy Matter to Psychology? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):513-514.
    Andrews et al. subscribe to the view that distinguishing selectionist from nonselectionist hypotheses – or, distinguishing adaptations from mere spandrels or exaptations – is important to the study of psychology. I offer three reasons for thinking that this view is false; that considerations of past selective efficacy have little to contribute to inquiry in psychology.
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  40. Paul Davies, The Origin of Life II: How Did It Begin?
    The problem of how a mixture of chemicals can spontaneously transform themselves into even a simple living organism remains one of the great outstanding challenges to science. Various primordial soup theories have been proposed in which chemical self- organization brings about the required level of complexity. Major conceptual obstacles remain, however, such as the emergence of the genetic code, and the “chicken-and-egg” problem concerning which came first: nucleic acids or proteins. Currently fashionable is the so-called RNA world theory, which casts (...)
     
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  41. Paul Davies, Quantum Vacuum Noise in Physics and Cosmology.
    The concept of the vacuum in quantum field theory is a subtle one. Vacuum states have a rich and complex set of properties that produce distinctive, though usually exceedingly small, physical effects. Quantum vacuum noise is familiar in optical and electronic devices, but in this paper I wish to consider extending the discussion to systems in which gravitation, or large accelerations, are important. This leads to the prediction of vacuum friction: The quantum vacuum can act in a manner reminiscent of (...)
     
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  42. Paul Davies, Quantum Tunneling Time.
    A simple model of a quantum clock is applied to the old and controversial problem of how long a particle takes to tunnel through a quantum barrier. The model has the advantage of yielding sensible results for energy eigenstates and does not require the use of time-dependent wave packets. Although the treatment does not forbid superluminal tunneling velocities, there is no implication of faster-than-light signaling because only the transit duration is measurable, not the absolute time of transit. A comparison is (...)
     
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  43.  13
    Paul S. Davies (2001). The Excesses of Teleosemantics. In J. S. McIntosh (ed.), Canadian Journal of Philosophy. University of Calgary Press 117-137.
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  44. Paul Davies, Tachyonic Dark Matter.
    Recent attempts to explain the dark matter and energy content of the universe have involved some radical extensions of standard physics, including quintessence, phantom energy, additional space dimensions, and variations in the speed of light. In this paper I consider the possibility that some dark matter might be in the form of tachyons. I show that, subject to some reasonable assumptions, a tachyonic cosmological fluid would produce distinctive effects, such as a surge in quantum vacuum energy and particle creation, and (...)
     
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  45.  22
    Joseph Agassi, Dorit Bar-on, D. S. Clarke, Paul Sheldon Davies, Anthony J. Graybosch, Lila Luce, Paul K. Moser, Saul Smilansky, Roger Smook, William Sweet, John J. Tilley & Ruth Weintraub (1994). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (1-4):359-362.
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  46. Paul Davies, Quantum Vacuum Friction.
    The quantum vacuum may in certain circumstances be regarded as a type of fluid medium, or aether, exhibiting energy density, pressure, stress and friction. Vacuum friction may be thought of as being responsible for the spontaneous creation of particles from the vacuum state when the system is non-stationary. Examples include the expanding universe, rotating black holes, moving mirrors, atoms passing close to surfaces, and the activities of sub-cellular biosystems. The concept of vacuum friction will be reviewed and illustrated, and some (...)
     
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  47. Paul Davies, Order From Disorder: The Role of Noise in Creative Processes. A Special Issue on Game Theory and Evolutionary Processes – Overview.
    The importance of applying game theory to the evolution of information in the presence of noise has recently become widely recognized. This Special Issue addresses the theme of spontaneously emergent order in both classical and quantum systems subject to external noise, and includes papers directly related to game theory or the development of supporting techniques. In the following editorial overview we examine the broader context of the subject, including the tension between the destructive and creative aspects of noise, and foreshadow (...)
     
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  48. Paul Davies, Detection of Negative Energy: 4-Dimensional Examples.
    We study the response of switched particle detectors to static negative energy densities and negative energy fluxes. It is demonstrated how the switching leads to excitation even in the vacuum and how negative energy can lead to a suppression of this excitation. We obtain quantum inequalities on the detection similar to those obtained for the energy density by Ford and co-workers and in an ‘‘operational’’ context by Helfer. We reexamine the question ‘‘Is there a quantum equivalence principle?’’ in terms of (...)
     
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  49.  3
    Paul Davies (2010). Be Not Overcome by Evil but Overcome Evil with Good' : The Theology of Evil in Man on Fire. In Nancy Billias (ed.), Promoting and Producing Evil. Rodopi 63--211.
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  50.  11
    Paul Sheldon Davies (2005). Unmasking Self-Deception. [REVIEW] Philosophia 32 (1-4):413-417.
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