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Profile: Todd Jones
  1.  33
    Todd Jones (2004). Special Sciences: Still a Flawed Argument After All These Years. Cognitive Science 28 (3):409-432.
    Jerry Fodor has argued that the multiple realizability argument, as discussed in his original “Special Sciences” article, “refutes psychophysical reductionism once and for all.” I argue that his argument in “Special Sciences” does no such thing. Furthermore, if one endorses the physicalism that most supporters of the “Special Sciences” view endorse, special science laws must be reducible, in principle. The compatibility of MR with reduction, however, need not threaten the autonomy of the special sciences.
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  2.  16
    Todd Jones (2006). "We Always Have a Beer After the Meeting": How Norms, Customs, Conventions, and the Like Explain Behavior. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (3):251-275.
    There are a vast number of ways of explaining human behavior in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation. One family of accounts seeks to explain behavior using terms such as norms, customs, tradition, convention , and culture . Despite the ubiquity of these terms, it is not fully clear how these concepts really explain behavior, how they are related, how they differ, and what they contrast with. In this article, I hope to answer such questions. Key Words: norm • (...)
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  3.  8
    Todd Jones (2004). Reduction and Anti-Reduction: Rights and Wrongs. Metaphilosophy 25 (5):614-647.
    Scholars are divided as to whether reduction should be a central strategy for understanding the world. While reductive analysis is the standard mode of explanation in many areas of science and everyday life, many consider reductionism a sign of “intellectual naivete and backwardness.” In this paper I make three points about the proper status of anti-reductionism: First, reduction, is, in fact, a centrally important epistemic strategy. Second, reduction to physics is always possible for all causal properties. Third, there are, nevertheless, (...)
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  4.  14
    Todd Jones (2007). What's Done Here—Explaining Behavior in Terms of Customs and Norms. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):363-393.
    Terms like “norm,” “ custom,” “convention,” “tradition,” and “culture” are used throughout social science, and throughout everyday conversation,to describe certain types of behaviors. Yet it is not very clear what people mean by them. In this paper, I try to make clearer what is meant by these terms and what makes the behavior they describe possible.
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  5.  28
    Todd Jones (2005). How Many New Yorkers Need to Like Bagels Before You Can Say "New Yorkers Like Bagels?" Understanding Collective Ascription. Philosophical Forum 36 (3):279–306.
  6.  10
    Todd Jones (2001). What CBS Wants: How Groups Can Have (Difficult to Uncover) Beliefs. Philosophical Forum 32 (3):221-251.
  7.  14
    Ron Wilburn, Todd Jones & David Beisecker (2001). Moscow Nights. The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15):30-31.
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  8.  13
    Todd Jones (2003). The Failure of the Best Arguments Against Social Reduction (and What That Failure Doesn't Mean). Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):547-581.
    In this paper, I will argue that the most systematic arguments for the impossibility of reducing of social facts are not, in fact, good arguments. The best of these, the multiple realizability argument, has been very successful in convincing people to be non-reductionists in the philosophy of mind, and can plausibly be adapted to argue for anti-reductionism in the social sciences. But it, like the other arguments for the impossibility of social reduction, cannot deliver. Any preference we have for social (...)
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  9.  23
    Todd Jones (1995). Reductionism and the Unification Theory of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):21-30.
    P. Kitcher's unification theory of explanation appears to endorse a reductionistic view of scientific explanation that is inconsistant with scientific practice. In this paper, I argue that this appearance is illusory. The existence of multiply realizable generalizations enable the unification theory to also count many high-level accounts as explanatory.
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  10.  56
    Todd Jones (2001). Unifying Scientific Theories. Margaret Morrison. Mind 110 (440):1097-1102.
    Is the universe really governed by a small set of unifying fundamental laws, as many thinkers have claimed since ancient times? Philosophers who call themselves naturalists believe that the way to settle such questions is to look carefully at what empirical science tells us. In this book, Margaret Morrison argues that if we really do this, we find that science currently does not give us any reason to believe the common picture of the world in which everything can be reduced (...)
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  11.  21
    Todd Jones (2003). The Virtues of Non-Reduction, Even When Reduction is a Virtue. Philosophical Forum 34 (4):121-140.
    This paper aims to reduce the confusion about what our proper attitudes toward reductionism should be. I will begin by saying briefly why reductive explanations are generally desirable. I will then spend the bulk of the paper laying out what I consider to be the best epistemic reasons for thinking that developing non-reductive accounts is also highly desirable. I aim to show that the best arguments for the desirability of reduction, and for the desirability of non-reduction, are rooted less in (...)
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  12.  22
    Todd Jones (1991). Staving Off Catastrophe: A Critical Notice of Jerry Fodor's Psychosemantics. Mind and Language 6 (1):58-82.
  13.  19
    Todd Jones (1997). Unification, Reduction, and Non-Ideal Explanations. Synthese 112 (1):75-96.
    Kitcher's unification theory of explanation seems to suggest that only the most reductive accounts can legitimately be termed explanatory. This is not what we find in actual scientific practice. In this paper, I attempt to reconcile these ideas. I claim that Kitcher's theory picks out ideal explanations, but that our term explanation is used to cover other accounts that have a certain relationship with the ideal accounts. At times, versions and portions of ideal explanations can also be considered explanatory.
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  14.  21
    Ron Wilburn, Todd Jones & David Beisecker (2001). Moscow Nights. The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15):30-31.
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  15.  10
    Todd Jones (1998). Unification, Deduction, and History: A Reply to Steel. Philosophy of Science 65 (4):672-681.
    Daniel Steel argues that a causal theory of explanation can account for Ferguson's anthropological theory of Yanomami warfare but that a unification theory of explanation cannot. I argue that a unification theory can explain such an account, in a manner similar to Hempel's view of explanation in history. I go on to argue that the unification theory allows for different explanations of specific and general social circumstances.
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  16.  2
    Todd Jones (2015). Our Conception of Competitiveness: Unified but Useless? Our Conception of Competitiveness: Unified but Useless? 42 (3):365-378.
    ‘Competitive’ is one of the most commonly and confidently used words in sports. I argue that, while this term does have necessary and sufficient conditions, it is still a fairly useless one. Knowing someone is competitive does not tell one about the type of desire to win, the type of quantity of that desire, and the precise way in which one wants to be better. We also don’t know who a person feels a desire to beat, when winning actually becomes (...)
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  17.  7
    Todd Jones (1999). FIC Descriptions and Interpretive Social Science: Should Philosophers Roll Their Eyes? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 29 (2):337–369.
    Many social scientists and journalists attempt to explain events in recent or distant history by uncovering hidden beliefs and desires held by groups. Such ascriptions are problematic in that beliefs are attributed to groups rather than individuals, and, in that being “hidden,” they cannot be attributed using ordinary everyday methods. In this paper, I try to sort out what is sensible and what is muddled in this unusual but very common type of belief ascription.
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  18.  27
    Todd Jones (2008). Explanations of Social Phenomena: Competing and Complementary Accounts. Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):621-650.
    Abstract: Situations that social scientists and others explain by using concepts like "custom" and "norm" often tend to be situations in which many other kinds of explanations (for example, biological, psychological, economic, historical) seem plausible as well. Do these other explanations compete with the custom or norm explanations, or do they complement them? We need to consider this question carefully and not just assume that various accounts are all permissible at different levels of analysis. In this article I describe two (...)
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  19.  18
    Todd Jones (2004). Uncovering "Cultural Meaning": Problems and Solutions. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):247 - 268.
    In his highly influential "The Interpretation of Cultures," anthropologist Clifford Geertz argues that the study of culture ought to be "not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning." I argue that the two need not be opposed. The best way of making sense of the social scientific practice of looking at meaning is to see interpretivists as looking at typical mental reactions that people in a given culture have to certain acts and (...)
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  20.  23
    Todd Jones (1995). How the Unification Theory of Explanation Escapes Asymmetry Problems. Erkenntnis 43 (2):229 - 240.
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  21.  18
    Todd Jones (1998). Interpretive Social Science and the "Native's Point of View": A Closer Look. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 28 (1):32-68.
    In the past two decades, many anthropologists have been drawn to "interpre tive" perspectives which hold that the study of human culture would profit by using approaches developed in the humanities, rather than using approaches used in the natural sciences. The author discusses the source of the appeal of such perspectives but argues that interpretive approaches to social science tend to be fundamentally flawed, even by common everyday epistemological standards.
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  22.  10
    Todd Jones (2012). Do Customs Compete with Conditioning? Turf Battles and Division of Labor in Social Explanation. Synthese 184 (3):407-430.
    We often face a bewildering array of different explanations for the same social facts (e.g. biological, psychological, economic, and historical accounts). But we have few guidelines for whether and when we should think of different accounts as competing or compatible. In this paper, I offer some guidelines for understanding when custom or norm accounts do and don’t compete with other types of accounts. I describe two families of non-competing accounts: (1) explanations of different (but similarly described) facts, and (2) accounts (...)
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  23.  2
    Todd Jones (2015). Our Conception of Competitiveness: Unified but Useless? Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 42 (3):365-378.
    ‘Competitive’ is one of the most commonly and confidently used words in sports. I argue that, while this term does have necessary and sufficient conditions, it is still a fairly useless one. Knowing someone is competitive does not tell one about the type of desire to win, the type of quantity of that desire, and the precise way in which one wants to be better. We also don’t know who a person feels a desire to beat, when winning actually becomes (...)
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  24.  3
    Todd Jones (1997). Thick Description, Fat Syntax, and Alternative Conceptual Systems. Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 5 (1):131-162.
    Many philosophers have claimed that intentional ascription is not possible if alien peoples are truly radically different from ourselves. At the same time, many anthropologists have claimed that the people they study think very differently from the way that we do. I claim that it is possible for both the anthropologists and the philosophers to be right. Giving intentional descriptions is problematic for people unlike ourselves, but anthropologists can, and do give good descriptions of alien mental states using descriptions not (...)
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  25.  8
    Todd Jones (1996). Methodological Individualism in Proper Perspective. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):119 - 128.
  26.  10
    Todd Jones (1999). Arbitrary Arbitrariness: Reply to Segal. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):310-314.
  27.  9
    Todd Jones (2007). Numerous Ways to Be an Open-Minded Organization: A Reply to Lahroodi. Social Epistemology 21 (4):439 – 448.
  28. Todd Jones (2014). "Science, Ethics, and Politics: Conversations and Investigations," Ed. Kristen Renwick Monroe. [REVIEW] Teaching Philosophy 37 (3):431-436.
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  29. Todd Jones & D. Steel (1998). Unification, Deduction, and History. Author's Reply. Philosophy of Science 65 (4):672-687.
     
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  30. Todd Jones (2010). What People Believe When They Say That People Believe: Folk Sociology and the Nature of Group Intentions. Lexington Books.
    People are often unclear about what is meant by sentences such as 'Catholics don't believe in birth control.' In this book, Todd Jones explores what people are talking about when they ascribe beliefs or actions to entire groups rather than individuals. This discussion should help settle some basis questions for philosophers, social scientists, and casual conversationists.
     
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