Results for 'Cailin O���Connor'

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  1.  5
    The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread.Cailin O'Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2019 - New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
    "Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it irrelevant to (...)
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  2.  3
    The Origins of Unfairness: Social Categories and Cultural Evolution.Cailin O'Connor - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    In almost every human society some people get more and others get less. Why is inequity the rule in human societies? Philosopher Cailin O'Connor reveals how cultural evolution works on social categories such as race and gender to generate unfairness.
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  3.  5
    Games in the Philosophy of Biology.Cailin O'Connor - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is an Element surveying the most important literature using game theory and evolutionary game theory to shed light on questions in the philosophy of biology. There are two branches of literature that the book focuses on. It begins with a short introduction to game theory and evolutionary game theory. It then turns to working using signaling games to explore questions related to communication, meaning, language, and reference. The second part of the book addresses prosociality - strategic behavior that contributes (...)
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  4.  27
    Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities.Cailin O’Connor & Justin Bruner - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):101-119.
    Bruner shows that in cultural interactions, members of minority groups will learn to interact with members of majority groups more quickly—minorities tend to meet majorities more often as a brute fact of their respective numbers—and, as a result, may come to be disadvantaged in situations where they divide resources. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this effect for epistemic communities. We use evolutionary game theoretic methods to show that minority groups can end up disadvantaged in academic interactions like (...)
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  5.  24
    The Natural Selection of Conservative Science.Cailin O'Connor - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:24-29.
  6.  4
    Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall, "The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread.".Martina Valkovic - 2020 - Philosophy in Review 40 (4):153-155.
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  7. David Lewis in the Lab: Experimental Results on the Emergence of Meaning.Justin Bruner, Cailin O’Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon M. Huttegger - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):603-621.
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for actors to transfer (...)
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  8. Scientific Polarization.Cailin O’Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):855-875.
    Contemporary societies are often “polarized”, in the sense that sub-groups within these societies hold stably opposing beliefs, even when there is a fact of the matter. Extant models of polarization do not capture the idea that some beliefs are true and others false. Here we present a model, based on the network epistemology framework of Bala and Goyal, 784–811 1998), in which polarization emerges even though agents gather evidence about their beliefs, and true belief yields a pay-off advantage. As we (...)
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  9.  68
    In Epistemic Networks, is Less Really More?Sarita Rosenstock, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):234-252.
    We show that previous results from epistemic network models showing the benefits of decreased connectivity in epistemic networks are not robust across changes in parameter values. Our findings motivate discussion about whether and how such models can inform real-world epistemic communities. As we argue, only robust results from epistemic network models should be used to generate advice for the real-world, and, in particular, decreasing connectivity is a robustly poor recommendation.
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  10.  43
    Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities.Cailin O’Connor & Justin Bruner - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):101-119.
    Bruner shows that in cultural interactions, members of minority groups will learn to interact with members of majority groups more quickly—minorities tend to meet majorities more often as a brute fact of their respective numbers—and, as a result, may come to be disadvantaged in situations where they divide resources. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this effect for epistemic communities. We use evolutionary game theoretic methods to show that minority groups can end up disadvantaged in academic interactions like (...)
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  11. Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration.Justin Bruner & Cailin O'Connor - 2016 - In T. Boyer, C. Mayo-Wilson & M. Weisberg (eds.), Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge.
    Collaboration is increasingly popular across academia. Collaborative work raises certain ethical questions, however. How will the fruits of collaboration be divided? How will the work for the collaborative project be split? In this paper, we consider the following question in particular. Are there ways in which these divisions systematically disadvantage certain groups? -/- We use evolutionary game theoretic models to address this question. First, we discuss results from O'Connor and Bruner (unpublished). In this paper, we show that underrepresented groups in (...)
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  12. Evolving Perceptual Categories.Cailin O’Connor - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):110-121.
    This article uses sim-max games to model perceptual categorization with the goal of answering the following question: To what degree should we expect the perceptual categories of biological actors to track properties of the world around them? I argue that an analysis of these games suggests that the relationship between real-world structure and evolved perceptual categories is mediated by successful action in the sense that organisms evolve to categorize together states of nature for which similar actions lead to similar results. (...)
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  13. The Evolution of Vagueness.Cailin O'Connor - 2013 - Erkenntnis (S4):1-21.
    Vague predicates, those that exhibit borderline cases, pose a persistent problem for philosophers and logicians. Although they are ubiquitous in natural language, when used in a logical context, vague predicates lead to contradiction. This paper will address a question that is intimately related to this problem. Given their inherent imprecision, why do vague predicates arise in the first place? I discuss a variation of the signaling game where the state space is treated as contiguous, i.e., endowed with a metric that (...)
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  14.  44
    Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration.Justin Bruner & Cailin O'Connor - 2017
    Collaboration is increasingly popular across academia. Collaborative work raises certain ethical questions, however. How will the fruits of collaboration be divided? How will the work for the collaborative project be split? In this paper, we consider the following question in particular. Are there ways in which these divisions systematically disadvantage certain groups? We use evolutionary game theoretic models to address this question. First, we discuss results from O'Connor and Bruner showing that underrepresented groups in academia can be disadvantaged in collaboration (...)
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  15.  47
    Black Holes, Black Scholes, and Prairie Voles: An Essay Review of Simulation and Similarity by Michael Weisberg. [REVIEW]Cailin O'Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (4):613-626.
    An essay review of Michael Weisberg's Simulation and Similarity.
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  16.  26
    The Cultural Red King Effect.Cailin O'Connor - 2017 - Journal of Mathematical Sociology 41 (3).
    Why do minority groups tend to be discriminated against when it comes to situations of bargaining and resource division? In this paper, I explore an explanation for this disadvantage that appeals solely to the dynamics of social interaction between minority and majority groups---the cultural Red King effect. As I show, in agent-based models of bargaining between groups, the minority group will tend to get less as a direct result of the fact that they frequently interact with majority group members, while (...)
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  17.  34
    Discrimination and Collaboration in Science.Hannah Rubin & Cailin O’Connor - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):380-402.
    We use game theoretic models to take an in-depth look at the dynamics of discrimination and academic collaboration. We find that in collaboration networks, small minority groups may be more likely to end up being discriminated against while collaborating. We also find that discrimination can lead members of different social groups to mostly collaborate with in-group members, decreasing the effective diversity of the social network. Drawing on previous work, we discuss how decreases in the diversity of scientific collaborations might negatively (...)
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  18.  24
    Evolving Perceptual Categories.Cailin O’Connor - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):840-851.
    This paper uses sim-max games to model perceptual categorization with the goal of answering the following question: to what degree should we expect the perceptual categories of biological actors to track properties of the world around them? I will argue that an analysis of these games suggests that the relationship between real-world structure and evolved perceptual categories is mediated by successful action in the sense that organisms evolve to categorize together states of nature for which similar actions lead to similar (...)
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  19. Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed.Cailin O’Connor - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    Biologists and philosophers of biology have argued that learning rules that do not lead organisms to play evolutionarily stable strategies (ESSes) in games will not be stable and thus not evolutionarily successful. This claim, however, stands at odds with the fact that learning generalization---a behavior that cannot lead to ESSes when modeled in games---is observed throughout the animal kingdom. In this paper, I use learning generalization to illustrate how previous analyses of the evolution of learning have gone wrong. It has (...)
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  20.  73
    Ambiguity Is Kinda Good Sometimes.Cailin O'Connor - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (1):110-121.
    In a recent article, Carlos Santana shows that in common interest signaling games when signals are costly and when receivers can observe contextual environmental cues, ambiguous signaling strategies outperform precise ones and can, as a result, evolve. I show that if one assumes a realistic structure on the state space of a common interest signaling game, ambiguous strategies can be explained without appeal to contextual cues. I conclude by arguing that there are multiple types of cases of payoff-beneficial ambiguity, some (...)
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  21.  51
    The Evolution of Guilt.Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    Using evolutionary game theory, I consider how guilt can provide individual fitness benefits to actors both before and after bad behavior. This supplements recent work by philosophers on the evolution of guilt with a more complete picture of the relevant selection pressures.
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  22.  16
    Ambiguity is Kinda Good, Sometimes.Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    Santana shows that in common interest signaling games when signals are costly and when receivers can observe contextual environmental cues, ambiguous signaling strategies outperform precise ones and can, as a result, evolve. In this note, I show that if one assumes realistic structure on the state space of a common interest signaling game, ambiguous strategies can be explained without appeal to contextual cues. I conclude by arguing that there are multiple types of cases of payoff beneficial ambiguity, some of which (...)
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  23.  19
    The Dynamics of Retraction in Epistemic Networks.Travis LaCroix, Anders Geil & Cailin O’Connor - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (3):415-438.
    Sometimes retracted or refuted scientific information is used and propagated long after it is understood to be misleading. Likewise, retracted news items may spread and persist, despite being publi...
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  24.  18
    Games and Kinds.Cailin O’Connor - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx027.
    In response to those who argue for ‘property cluster’ views of natural kinds, I use evolutionary models of sim-max games to assess the claim that linguistic terms will appropriately track sets of objects that cluster in property spaces. As I show, there are two sorts of ways this can fail to happen. First, evolved terms that do respect property structure in some senses can be conventional nonetheless. Second, and more crucially, because the function of linguistic terms is to facilitate successful (...)
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  25.  36
    The Evolution of Intersectional Oppression.Cailin O'Connor, Liam Kofi Bright & Justin Bruner - unknown
    Intersectionality theory explores the special sorts of disadvantage that arise as the result of occupying multiple disadvantaged demographic categories. One significant methodological problem for the quantitative study of intersectionality is the difficulty of acquiring data sets large enough to produce significant results when one is looking for intersectional effects. For this reason, we argue, simulation methods may be particularly useful to this branch of theorizing because they can generate precise predictions and causal dependencies in a relatively cheap way, and can (...)
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  26.  5
    On the Emergence of Minority Disadvantage: Testing the Cultural Red King Hypothesis.Aydin Mohseni, Cailin O'Connor & Hannah Rubin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5599-5621.
    The study of social justice asks: what sorts of social arrangements are equitable ones? But also: how do we derive the inequitable arrangements we often observe in human societies? In particular, in spite of explicitly stated equity norms, categorical inequity tends to be the rule rather than the exception. The cultural Red King hypothesis predicts that differentials in group size may lead to inequitable outcomes for minority groups even in the absence of explicit or implicit bias. We test this prediction (...)
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  27.  1
    Conformity in Scientific Networks.Cailin O’Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7257-7278.
    Scientists are generally subject to social pressures, including pressures to conform with others in their communities, that affect achievement of their epistemic goals. Here we analyze a network epistemology model in which agents, all else being equal, prefer to take actions that conform with those of their neighbors. This preference for conformity interacts with the agents’ beliefs about which of two possible actions yields the better result. We find a range of possible outcomes, including stable polarization in belief and action. (...)
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  28.  73
    Communication Without the Cooperative Principle: A Signaling Experiment.Hannah Rubin, Justin Bruner, Cailin O'Connor & Simon Huttegger - unknown
    According to Grice's `Cooperative Principle', human communicators are involved in a cooperative endeavor. The speaker attempts to make herself understood and the listener, in turn, assumes that the speaker is trying to maximize the ease and effectiveness of communication. While pragmatists recognize that people do not always behave in such a way, the Cooperative Principle is generally assumed to hold. However, it is often the case that the interests of speakers and listeners diverge, at least to some degree. Communication can (...)
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  29.  11
    Modeling Minimal Conditions for Inequity.Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    This paper describes a class of idealized models that illuminate minimal conditions for inequity. Some such models will track the actual causal factors that generate real world inequity. Others may not. Whether or not these models do track these real-world factors is irrelevant to the epistemic role they play in showing that minimal commonplace factors are enough to generate inequity. In such cases, it is the fact that the model does not fit the world that makes it a particularly powerful (...)
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  30.  58
    How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policymakers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks.James Owen Weatherall, Cailin O’Connor & Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1157-1186.
    In their recent book, Oreskes and Conway describe the ‘tobacco strategy’, which was used by the tobacco industry to influence policymakers regarding the health risks of tobacco products. The strategy involved two parts, consisting of promoting and sharing independent research supporting the industry’s preferred position and funding additional research, but selectively publishing the results. We introduce a model of the tobacco strategy, and use it to argue that both prongs of the strategy can be extremely effective—even when policymakers rationally update (...)
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  31.  20
    Conformity in Scientific Networks.James Owen Weatherall & Cailin O’Connor - 2018 - Synthese:1-22.
    Scientists are generally subject to social pressures, including pressures to conform with others in their communities, that affect achievement of their epistemic goals. Here we analyze a network epistemology model in which agents, all else being equal, prefer to take actions that conform with those of their neighbors. This preference for conformity interacts with the agents’ beliefs about which of two possible actions yields the better result. We find a range of possible outcomes, including stable polarization in belief and action. (...)
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  32.  26
    Selective Advantages of Guilt.Sarita Rosenstock & Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    Using results from evolutionary game theory, we analyze the conditions under which guilt can provide individual fitness benefits to actors, and so evolve. In particular, we focus on the individual benefits of guilty apology. We find that guilty apology is more likely to evolve in cases where actors interact repeatedly over long periods of time, where the costs of apology are low or moderate, and where guilt is hard to fake.
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  33.  19
    David Lewis in the Lab: An Experimental Study of Signaling Convention.Justin Bruner, Cailin O'Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon Huttegger - unknown
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise---when there are more than two states for actors to transfer (...)
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  34.  35
    Inequality and Inequity in the Emergence of Conventions.Calvin Cochran & Cailin O’Connor - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (3):264-281.
    Many societies have norms of equity – that those who make symmetric social contributions deserve symmetric rewards. Despite this, there are widespread patterns of social inequity, especially along gender and racial lines. It is often the case that members of certain social groups receive greater rewards per contribution than others. In this article, we draw on evolutionary game theory to show that the emergence of this sort of convention is far from surprising. In simple cultural evolutionary models, inequity is much (...)
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  35.  36
    Endogenous epistemic factionalization.James Owen Weatherall & Cailin O’Connor - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Why do people who disagree about one subject tend to disagree about other subjects as well? In this paper, we introduce a model to explore this phenomenon of ‘epistemic factionization’. Agents attempt to discover the truth about multiple propositions by testing the world and sharing evidence gathered. But agents tend to mistrust evidence shared by those who do not hold similar beliefs. This mistrust leads to the endogenous emergence of factions of agents with multiple, highly correlated, polarized beliefs.
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  36.  33
    If Evolution Favours Fairness, Why Does Inequality Persist?Cailin O'Connor - 2016 - Forum for European Philosophy Blog.
    Cailin O’Connor on power and the emergence of bargaining norms.
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  37.  8
    How Should We Promote Transient Diversity in Science?Jingyi Wu & Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    Diversity of practice is widely recognized as crucial to scientific progress. If all scientists perform the same tests in their research, they might miss important insights that other tests would yield. If all scientists adhere to the same theories, they might fail to explore other options which, in turn, might be superior. But the mechanisms that lead to this sort of diversity can also generate epistemic harms when scientific communities fail to reach swift consensus on successful theories. In this paper, (...)
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  38.  26
    Power by Association.Travis Lacroix & Cailin O'Connor - manuscript
    We use tools from evolutionary game theory to examine how power might influence the cultural evolution of inequitable norms between discernible groups in a population of otherwise identical individuals. Similar extant models always assume that power is homogeneous across a social group. As such, these models fail to capture situations where individuals who are not themselves disempowered nonetheless end up disadvantaged in bargaining scenarios by dint of their social group membership. Thus, we assume that there is heterogeneity in the groups (...)
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  39.  25
    Book Review Peter Godfrey-Smith , Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection . Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009), Viii+207 Pp., $55.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Cailin O’Connor - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (4):589-593.
  40. Review: Peter Godfrey-Smith. Philosophy of Biology. [REVIEW]Cailin O’Connor - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):731-733.
    Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith's Philosophy of Biology.
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  41. Deus Ex Machina: A Cautionary Tale for Naturalists.Cailin O'Connor, Nathan Fulton, Elliott Wagner & P. Kyle Stanford - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):51-62.
    In this paper we critically examine and seek to extend Philip Kitcher’s Ethical Project to weave together a distinctive naturalistic conception of how ethics came to occupy the place it does in our lives and how the existing ethical project should be revised and extended into the future. Although we endorse his insight that ethical progress is better conceived of as the improvement of an existing state than an incremental approach towards a fixed endpoint, we nonetheless go on to argue (...)
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  42.  12
    Games and Kinds.Cailin O’Connor - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):719-745.
    In response to those who argue for ‘property cluster’ views of natural kinds, I use evolutionary models of similarity-maximizing games to assess the claim that linguistic terms appropriately track sets of objects that cluster in property spaces. As I show, there are two sorts of ways this can fail to happen. First, evolved terms that do respect property structure in some senses can be conventional nonetheless. Second, and more crucially, because the function of linguistic terms is to facilitate successful action (...)
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  43.  32
    Measuring Conventionality.Cailin O’Connor - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):579-596.
    ABSTRACT Standard accounts of convention include notions of arbitrariness. But many have conceived of conventionality as an all-or-nothing affair. In this paper, I develop a framework for thinking of conventions as admitting of degrees of arbitrariness. In doing so, I introduce an information-theoretic measure intended to capture the degree to which a solution to a certain social problem could have been otherwise. As the paper argues, this framework can help to improve explanation aimed at the cultural evolution of social traits. (...)
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  44.  32
    Modeling How False Beliefs Spread.Cailin O'Connor & James Owen Weatherall - unknown
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  45.  2
    Peter Godfrey-Smith, Philosophy of Biology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press , 200 Pp., $29.95. [REVIEW]Cailin O’Connor - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):731-733.
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  46. Review: Peter Godfrey-Smith. Philosophy of Biology. [REVIEW]Review by: Cailin O’Connor - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):731-733.
  47.  7
    Samir Okasha. Agents and Goals in Evolution.Cailin O’Connor - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):181-184.
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  48. The Evolution of Vagueness.Cailin O’Connor - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (Suppl 4):707-727.
    Vague predicates, those that exhibit borderline cases, pose a persistent problem for philosophers and logicians. Although they are ubiquitous in natural language, when used in a logical context, vague predicates lead to contradiction. This paper will address a question that is intimately related to this problem. Given their inherent imprecision, why do vague predicates arise in the first place? I discuss a variation of the signaling game where the state space is treated as contiguous, i.e., endowed with a metric that (...)
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  49.  12
    Experimental Economics for Philosophers.Hannah Rubin, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - unknown
    Recently, game theory and evolutionary game theory - mathematical frameworks from economics and biology designed to model and explain interactive behavior - have proved fruitful tools for philosophers in areas such as ethics, philosophy of language, social epistemology, and political philosophy. This methodological osmosis is part of a trend where philosophers have blurred disciplinary lines to import the best epistemic tools available. In this vein, experimental philosophers have drawn on practices from the social sciences, and especially from psychology, to expand (...)
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  50.  7
    Communication Without Common Interest: A Signaling Experiment.Hannah Rubin, Justin P. Bruner, Cailin O'Connor & Simon Huttegger - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 83:101295.
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