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  1.  21
    Bayesian Representation of a Prolonged Archaeological Debate.Efraim Wallach - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):401-431.
    This article examines the effect of material evidence upon historiographic hypotheses. Through a series of successive Bayesian conditionalizations, I analyze the extended competition among several hypotheses that offered different accounts of the transition between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Palestine and in particular to the “emergence of Israel”. The model reconstructs, with low sensitivity to initial assumptions, the actual outcomes including a complete alteration of the scientific consensus. Several known issues of Bayesian confirmation, including the problem of (...)
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  2.  26
    Niche Construction Theory as an Explanatory Framework for Human Phenomena.Efraim Wallach - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    Niche Construction Theory has been gaining acceptance as an explanatory framework for processes in biological and human evolution. Human cultural niche construction, in particular, is suggested as a basis for understanding many phenomena that involve human genetic and cultural evolution. Herein I assess the ability of the cultural niche construction framework to meet this explanatory role by looking into several NCT-inspired accounts that have been offered for two important episodes of human evolution, and by examining the contribution of NCT to (...)
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    Historiographic Narratives and Empirical Evidence: A Case Study.Efraim Wallach - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Several scholars observed that narratives about the human past are evaluated comparatively. Few attempts have been made, however, to explore how such evaluations are actually done. Here I look at a lengthy “contest” among several historiographic narratives, all constructed to make sense of another one—the biblical story of the conquest of Canaan. I conclude that the preference of such narratives can be construed as a rational choice. In particular, an easily comprehensible and emotionally evocative narrative will give way to a (...)
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