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Grant Ramsey [32]Gloria Ramsey [3]Gillian Ramsey [3]G. V. Ramsey [1]
G. Ramsey [1]
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  1. A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
    The propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF) is commonly taken to be subject to a set of simple counterexamples. We argue that three of the most important of these are not counterexamples to the PIF itself, but only to the traditional mathematical model of this propensity: fitness as expected number of offspring. They fail to demonstrate that a new mathematical model of the PIF could not succeed where this older model fails. We then propose a new formalization of the PIF that (...)
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  2.  38
    Causal Inference From Noise.Nevin Climenhaga, Lane DesAutels & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - Noûs.
    "Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...)
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  3. Sameness in Biology.Grant Ramsey & Anne Siebels Peterson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):255-275.
  4.  51
    Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):484-498.
    There are three related criteria that a concept of fitness should be able to meet: it should render the principle of natural selection non-tautologous and it should be explanatory and predictive. I argue that for fitness to be able to fulfill these criteria, it cannot be a property that changes over the course of an individual’s life. Rather, I introduce a fitness concept—Block Fitness—and argue that an individual’s genes and environment fix its fitness in such a way that each individual’s (...)
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  5.  45
    Guilt by Association?Michael Deem & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):570-585.
    Recent evolutionary perspectives on guilt tend to focus on how guilt functions as a means for the individual to self-regulate behavior and as a mechanism for reinforcing cooperative tendencies. While these accounts highlight important dimensions of guilt and provide important insights into its evolutionary emergence, they pay scant attention to the large empirical literature on its maladaptive effects on individuals. This paper considers the nature of guilt, explores its biological function, and provides an evolutionary perspective on whether it is an (...)
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  6.  62
    How to Do Digital Philosophy of Science.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):930-941.
    Philosophy of science is beginning to be expanded via the introduction of new digital resources—both data and tools for its analysis. The data comprise digitized published books and journal articles, as well as heretofore unpublished and recently digitized material, such as images, archival text, notebooks, meeting notes, and programs. This growing bounty of data would be of little use, however, without quality tools with which to analyze it. Fortunately, the growth in available data is matched by the extensive development of (...)
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  7. Human Nature in a Post-Essentialist World.Grant Ramsey - unknown
    In this paper I examine a well-known articulation of the skeptical view of human nature, a paper by Hull. I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery. I show that Machery’s account of human nature is not very useful and is scientifically suspect. Finally, I introduce an alternative account of human nature—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—which I hold is scientifically sound, pragmatically useful, and makes sense of our intuitions about human nature.
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  8. Organisms, Traits, and Population Subdivisions: Two Arguments Against the Causal Conception of Fitness?G. Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):589-608.
    A major debate in the philosophy of biology centers on the question of how we should understand the causal structure of natural selection. This debate is polarized into the causal and statistical positions. The main arguments from the statistical side are that a causal construal of the theory of natural selection's central concept, fitness, either (i) leads to inaccurate predictions about population dynamics, or (ii) leads to an incoherent set of causal commitments. In this essay, I argue that neither the (...)
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  9.  44
    Driftability.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3909-3928.
    In this paper, I argue (contra some recent philosophical work) that an objective distinction between natural selection and drift can be drawn. I draw this distinction by conceiving of drift, in the most fundamental sense, as an individual-level phenomenon. This goes against some other attempts to distinguish selection from drift, which have argued either that drift is a population-level process or that it is a population-level product. Instead of identifying drift with population-level features, the account introduced here can explain these (...)
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  10.  34
    What's Wrong with the Emergentist Statistical Interpretation of Natural Selection and Random Drift.Robert N. Brandon & Grant Ramsey - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66--84.
  11.  93
    evoText: A New Tool for Analyzing the Biological Sciences.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:83-87.
    We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...)
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  12.  47
    The Causal Structure of Evolutionary Theory.Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):421-434.
    ABSTRACTOne contentious debate in the philosophy of biology is that between the statisticalists and causalists. The former understand core evolutionary concepts like fitness and selection to be mere statistical summaries of underlying causal processes. In this view, evolutionary changes cannot be causally explained by selection or fitness. The causalist side, on the other hand, holds that populations can change in response to selection—one can cite fitness differences or driftability in causal explanations of evolutionary change. But, on the causalist side, it (...)
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  13.  38
    Culture in Humans and Other Animals.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):457-479.
    The study of animal culture is a flourishing field, with culture being recorded in a wide range of taxa, including non-human primates, birds, cetaceans, and rodents. In spite of this research, however, the concept of culture itself remains elusive. There is no universally assented to concept of culture, and there is debate over the connection between culture and related concepts like tradition and social learning. Furthermore, it is not clear whether culture in humans and culture in non-human animals is really (...)
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  14.  39
    Animal Innovation Defined and Operationalized.Grant Ramsey, Meredith L. Bastian & Carel van Schaik - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):393-407.
    Innovation is a key component of most definitions of culture and intelligence. Additionally, innovations may affect a species' ecology and evolution. Nonetheless, conceptual and empirical work on innovation has only recently begun. In particular, largely because the existing operational definition (first occurrence in a population) requires long-term studies of populations, there has been no systematic study of innovation in wild animals. To facilitate such study, we have produced a new definition of innovation: Innovation is the process that generates in an (...)
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  15.  62
    How Human Nature Can Inform Human Enhancement: A Commentary on Tim Lewens's Human Nature: The Very Idea.Grant Ramsey - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):479-483.
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  16.  55
    Is Cultural Fitness Hopelessly Confused?Grant Ramsey & Andreas De Block - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    Fitness is a central concept in evolutionary theory. Just as it is central to biological evolution, so, it seems, it should be central to cultural evolutionary theory. But importing the biological fitness concept to CET is no straightforward task—there are many features unique to cultural evolution that make this difficult. This has led some theorists to argue that there are fundamental problems with cultural fitness that render it hopelessly confused. In this essay, we defend the coherency of cultural fitness against (...)
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  17.  63
    Can Fitness Differences Be a Cause of Evolution?Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 5 (20130604).
    Biological fitness is a foundational concept in the theory of natural selection. Natural selection is often defined in terms of fitness differences as “any consistent difference in fitness (i.e., survival and reproduction) among phenotypically different biological entities” (Futuyma 1998, 349). And in Lewontin’s (1970) classic articulation of the theory of natural selection, he lists fitness differences as one of the necessary conditions for evolution by natural selection to occur. Despite this foundational position of fitness, there remains much debate over the (...)
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  18.  30
    Chance in Evolution.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence (eds.) - 2016 - Chicago: University of Chicago.
    Evolutionary biology since Darwin has seen a dramatic entrenchment and elaboration of the role of chance in evolution. It is nearly impossible to discuss contemporary evolutionary theory in any depth at all without making reference to at least some concept of “chance” or “randomness.” Many processes are described as chancy, outcomes are characterized as random, and many evolutionary phenomena are thought to be best described by stochastic or probabilistic models. Chance is taken by various authors to be central to the (...)
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  19. Fitness: Philosophical Problems.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence - 2013 - eLS.
    Fitness plays many roles throughout evolutionary theory, from a measure of populations in the wild to a central element in abstract theoretical presentations of natural selection. It has thus been the subject of an extensive philosophical literature, which has primarily centered on the way to understand the relationship between fitness values and reproductive outcomes. If fitness is a probabilistic or statistical quantity, how is it to be defined in general theoretical contexts? How can it be measured? Can a single conceptual (...)
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  20.  74
    The Fundamental Constraint on the Evolution of Culture.Grant Ramsey - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):401-414.
    This paper argues that there is a general constraint on the evolution of culture. This constraint – what I am calling the Fundamental Constraint – must be satisfied in order for a cultural system to be adaptive. The Fundamental Constraint is this: for culture to be adaptive there must be a positive correlation between the fitness of cultural variants and their fitness impact on the organisms adopting those variants. Two ways of satisfying the Fundamental Constraint are introduced, structural solutions and (...)
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  21.  31
    What Is Human Nature For?Grant Ramsey - unknown
    Questions about what human nature is and how we can learn about it are difficult to answer. They are difficult not just because humans are complex creatures whose behavior is deeply embedded in the cultural environment that they are a part of, but also because it is not obvious what a concept of human nature is supposed to do or what it is for. The concept of human nature is often used as a normative concept, one that can serve as (...)
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  22.  6
    The Evolutionary Puzzle of Guilt: Individual or Group Selection?Michael Deem & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Understanding Guilt.
    Some unpleasant emotions, like fear and disgust, appear straightforwardly susceptible to evolutionary explanation on account of the benefits they seem to provide to individuals. But guilt is more puzzling in this respect. Like other unpleasant emotions, guilt is often associated with a host of negative effects on the individual, such as psychological suffering and social withdrawal. Moreover, many guilt-induced behaviors, such as revealing one’s offenses and placing oneself before the mercy of others, could levy a cost to individuals that is (...)
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  23.  82
    Why Reciprocal Altruism is Not a Kind of Group Selection.Grant Ramsey & Robert Brandon - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):385-400.
    Reciprocal altruism was originally formulated in terms of individual selection and most theorists continue to view it in this way. However, this interpretation of reciprocal altruism has been challenged by Sober and Wilson (1998). They argue that reciprocal altruism (as well as all other forms of altruism) evolves by the process of group selection. In this paper, we argue that the original interpretation of reciprocal altruism is the correct one. We accomplish this by arguing that if fitness attaches to (at (...)
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  24.  18
    The Nature of Programmed Cell Death.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):30-41.
    In multicellular organisms, cells are frequently programmed to die. This makes good sense: cells that fail to, or are no longer playing important roles are eliminated. From the cell’s perspective, this also makes sense, since somatic cells in multicellular organisms require the cooperation of clonal relatives. In unicellular organisms, however, programmed cell death poses a difficult and unresolved evolutionary problem. The empirical evidence for PCD in diverse microbial taxa has spurred debates about what precisely PCD means in the case of (...)
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  25.  26
    Is Organismic Fitness at the Basis of Evolutionary Theory?Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1081-1091.
    Fitness is a central theoretical concept in evolutionary theory. Despite its importance, much debate has occurred over how to conceptualize and formalize fitness. One point of debate concerns the roles of organismic and trait fitness. In a recent addition to this debate, Elliott Sober argues that trait fitness is the central fitness concept, and that organismic fitness is of little value. In this paper, by contrast, we argue that it is organismic fitness that lies at the bases of both the (...)
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  26.  9
    Age of Conquests: The Greek World From Alexander to Hadrian by Angelos Chaniotis.Gillian Ramsey - 2019 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 112 (2):109-110.
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  27.  9
    What is Animal Culture?Grant Ramsey - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge.
    Culture in humans connotes tradition, norms, ritual, technology, and social learning, but also cultural events like operas or gallery openings. Culture is in part about what we do, but also sometimes about what we ought to do. Human culture is inextricably intertwined with language and much of what we learn and transmit to others comes through written or spoken language. Given the complexities of human culture, it might seem that we are the only species that exhibits culture. How, then, are (...)
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  28.  35
    The Organism-Centered Approach to Cultural Evolution.Andreas De Block & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):283-290.
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  29.  29
    Can Altruism Be Unified?Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:32-38.
    There is clearly a plurality of forms of altruism. Classically, biological altruism is distinguished from psychological altruism. Recent discussions of altruism have attempted to distinguish even more forms of altruism. I will focus on three altruism concepts, biological altruism, psychological altruism, and helping altruism. The questions I am concerned with here are, first, how should we understand these concepts? and second, what relationship do these concepts bear to one another? In particular, is there an essence to altruism that unifies these (...)
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  30.  42
    On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. [REVIEW]Hope Hollocher, Agustin Fuentes, Charles H. Pence, Grant Ramsey, Daniel John Sportiello & Michelle M. Wirth - 2011 - Quarterly Review of Biology 86 (2):137-138.
  31.  40
    Elliott Sober, Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Essays on Darwin’s Theory. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 230 Pp., $21.00. [REVIEW]Charles H. Pence, Hope Hollocher, Ryan Nichols, Grant Ramsey, Edwin Siu & Daniel John Sportiello - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):705-709.
  32.  4
    Trait Bin and Trait Cluster Accounts of Human Nature.Grant Ramsey - 2018 - In Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (eds.), Why we disagree about human nature. Oxford University Press.
    Conceptions of human nature fall under two broad categories, trait bin accounts and trait cluster accounts. Trait bin accounts take there to be a special bin of traits, one composed of all and only those traits constituting our nature. For those arguing for a trait bin account of human nature, the challenge is to articulate what it is that marks a trait as being in or outside of the bin. For some, the bin is filled by the traits essential to (...)
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  33. Perception.R. R. Blake & G. V. Ramsey (eds.) - 1951 - Ronald Press.
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  34.  22
    How Do Deployed Health Care Providers Experience Moral Injury?Susanne W. Gibbons, Michaela Shafer, Edward J. Hickling & Gloria Ramsey - 2013 - Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 3 (3):247-259.
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  35.  31
    On the Concept of Animal Innovation and the Challenge of Studying Innovation in the Wild.Grant Ramsey, Meredith L. Bastian & Carel van Schaik - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):425-432.
    The commentaries have both drawn out the implications of, and challenged, our definition and operationalization of innovation. In this response, we reply to these concerns, discuss the differences between our operationalization and the preexisting operationalization if innovation, and make suggestions for the advancement of the challenging and exciting field of animal innovation.
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  36.  9
    The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire by Paul J. Kosmin.Gillian Ramsey - 2016 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 109 (2):275-277.
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  37.  23
    Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. [REVIEW]Grant Ramsey, Hope Hollocher, Agustin Fuentes, Charles H. Pence & Edwin Siu - 2010 - Quarterly Review of Biology 85 (4):499-500.
  38.  19
    Nurses, Medical Errors, and the Culture of Blame.Gloria Ramsey - 2005 - Hastings Center Report 35 (2):20-21.
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  39.  2
    Nurses, Medical Errors, and the Culture of Blame.Gloria Ramsey - 2005 - Hastings Center Report 35 (2):20.
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