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Jay Odenbaugh [46]Jay Patrick Odenbaugh [1]
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Jay Odenbaugh
Lewis & Clark College
  1.  96
    Buyer Beware: Robustness Analyses in Economics and Biology.Jay Odenbaugh & Anna Alexandrova - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):757-771.
    Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has (...)
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  2. Idealized, Inaccurate but Successful: A Pragmatic Approach to Evaluating Models in Theoretical Ecology. [REVIEW]Jay Odenbaugh - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):231-255.
    Ecologists attempt to understand the diversity of life with mathematical models. Often, mathematical models contain simplifying idealizations designed to cope with the blooming, buzzing confusion of the natural world. This strategy frequently issues in models whose predictions are inaccurate. Critics of theoretical ecology argue that only predictively accurate models are successful and contribute to the applied work of conservation biologists. Hence, they think that much of the mathematical work of ecologists is poor science. Against this view, I argue that model (...)
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  3. What Isn't Wrong with Ecosystem Ecology.Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    Philosophers of the life sciences have devoted considerably more attention to evolutionary theory and genetics than to the various sub-disciplines of ecology, but recent work in the philosophy of ecology suggests reflects a growing interest in this area (Cooper 2003; Ginzburg and Colyvan 2004). However, philosophers of biology and ecology have focused almost entirely on conceptual and methodological issues in population and community ecology; conspicuously absent are foundational investigations in ecosystem ecology. This situation is regrettable. Ecosystem concepts play a central (...)
     
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  4. Complex Systems, Trade‐Offs, and Theoretical Population Biology: Richard Levin's “Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology” Revisited.Jay Odenbaugh - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1496-1507.
    Ecologist Richard Levins argues population biologists must trade‐off the generality, realism, and precision of their models since biological systems are complex and our limitations are severe. Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober argue that there are cases where these model properties cannot be varied independently of one another. If this is correct, then Levins's thesis that there is a necessary trade‐off between generality, precision, and realism in mathematical models in biology is false. I argue that Orzack and Sober's arguments fail since (...)
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  5. The “Structure” of Population Ecology: Philosophical Reflections on Unstructured and Structured Models.Jay Odenbaugh - manuscript
    In 1974, John Maynard Smith wrote in his little book Models in Ecology, A theory of ecology must make statements about ecosystems as a whole, as well as about particular species at particular times, and it must make statements that are true for many species and not just for one… For the discovery of general ideas in ecology, therefore, different kinds of mathematical description, which may be called models, are called for. Whereas a good simulation should include as much detail (...)
     
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  6. Models in Biology.Jay Odenbaugh - 2009 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In recent years, there has much attention given by philosophers to the ubiquitous role of models and modeling in the biological sciences. Philosophical debates has focused on several areas of discussion. First, what are models in the biological sciences? The term ‘model’ is applied to mathematical structures, graphical displays, computer simulations, and even concrete organisms. Is there an account which unifies these disparate structures? Second, scientists routinely distinguish between theories and models; however, this distinction is more difficult to draw in (...)
     
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  7. Philosophy of the Environmental Sciences.Jay Odenbaugh - 2010 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 155--171.
    In this essay, I consider three philosophical issues that arise in the environmental sciences. First, these sciences depend on mathematical models and simulations which are highly idealized and are coupled with very uncertain data. Why should we trust these models and simulations? Second, in standard hypothesis testing, the burden of proof is in favor of the null hypothesis which claims some causal factor has no effect. The alternative hypothesis is accepted only when the likelihood of the null hypothesis is very (...)
     
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  8. A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Ecology.Mark Colyvan, William Grey, Jay Odenbaugh & Stefan Linquist - unknown
    Philosophical interest in ecology is relatively new. Standard texts in the philosophy of biology pay little or no attention to ecology (though Sterelny and Griffiths 1999 is an exception). This is in part because the science of ecology itself is relatively new, but whatever the reasons for the neglect in the past, the situation must change. A good philosophical understanding of ecology is important for a number of reasons. First, ecology is an important and fascinating branch of biology with distinctive (...)
     
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  9. True Lies: Realism, Robustness, and Models.Jay Odenbaugh - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1177-1188.
  10. Seeing the Forest and the Trees: On the Very Idea of an Ecological Community.Jay Odenbaugh - manuscript
    Abstract. In this essay I first provide an analysis of various community concepts. Second, I evaluate the two of the most serious challenges to the existence of communities – gradient and paleoecological analysis respectively – arguing that properly understood neither threatens the existence of communities construed interactively. Finally, I apply the same interactive approach to ecosystem ecology arguing that ecosystems may exist robustly as well.
     
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  11. A Philosophy for Biodiversity?Jay Odenbaugh - manuscript
    Sahotra Sarkar’s Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy is a welcome addition to the fields of environmental philosophy and the philosophy of science. First, his book has a rigorous and careful discussion of why we should preserve biodiversity. This is all the more important since much of environmental ethics has rested on normative claims which are unclear in meaning, appear unjustified at best and unjustifiable at worst, and are politically ineffective. Second, Sarkar is at home in the science of conservation biology and (...)
     
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  12. Models.Jay Odenbaugh - manuscript
    I. Introduction. Philosophical discussions of models and modeling in the biological sciences have exploded in the last few decades. Given that there are three-dimensional models of DNA in molecular genetics, individual-based computer simulations in population ecology, statistical models in paleontology, diffusion models in population genetics, and remnant models in taxonomy, we clearly should have a philosophical account of such models and their relation to the world. In this essay, I provide a critical survey of the accounts of models provided by (...)
     
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  13. The Strategy of “the Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology”.Jay Odenbaugh - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):607-621.
    In this essay, I argue for four related claims. First, Richard Levins’ classic “The Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology” was a statement and defense of theoretical population biology growing out of collaborations between Robert MacArthur, Richard Lewontin, E. O. Wilson, and others. Second, I argue that the essay served as a response to the rise of systems ecology especially as pioneered by Kenneth Watt. Third, the arguments offered by Levins against systems ecology and in favor of his own (...)
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  14. Ecology and the Inescapability of Values.Jay Odenbaugh - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (4):593-596.
  15. Philosophical Issues in Ecology: Recent Trends and Future Directions.Mark Colyvan, William Grey, Paul E. Griffiths, Jay Odenbaugh & Stefan Linquist - 2009 - Ecology and Society 14 (2).
    A good philosophical understanding of ecology is important for a number of reasons. First, ecology is an important and fascinating branch of biology, with distinctive philosophical issues. Second, ecology is only one small step away from urgent political, ethical, and management decisions about how best to live in an apparently fragile and increasingly-degraded environment. Third, philosophy of ecology, properly conceived, can contribute directly to both our understanding of ecology and help with its advancement. Philosophy of ecology can thus be seen (...)
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  16. Struggling with the Science of Ecology.Jay Odenbaugh - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):395-409.
    Greg Cooper’s The Science of the Struggle for Existence is a must read for those interested in the history and philosophy of ecology and in topics like laws of nature, scientific explanation, and mathematical modeling. If you want to explore some of the metaphysical and methodological challenges that face ecology, there is no better place to go. Thus, this book marks an important moment in the philosophy of ecology. Folks like myself will be responding to it for quite a while. (...)
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  17. Values, Advocacy and Conservation Biology.Jay Odenbaugh - 2003 - Environmental Values 12 (1):55 - 69.
    In this essay, I examine the controversy concerning the advocacy of ethical values in conservation biology. First, I argue, as others have, that conservation biology is a science laden with values both ethical and non-ethical. Second, after clarifying the notion of advocacy at work, I contend that conservation biologists should advocate the preservation of biological diversity. Third, I explore what ethical grounds should be used for advocating the preservation of ecological systems by conservation biologists. I argue that conservation biologists should (...)
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  18. Philosophy of Biology.Andrew Hamilton, Samir Okasha & Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    Philosophy of biology is a vibrant and growing field. From initial roots in the metaphysics of species (Ghiselin, Hull), questions about whether biology has laws of nature akin to those of physics (Ruse, Hull), and discussions of teleology and function (Grene 1974, Brandon 1981), the field has grown since the 1970s to include a vast range of topics. Over the last few decades, philosophy has had an important impact on biology, partly through following the model of engagement with science that (...)
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  19.  97
    Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Realism About Communities and Ecosystems.Jay Odenbaugh - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):628-641.
    In this essay I first provide an analysis of various community concepts. Second, I evaluate two of the most serious challenges to the existence of communities—gradient and paleoecological analysis respectively—arguing that, properly understood, neither threatens the existence of communities construed interactively. Finally, I apply the same interactive approach to ecosystem ecology, arguing that ecosystems may exist robustly as well. ‡I would like to thank to the participants at the Ecology and Environmental Ethics Conference at the University of Utah, the Philosophy (...)
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  20.  42
    Semblance or Similarity? Reflections on Simulation and Similarity.Jay Odenbaugh - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (2):277-291.
    In this essay, I critically evaluate components of Michael Weisberg’s approach to models and modeling in his book Simulation and Similarity. First, I criticize his account of the ontology of models and mathematics. Second, I respond to his objections to fictionalism regarding models arguing that they fail. Third, I sketch a deflationary approach to models that retains many elements of his account but avoids the inflationary commitments.
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  21. Philosophy of Biology.Jay Odenbaugh, Matt Haber, Andrew Hamilton & and Samir Okasha - manuscript
    Philosophy of the Special Sciences, edited by Fritz Allhof, Blackwell Press.
     
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  22. Ecological Stability, Model Building, and Environmental Policy: A Reply to Some of the Pessimism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S1):S493-.
    Recently, there has been a rise in pessimism concerning what theoretical ecology can offer conservation biologists in the formation of reasonable environmental policies. In this paper, I look at one of the pessimistic arguments offered by Kristin Shrader-Frechette and E. D. McCoy (1993, 1994)--the argument from conceptual imprecision. I suggest that their argument rests on an inadequate account of the concepts of ecological stability and that there has been conceptual progress with respect to complexity-stability hypotheses. Such progress, I maintain, can (...)
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  23. Why Ecosystems Need Not Be Social Constructed (Though Their Health May Be).Jay Odenbaugh - manuscript
     
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  24.  6
    Philosophical Themes in the Work of Robert H. Macarthur.Jay Odenbaugh - 2011 - In Kevin deLaplante, Bryson Brown & Kent A. Peacock (eds.), Philosophy of Ecology. North-Holland. pp. 11--109.
  25.  40
    This American Life.Jay Odenbaugh - 2011 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):27-29.
  26. Complex Systems, Trade-Offs and Mathematical Modeling: A Response to Sober and Orzack.Jay Odenbaugh - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1496-1507.
  27.  10
    Rethinking Wilderness.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Environmental Ethics 39 (4):459-460.
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  28. Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1031-1055.
    Foot , Hursthouse , and Thompson , along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral judgments are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of (...)
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  29.  7
    Engineering Model Independence.Zachary Pirtle, Jay Odenbaugh, Andrew Hamilton & Zoe Szajnfarber - 2018 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 22 (2):191-229.
    According to population biologist Richard Levins, every discipline has a “strategy of model building,” which involves implicit assumptions about epistemic goals and the types of abstractions and modeling approaches used. We will offer suggestions about how to model complex systems based upon a strategy focusing on independence in modeling. While there are many possible and desirable modeling strategies, we will contrast a model-independence-focused strategy with the more common modeling strategy of adding increasing levels of detail to a model. Levins calls (...)
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  30.  7
    The Edges and Boundaries of Biological Objects.Jay Odenbaugh & Matt Haber - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):219-224.
  31.  11
    Models, Models, Models: A Deflationary View.Jay Odenbaugh - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    In this essay, I first consider a popular view of models and modeling, the similarity view. Second, I contend that arguments for it fail and it suffers from what I call “Hughes’ worry.” Third, I offer a deflationary approach to models and modeling that avoids Hughes’ worry and shows how scientific representations are of apiece with other types of representations. Finally, I consider an objection that the similarity view can deal with approximations better than the deflationary view and show that (...)
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  32. Ecological Stability, Model Building, and Environmental Policy: A Reply to Some of the Pessimism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):493-505.
    Recently, there has been a rise in pessimism concerning what theoretical ecology can offer conservation biologists in the formation of reasonable environmental policies. In this paper, I look at one of the pessimistic arguments offered by Kristin Shrader-Frechette and E. D. McCoy -the argument from conceptual imprecision. I suggest that their argument rests on an inadequate account of the concepts of ecological stability and that there has been conceptual progress with respect to complexity-stability hypotheses. Such progress, I maintain, can supply (...)
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  33.  5
    Engineering Model Independence in Advance.Zachary Pirtle, Jay Odenbaugh, Andrew Hamilton & Zoe Szajnfarber - forthcoming - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
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  34. 10. Philosophy of Chemistry.Cristina Bicchieri, Jason McKenzie Alexander, Kevin T. Kelly, Kevin Js Zollman, Malcolm R. Forster, Predrag Šustar, Patrick Forber, Kenneth Reisman, Jay Odenbaugh & Yoichi Ishida - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5).
  35.  46
    Subsistence Versus Sustainable Emissions? Equity and Climate Change.Jay Odenbaugh - 2010 - Environmental Philosophy 7 (1):1-15.
    In this essay, I first consider what the implications of global climate change will be regarding issues of equity. Secondly, I consider two types of proposals which focus on sustainable emissions and subsistence rights respectively. Thirdly, I consider where these proposal types conflict. Lastly, I argue under plausible assumptions, these two proposals actually imply similar policies regarding global climate change.
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  36.  22
    Human Nature, Anthropology, and the Problem of Variation.Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    In this essay, I begin with an overview of a traditional account of natural kinds, and then consider David Hull's critique of species as natural kinds and the associated notion of human nature. Second, I explore recent "liberal" accounts of human nature provided by Edouard Machery and Grant Ramsey and criticized by Tim Lewens. They attempt to avoid the criticisms of- fered by Hull. After examining those views, I turn to Richard Boyd's Homeostatic Property Cluster account of natural kinds which (...)
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  37.  19
    Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness and Evolutionary Biology.Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse, along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral evaluations are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of approach is (...)
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  38.  9
    On the Contrary: How to Think About Climate Skepticism.Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    Dr. Jay Odenbaugh discusses different types of climate skepticism and the evidence for anthropogenic climate change along with some common arguments against it. He considers the role of consensus and dissent in science and recent discussion of the book Merchants of Doubt and Climategate.
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  39.  41
    Sahotra Sarkar, Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction.Jay Odenbaugh - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):541-550.
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  40.  17
    Environmental Philosophy 2.0: Ethics and Conservation Biology for the 21st Century.Jay Odenbaugh - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):92-96.
    In this essay, I critically engage Sahotra Sarkar’s Environmental Philosophy. The several topics include the conceptual foundations of conservation biology and traditional philosophy of science, naturalism and its implications, and ethical theory and specifically the status of human welfare.
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  41.  6
    John Dupré: Human Nature and the Limits of Science. [REVIEW]Jay Odenbaugh - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (4):849-851.
  42.  5
    Sahotra Sarkar, Environmental Philosophy: From Theory to Practice. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell , Xii+226 Pp., $96.95. [REVIEW]Jay Odenbaugh - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (2):292-296.
  43.  2
    On the Contrary: How to Think About Climate Communication.Jay Odenbaugh - unknown
    Dr. Jay Odenbaugh discusses psychological issues concerning American opinion on the topic of climate control, the relevance or irrelevance of scientific literacy to climate skepticism, and the role of affect and cognitive biases in environmental decision-making. He considers climate communication and how we might most effectively motivate pro-environmental behavior and beliefs. The discussion ends with a case study for persuading individuals on both sides of the political aisle for taking global climate change seriously.
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  44. A General, Unifying Theory of Ecology?Jay Odenbaugh - 2011 - In Samuel M. Scheiner & Michael R. Willig (eds.), The Theory of Ecology. University of Chicago Press.
  45. Pessimism About Ecosystem Ecology: A Reply to Sagoff.Jay Odenbaugh - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
     
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