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Justin Bruner
University of California, Irvine (PhD)
  1. The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Social contract theorists often take the ideal contract to be the agreement or bargain individuals would make in some privileged choice situation (i.e., an ‘original position’). Recently, experimental philosophers have explored this kind of decision-making in the lab. One rather robust finding is that the exact circumstances of choice significantly affect the kinds of social arrangements experimental subjects (almost) unanimously endorse. Yet prior work has largely ignored the question of which of the many competing descriptions of the original position subjects (...)
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  2. No Harm Done? An Experimental Approach to the Non-Identity Problem.Matthew Kopec & Justin P. Bruner - manuscript
    A driving force behind much of the literature on the non-identity problem is the widely shared intuition that actions or policies that change who comes into existence don't, as a result, lose their morally problematic features. We hypothesize that this intuition isn’t entirely shared by the general public, which might have widespread implications concerning how to best motivate public support for large-scale, identity-affecting policies like those involved in climate change mitigation. To test our hypothesis, we ran a behavioural economic experiment, (...)
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  3.  17
    The Problem of Intransigently Biased Agents.Bennett Holman & Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):956-968.
    In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect of an epistemically impure agent on a community of honest truth seekers. Extending a formal model of network epistemology pioneered by Zollman, we conclude that an intransigently biased agent prevents the community from ever converging to the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network formation in which agents choose whom to trust. We contend that our (...)
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  4.  28
    Policing Epistemic Communities.Justin P. Bruner - 2013 - Episteme 10 (4):403-416.
    I examine how particular social arrangements and incentive structures encourage the honest reporting of experimental results and minimize fraudulent scientific work. In particular I investigate how epistemic communities can achieve this goal by promoting members to police the community. Using some basic tools from game theory, I explore a simple model in which scientists both conduct research and have the option of investigating the findings of their peers. I find that this system of peer policing can in many cases ensure (...)
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  5.  49
    Diversity, Tolerance, and the Social Contract.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (4):429-448.
  6.  24
    Self-Correction in Science: Meta-Analysis, Bias and Social Structure.Justin P. Bruner & Bennett Holman - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  7.  19
    Inclusive Fitness and the Problem of Honest Communication.Justin P. Bruner & Hannah Rubin - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  8.  29
    Disclosure and Information Transfer in Signaling Games.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):649-666.
    One of the major puzzles in evolutionary theory is how communication and information transfer are possible when the interests of those involved conflict. Perfect information transfer seems inevitable if there are physical constraints, which limit the signal repertoire of an individual, effectively making bluffing an impossibility. This, I argue, is incorrect. Unfakeable signals by no means guarantee information transfer. I demonstrate the existence of a so-called pooling equilibrium and discuss why the traditional argument for perfect information transfer does not hold (...)
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  9.  7
    How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policy-Makers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks.James Owen Weatherall, Cailin O’Connor & Justin P. Bruner - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy062.
    In their recent book Merchants of Doubt [New York:Bloomsbury 2010], Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe the "tobacco strategy", which was used by the tobacco industry to influence policy makers 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 (...)
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  10.  11
    Bargaining and the Dynamics of Divisional Norms.Justin P. Bruner - forthcoming - Synthese.
  11.  15
    Locke, Nozick and the State of Nature.Justin P. Bruner - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Recently, philosophers have drawn on tools from game theory to explore behavior in Hobbes’ state of nature. I take a similar approach and argue the Lockean state of nature is best conceived of as a conflictual coordination game. I also discuss Nozick’s famous claim regarding the emergence of the state and argue the path to the minimal state is blocked by a hitherto unnoticed free-rider problem. Finally, I argue that on my representation of the Lockean state of nature both widespread (...)
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  12.  21
    The Handicap Principle Is an Artifact.Simon M. Huttegger, Justin P. Bruner & Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):997-1009.
    The handicap principle is one of the most influential ideas in evolutionary biology. It asserts that when there is conflict of interest in a signaling interaction signals must be costly in order to be reliable. While in evolutionary biology it is a common practice to distinguish between indexes and fakable signals, we argue this dichotomy is an artifact of existing popular signaling models. Once this distinction is abandoned, we show one cannot adequately understand signaling behavior by focusing solely on cost. (...)
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  13.  7
    Correction To: The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-3.
    The citations of Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 were placed after the figures in the original publication of the article. However, they should be placed prior the placement of figures.
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  14.  11
    Coordination, Conflict, and Externalization.Justin P. Bruner - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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