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Profile: Kenneth Reisman (Wharton School)
  1. The Robust Volterra Principle.Michael Weisberg & Kenneth Reisman - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):106-131.
    Theorizing in ecology and evolution often proceeds via the construction of multiple idealized models. To determine whether a theoretical result actually depends on core features of the models and is not an artifact of simplifying assumptions, theorists have developed the technique of robustness analysis, the examination of multiple models looking for common predictions. A striking example of robustness analysis in ecology is the discovery of the Volterra Principle, which describes the effect of general biocides in predator-prey systems. This paper details (...)
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    Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution.Kenneth Reisman & Patrick Forber - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1113-1123.
    Evolutionary processes such as natural selection and random drift are commonly regarded as causes of population-level change. We respond to a recent challenge that drift and selection are best understood as statistical trends, not causes. Our reply appeals to manipulation as a strategy for uncovering causal relationships: if you can systematically manipulate variable A to bring about a change in variable B, then A is a cause of B. We argue that selection and drift can be systematically manipulated to produce (...)
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    Can There Be Stochastic Evolutionary Causes?Patrick Forber & Kenneth Reisman - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):616-627.
    Do evolutionary processes such as selection and random drift cause evolutionary change, or are they merely convenient ways of describing or summarizing it? Philosophers have lined up on both sides of this question. One recent defense (Reisman and Forber 2005) of the causal status of selection and drift appeals to a manipulability theory of causation. Yet, even if one accepts manipulability, there are still reasons to doubt that genetic drift, in particular, is genuinely causal. We will address two challenges to (...)
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  4.  49
    Thinking Like a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Firefly: Learning Biology Through Constructing and Testing Computational Theories.Uri Wilensky & Kenneth Reisman - 2006 - Cognition & Instruction 24 (2):171-209.
    Biological phenomena can be investigated at multiple levels, from the molecular to the cellular to the organismic to the ecological. In typical biology instruction, these levels have been segregated. Yet, it is by examining the connections between such levels that many phenomena in biology, and complex systems in general, are best explained. We describe a computation-based approach that enables students to investigate the connections between different biological levels. Using agent-based, embodied modeling tools, students model the microrules underlying a biological phenomenon (...)
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  5.  84
    Is Culture Inherited Through Social Learning?Kenneth Reisman - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):300-306.
    In this article I challenge the widely held assumption that human culture is inherited by means of social learning. First, I address the distinction between “social” learning and “individual” learning. I argue that most cultural ideas are not acquired by one form of learning or the other, but from a hybrid of both. Second, I discuss how individual learning can interact with niche construction. I argue that these processes collectively provide a non-social route for learned ideas to be inherited and (...)
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  6. 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).
  7.  28
    Cultural Evolution.Kenneth Reisman - forthcoming - In Michael Ruse (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  8.  14
    The New Behaviorism.Kenneth Reisman - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):715-729.