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Paul Davies
College of William and Mary
  1. The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis From Science to Religion.Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. It provides the clearest explication yet of this exciting new theory of science, which challenges the reductionist approach by proposing the continuous emergence of novel phenomena.
  2.  50
    The Physics of Time Asymmetry.Paul Davies - 1977 - University of California Press.
    The physics of time asymmetry has never been a single well-defined subject, but more a collection of consistency problems which arise in almost all branches ...
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  3.  56
    Subjects of the World: Darwin's Rhetoric and the Study of Agency in Nature.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2009 - University of Chicago Press.
    Being human while trying to scientifically study human nature confronts us with our most vexing problem. Efforts to explicate the human mind are thwarted by our cultural biases and entrenched infirmities; our first-person experiences as practical agents convince us that we have capacities beyond the reach of scientific explanation. What we need to move forward in our understanding of human agency, Paul Sheldon Davies argues, is a reform in the way we study ourselves and a long overdue break with traditional (...)
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  4.  87
    Malfunctions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (1):19-38.
    A persistent boast of the historical approach to functions is that functional properties are normative. The claim is that a token trait retains its functional status even when it is defective, diseased, or damaged and consequently unable to perform the relevant task. This is because historical functional categories are defined in terms of some sort of historical success -- success in natural selection, typically -- which imposes a norm upon the performance of descendent tokens. Descendents thus are supposed to perform (...)
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  5. The Mind of God.Paul Davies - 1994 - Science and Society 58 (2):233-237.
  6.  83
    The Nature of Natural Norms: Why Selected Functions Are Systemic Capacity Functions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2000 - Noûs 34 (1):85–107.
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  7. The Physics of Downward Causation.Paul Davies - 2006 - In P. Davies & P. Clayton (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis From Science to Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  8. The Fifth Miracle.Paul Davies - 2004 - Zygon 39 (1):261 - 265.
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  9. The Physics of Downward Causation.Paul Davies - 2006 - In Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press.
  10. Does Information Matter?Paul Davies & Niels Henrik Gregersen - 2010 - In P. C. W. Davies & Niels Henrik Gregersen (eds.), Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
  11. Emergent Biological Principles and the Computational Properties of the Universe.Paul Davies - manuscript
    T he term emergence is used to describe the appearance of new properties that arise when a system exceeds a certain level of size or complexity, properties that are absent from the constituents of the system. It is a concept often summed up by the phrase that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and it is a key notion in the burgeoning field of complexity science. Life is often cited as a classic example of an emergent (...)
     
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  12.  37
    Darwinizing Debunking Arguments.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):275-289.
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  13. Conceptual Conservatism : The Case of Normative Functions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2009 - In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press.
     
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  14.  57
    Troubles for Direct Proper Functions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 1994 - Noûs 28 (3):363-381.
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  15.  61
    Discovering the Functional Mesh: On the Methods of Evolutionary Psychology. [REVIEW]Paul Sheldon Davies - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (4):559-585.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify and critically assess the methods of evolutionary psychology, and offer a sketch of an alternative methodology. My thesis is threefold. (1) The methods of inquiry unique to evolutionary psychology rest upon the claim that the discovery of theadaptive functions of ancestral psychological capacities leads to the discovery of thepsychological functions of those ancestral capacities. (2) But this claim is false; in fact, just the opposite is true. We first must discover the psychological (...)
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  16.  51
    Logical Reasoning and Domain Specificity: A Critique of the Social Exchange Theory of Reasoning.Paul Sheldon Davies, James H. Fetzer & Thomas R. Foster - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):1-37.
    The social exchange theory of reasoning, which is championed by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, falls under the general rubric evolutionary psychology and asserts that human reasoning is governed by content-dependent, domain-specific, evolutionarily-derived algorithms. According to Cosmides and Tooby, the presumptive existence of what they call cheater-detection algorithms disconfirms the claim that we reason via general-purpose mechanisms or via inductively acquired principles. We contend that the Cosmides/Tooby arguments in favor of domain-specific algorithms or evolutionarily-derived mechanisms fail and that the notion (...)
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  17. Universe From Bit.Paul Davies - 2010 - In P. C. W. Davies & Niels Henrik Gregersen (eds.), Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
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  18. The Implications of a Cosmological Information Bound for Complexity, Quantum Information and the Nature of Physical Law.Paul Davies - unknown
    The finite age of the universe and the existence of cosmological horizons provides a strong argument that the observable universe represents a finite causal region with finite material and informational resources. A similar conclusion follows from the holographic principle. In this paper I address the question of whether the cosmological information bound has implications for fundamental physics. Orthodox physics is based on Platonism: the laws are treated as infinitely precise, perfect, immutable mathematical relationships that transcend the physical universe and remain (...)
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  19.  92
    'Defending' Direct Proper Functions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):299.
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  20.  31
    Giving Reasons for What We Do.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2016 - Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (1):135-144.
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  21.  76
    Sober on Brandon on Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection.Robert N. Brandon, Janis Antonovics, Richard Burian, Scott Carson, Greg Cooper, Paul Sheldon Davies, Christopher Horvath, Brent D. Mishler, Robert C. Richardson, Kelly Smith & Peter Thrall - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (3):475-486.
    Sober (1992) has recently evaluated Brandon's (1982, 1990; see also 1985, 1988) use of Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off in the philosophy of biology. He critiques three particular issues, each of which will be considered in this discussion.
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  22.  95
    Some Evolutionary Model or Other: Aspirations and Evidence in Evolutionary Psychology.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):83 – 97.
  23.  29
    The Excesses of Teleosemantics.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (sup1):117-137.
    Teleosemantics asserts that mental content is determined by natural selection. The thesis is that content is fixed by the historical conditions under which certain cognitive mechanisms—those that produce and those that interpret representational states—were selectively successful. Content is fixed by conditions of selective success. The thesis of this paper is that teleosemantics is mistaken, that content cannot be fixed by conditions of selective success, because those conditions typically outnumber the intentional objects within a given representational state. To defend against this (...)
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  24. The Origin of Life I: When and Where Did It Begin?Paul Davies - manuscript
    For decades most scientists assumed that life emerged billions of years ago in a “primordial soup” somewhere on the Earth’s surface. Evidence is mounting, however, that life may have begun deep beneath the surface, perhaps near a volcanic ocean vent or even inside the hot crust itself. Since there are hints that life’s history on Earth extends back through the phase of massive cosmic bombardment, it may be that life started on Mars and came here later, perhaps inside rocks ejected (...)
     
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  25. A Quantum Recipe for Life.Paul Davies - unknown
    One of the most influential physics books of the twentieth century was actually about biology. In a series of lectures, Erwin Schrödinger described how he believed that quantum mechanics, or some variant of it, would soon solve the riddle of life. These lectures were published in 1944 under the title What is life? and are credited by some as ushering in the age of molecular biology. In the nineteenth century, many scientists thought they knew the answer to Schrödinger’s rhetorical question. (...)
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  26. Complexity and the Arrow of Time.Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C. W. Davies & Michael Ruse (eds.) - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
  27. Signatures of a Shadow Biosphere.Paul C. W. Davies, Carol E. Cleland & Christopher P. McKay - unknown
    Astrobiologists are aware that extraterrestrial life might differ from known life, and considerable thought has been given to possible signatures associated with weird forms of life on other planets. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to the possibility that our own planet might also host communities of weird life. If life arises readily in Earth-like conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have formed many times on Earth itself, which raises the question whether one or (...)
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  28.  63
    Sincerity and the End of Theodicy: Three Remarks on Levinas and Kant.Paul Davies - 1998 - Research in Phenomenology 28 (1):126-151.
  29.  6
    Targeting Cancer's Weaknesses : Therapeutic Strategies Suggested by the Atavistic Model.Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C. W. Davies & Mark D. Vincent - 2014 - Bioessays 36 (9):827-835.
    In the atavistic model of cancer progression, tumor cell dedifferentiation is interpreted as a reversion to phylogenetically earlier capabilities. The more recently evolved capabilities are compromised first during cancer progression. This suggests a therapeutic strategy for targeting cancer: design challenges to cancer that can only be met by the recently evolved capabilities no longer functional in cancer cells. We describe several examples of this target‐the‐weakness strategy. Our most detailed example involves the immune system. The absence of adaptive immunity in immunosuppressed (...)
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  30.  77
    Preface: Evolutionary Theory in Cognitive Psychology. [REVIEW]Paul Sheldon Davies - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (4):445-462.
  31.  41
    The Excesses of Teleosemantics.Paul S. Davies - 2001 - In J. S. McIntosh (ed.), Canadian Journal of Philosophy. University of Calgary Press. pp. 117-137.
  32. How Bio-Friendly is the Universe ?Paul Davies - manuscript
    : The oft-repeated claim that life is ‘ written into ’ the laws of nature is examined and criticised. Arguments are given in favour of life spreading between near-neighbour planets in rocky impact ejecta (transpermia), but against panspermia, leading to the conclusion that if life is indeed found to be widespread in the universe, some form of life principle or biological determinism must be at work in the process of biogenesis. Criteria for what would constitute a credible life principle are (...)
     
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  33. Did Nature Also Choose Arsenic ?Felisa Wolfe-Simon & Paul C. W. Davies - unknown
    : All known life requires phosphorus (P) in the form of inorganic phosphate (PO43x or Pi) and phosphate-containing organic molecules. Pi serves as the backbone of the nucleic acids that constitute genetic material and as the major repository of chemical energy for metabolism in polyphosphate bonds. Arsenic (As) lies directly below P on the periodic table and so the two elements share many chemical properties, although their chemistries are sufficiently dissimilar that As cannot directly replace P in modern biochemistry. Arsenic (...)
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  34.  69
    The Nature of the Laws of Physics and Their Mysterious Bio-Friendliness.Paul Davies - 2010 - In Science and Religion in Dialogue. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 767--788.
    This chapter contains sections titled: * 1 The Universe Is Weirdly Fine-Tuned for Life * 2 The Cosmic Code * 3 The Concept of Laws * 4 Are the Laws Real? * 5 Does a Multiverse Explain the Goldilocks Enigma? * 6 Many Scientists Hate the Multiverse Idea * 7 Who Designed the Multiverse? * 8 If There Were a Unique Final Theory, God Would Be Redundant * 9 What Exists and What Doesn’t: Who or What Gets to Decide? * (...)
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  35. The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothes.Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Much of the modern period was dominated by a `reductionist' theory of science. On this view, to explain any event in the world is to reduce it down to fundamental particles, laws, and forces. In recent years reductionism has been dramatically challenged by a radically new paradigm called `emergence'. According to this new theory, natural history reveals the continuous emergence of novel phenomena: new structures and new organisms with new causal powers. Consciousness is yet one more emergent level in the (...)
     
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  36. The Appearance of Design in Physics and Cosmology.Paul Davies - 2003 - In Neil A. Manson (ed.), God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science. Routledge.
  37.  37
    Difficult Friendship.Paul Davies - 1988 - Research in Phenomenology 18 (1):149-172.
  38. Quantum Vacuum Noise in Physics and Cosmology.Paul Davies - manuscript
    The concept of the vacuum in quantum field theory is a subtle one. Vacuum states have a rich and complex set of properties that produce distinctive, though usually exceedingly small, physical effects. Quantum vacuum noise is familiar in optical and electronic devices, but in this paper I wish to consider extending the discussion to systems in which gravitation, or large accelerations, are important. This leads to the prediction of vacuum friction: The quantum vacuum can act in a manner reminiscent of (...)
     
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  39.  34
    Telling Tales: Notes on Heidegger’s “Career,” the “Heidegger Affair,” and the Assumptions of Narrativity.Paul Davies - 1991 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 14 (2/1):267-293.
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  40. Detection of Negative Energy: 4-Dimensional Examples.Paul Davies - manuscript
    We study the response of switched particle detectors to static negative energy densities and negative energy fluxes. It is demonstrated how the switching leads to excitation even in the vacuum and how negative energy can lead to a suppression of this excitation. We obtain quantum inequalities on the detection similar to those obtained for the energy density by Ford and co-workers and in an ‘‘operational’’ context by Helfer. We reexamine the question ‘‘Is there a quantum equivalence principle?’’ in terms of (...)
     
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  41. The Face and the Caress: Levinas's Ethical Alterations of Sensibility.Paul Davies - 1993 - In David Kleinberg-Levin (ed.), Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision. The University of California Press. pp. 252--72.
     
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  42.  38
    Does Past Selective Efficacy Matter to Psychology?Paul Sheldon Davies - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):513-514.
    Andrews et al. subscribe to the view that distinguishing selectionist from nonselectionist hypotheses – or, distinguishing adaptations from mere spandrels or exaptations – is important to the study of psychology. I offer three reasons for thinking that this view is false; that considerations of past selective efficacy have little to contribute to inquiry in psychology.
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  43.  66
    Deflating Consciousness: A Critical Review of Fred Dretske's Naturalizing the Mind.Paul Sheldon Davies - 1997 - Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):541-550.
    Fred Dretske asserts that the conscious or phenomenal experiences associated with our perceptual states—e.g. the qualitative or subjective features involved in visual or auditory states—are identical to properties that things have according to our representations of them. This is Dretske's version of the currently popular representational theory of consciousness . After explicating the core of Dretske's representational thesis, I offer two criticisms. I suggest that Dretske's view fails to apply to a broad range of mental phenomena that have rather distinctive (...)
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  44.  65
    Asymmetry and Transcendence: On Scepticism and First Philosophy.Paul Davies - 2005 - Research in Phenomenology 35 (1):118-140.
    In attempting to re-think the notion of asymmetry and its relations with 'first philosophy' and to see how that notion is tracked by the provocation of scepticism, the paper demonstrates something about the implications of Levinas' ethical asymmetry. The paper considers Levinas' tendency to introduce the topic of scepticism when confronted by the logical and textual difficulties that necessarily befall his account of the ethical relation. It argues that such an introduction commits Levinas to the claim: first philosophy entails a (...)
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  45.  61
    How Far Can the Generalized Second Law Be Generalized?Paul Davies - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (12):1877-1889.
    Jacob Bekenstein's identification of black hole event horizon area with entropy proved to be a landmark in theoretical physics. In this paper we trace the subsequent development of the resulting generalized second law of thermodynamics (GSL), especially its extension to incorporate cosmological event horizons. In spite of the fact that cosmological horizons do not generally have well-defined thermal properties, we find that the GSL is satisfied for a wide range of models. We explore in particular the case of an asymptotically (...)
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  46. Order From Disorder: The Role of Noise in Creative Processes. A Special Issue On Game Theory And.Derek Abbott & Paul C. W. Davies - unknown
    The importance of applying game theory to the evolution of information in the presence of noise has recently become widely recognized. This Special Issue addresses the theme of spontaneously emergent order in both classical and quantum systems subject to external noise, and includes papers directly related to game theory or the development of supporting techniques. In the following editorial overview we examine the broader context of the subject, including the tension between the destructive and creative aspects of noise, and foreshadow (...)
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  47. Detecting the Rotating Quantum Vacuum.Paul Davies - manuscript
    We derive conditions for rotating particle detectors to respond in a variety of bounded spacetimes and compare the results with the folklore that particle detectors do not respond in the vacuum state appropriate to their motion. Applications involving possible violations of the second law of thermodynamics are briefly addressed.
     
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  48.  48
    Unmasking Self-Deception. [REVIEW]Paul Sheldon Davies - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):413-417.
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  49.  32
    Books Reviews.Pauls Heldon Davies - 1996 - Mind 105 (418):337-341.
  50. Quantum Mechanics and the Equivalence Principle.Paul Davies - manuscript
    A quantum particle moving in a gravitational field may penetrate the classically forbidden region of the gravitational potential. This raises the question of whether the time of flight of a quantum particle in a gravitational field might deviate systematically from that of a classical particle due to tunnelling delay, representing a violation of the weak equivalence principle. I investigate this using a model quantum clock to measure the time of flight of a quantum particle in a uniform gravitational field, and (...)
     
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