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Peter Godfrey-Smith [123]Peter Richard Godfrey-Smith [1]
  1.  71
    Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    The book presents a new way of understanding Darwinism and evolution by natural selection, combining work in biology, philosophy, and other fields.
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  2. The Strategy of Model-Based Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
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  3. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2003 - University of Chicago Press.
    How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality , Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and (...)
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  4.  69
    A Modern History Theory of Functions.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1994 - Noûs 28 (3):344-362.
    Biological functions are dispositions or effects a trait has which explain the recent maintenance of the trait under natural selection. This is the "modern history" approach to functions. The approach is historical because to ascribe a function is to make a claim about the past, but the relevant past is the recent past; modern history rather than ancient.
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  5.  40
    Mind, Matter, and Metabolism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (10):481-506.
    I discuss the bearing on the mind-body problem of some general characteristics of living systems, including the physical basis of metabolism and the relation between living activity and cognitive capacities in simple organisms. I then attempt to describe stages in the history of animal life important to the evolution of subjective experience. Features of the biological basis of cognition are used to criticize arguments against materialism that draw on the conceivability of a separation between mental and physical. I also argue (...)
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  6. Individualist and Multi-Level Perspectives on Selection in Structured Populations.Benjamin Kerr & Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):477-517.
    Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set (...)
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  7. Models and Fictions in Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):101 - 116.
    Non-actual model systems discussed in scientific theories are compared to fictions in literature. This comparison may help with the understanding of similarity relations between models and real-world target systems. The ontological problems surrounding fictions in science may be particularly difficult, however. A comparison is also made to ontological problems that arise in the philosophy of mathematics.
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  8.  70
    Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:1-27.
    Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models of interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that is needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content (...)
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  9.  39
    Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (1):25-50.
    Group-structured populations, of the kind prominent in discussions of multilevel selection, are contrasted with ‘neighbor-structured’ populations. I argue that it is a necessary condition on multilevel description of a selection process that there should be a nonarbitrary division of the population into equivalence classes (or an approximation to this situation). The discussion is focused via comparisons between two famous problem cases involving group structure (altruism and heterozygote advantage) and two neighbor-structured cases that resemble them. Conclusions are also drawn about the (...)
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  10.  51
    On the Theoretical Role of "Genetic Coding".Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):26-44.
    The role played by the concept of genetic coding in biology is discussed. I argue that this concept makes a real contribution to solving a specific problem in cell biology. But attempts to make the idea of genetic coding do theoretical work elsewhere in biology, and in philosophy of biology, are probably mistaken. In particular, the concept of genetic coding should not be used (as it often is) to express a distinction between the traits of whole organisms that are coded (...)
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  11. Conditions for Evolution by Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (10):489-516.
    Both biologists and philosophers often make use of simple verbal formulations of necessary and sufficient conditions for evolution by natural selection (ENS). Such summaries go back to Darwin's Origin of Species (especially the "Recapitulation"), but recent ones are more compact.1 Perhaps the most commonly cited formulation is due to Lewontin.2 These summaries tend to have three or four conditions, where the core requirement is a combination of variation, heredity, and fitness differences. The summaries are employed in several ways. First, they (...)
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  12. Functions: Consensus Without Unity.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1993 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):196-208.
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  13.  30
    Individuality, Subjectivity, and Minimal Cognition.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):775-796.
    The paper links discussions of two topics: biological individuality and the simplest forms of mentality. I discuss several attempts to locate the boundary between metabolic activity and ‘minimal cognition.’ I then look at differences between the kinds of individuality present in unicellular life, multicellular life in general, and animals of several kinds. Nervous systems, which are clearly relevant to cognition and subjectivity, also play an important role in the form of individuality seen in animals. The last part of the paper (...)
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  14. Signal, Detection, Action.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):709-722.
  15. Recurrent Transient Underdetermination and the Glass Half Full. [REVIEW]Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):141 - 148.
    Kyle Stanford’s arguments against scientific realism are assessed, with a focus on the underdetermination of theory by evidence. I argue that discussions of underdetermination have neglected a possible symmetry which may ameliorate the situation.
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  16. What is Altruism?Benjamin Kerr, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Marcus W. Feldman - unknown
    Altruism is generally understood to be behavior that benefits others at a personal cost to the behaving individual. However, within evolutionary biology, different authors have interpreted the concept of altruism differently, leading to dissimilar predictions about the evolution of altruistic behavior. Generally, different interpretations diverge on which party receives the benefit from altruism and on how the cost of altruism is assessed. Using a simple trait-group framework, we delineate the assumptions underlying different interpretations and show how they relate to one (...)
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  17. Causal Pluralism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 326--337.
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  18.  88
    Three Kinds of Adaptationism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - unknown
    Debate about adaptationism in biology continues, in part because within “the” problem of assessing adaptationism, three distinct problems are mixed together. The three problems concern the assessment of three distinct adaptationist positions, each of which asserts the central importance of adaptation and natural selection to the study of evolution, but conceives this importance in a different way. As there are three kinds of adaptationism, there are three distinct "anti-adaptationist" positions as well. Or putting it more formally, there are three different (...)
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  19.  31
    Information, Arbitrariness, and Selection: Comments on Maynard Smith.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):202-207.
  20. Folk Psychology as a Model.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5 (6):1-16.
    I argue that everyday folk-psychological skill might best be explained in terms of the deployment of something like a model, in a specific sense drawn from recent philosophy of science. Theoretical models in this sense do not make definite commitments about the systems they are used to understand; they are employed with a particular kind of flexibility. This analysis is used to dissolve the eliminativism debate of the 1980s, and to transform a number of other questions about the status and (...)
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  21. Common Interest and Signaling Games: A Dynamic Analysis.Manolo Martínez & Peter Godfrey-Smith - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    We present a dynamic model of the evolution of communication in a Lewis signaling game while systematically varying the degree of common interest between sender and receiver. We show that the level of common interest between sender and receiver is strongly predictive of the amount of information transferred between them. We also discuss a set of rare but interesting cases in which common interest is almost entirely absent, yet substantial information transfer persists in a *cheap talk* regime, and offer a (...)
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  22.  66
    Senders, Receivers, and Genetic Information: Comments on Bergstrom and Rosvall.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):177-181.
  23.  15
    Sender-Receiver Systems Within and Between Organisms.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):866-878.
    Drawing on models of communication due to Lewis and Skyrms, I contrast sender-receiver systems as they appear within and between organisms, and as they function in the bridging of space and time. Within the organism, memory can be seen as the sending of messages over time, communication between stages as opposed to spatial parts. Psychological memory and genetic memory are compared with respect to their relations to a sender-receiver model. Some puzzles about “genetic information” can be resolved by seeing the (...)
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  24. Theories and Models in Metaphysics.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 14 (1):4-19.
    Metaphysics is once again a thriving subdiscipline within philosophy, despite a long tradition of challenges to the very viability of the metaphysical enterprise. The criticisms have not so much been satisfactorily answered, as shouldered aside by the vigorous development of the field. Some focused meta-theoretic discussion has recently arisen within mainstream metaphysics.1 The present paper is written more from an outsider's vantage point. I attempt to give a new meta-theory for some parts of metaphysics. The central claim is that much (...)
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  25.  68
    Agents and Acacias: Replies to Dennett, Sterelny, and Queller.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):501-515.
    The commentaries by Dennett, Sterelny, and Queller on Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (DPNS) are so constructive that they make it possible to extend and improve the book’s framework in several ways. My replies will focus on points of disagreement, and I will pick a small number of themes and develop them in detail. The three replies below are mostly self-contained, except that all my comments about genes, discussed by all three critics, are in the reply to Queller. Agential views (...)
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  26. Triviality Arguments Against Functionalism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):273 - 295.
    “Triviality arguments” against functionalism in the philosophy of mind hold that the claim that some complex physical system exhibits a given functional organization is either trivial or has much less content than is usually supposed. I survey several earlier arguments of this kind, and present a new one that overcomes some limitations in the earlier arguments. Resisting triviality arguments is possible, but requires functionalists to revise popular views about the “autonomy” of functional description.
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  27.  20
    Complexity Revisited.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):467-479.
    I look back at my 1996 book Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature, responding to papers by Pamela Lyon, Fred Keijzer and Argyris Arnellos, and Matt Grove.
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  28. On the Evolution of Behavioral Complexity in Individuals and Populations.Carl T. Bergstrom & Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):205-31.
    A wide range of ecological and evolutionary models predict variety in phenotype or behavior when a population is at equilibrium. This heterogeneity can be realized in different ways. For example, it can be realized through a complex population of individuals exhibiting different simple behaviors, or through a simple population of individuals exhibiting complex, varying behaviors. In some theoretical frameworks these different realizations are treated as equivalent, but natural selection distinguishes between these two alternatives in subtle ways. By investigating an increasingly (...)
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  29.  87
    The Replicator in Retrospect.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):403-423.
    The history and theoretical role of the concept of a ``replicator''is discussed, starting with Dawkins' and Hull's classic treatmentsand working forward. I argue that the replicator concept is still auseful one for evolutionary theory, but it should be revised insome ways. The most important revision is the recognition that notall processes of evolution by natural selection require thatsomething play the role of a replicator.
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  30.  35
    Communication and Common Interest.Peter Godfrey-Smith & Manolo Martínez - 2013 - PLOS Computational Biology 9 (11).
  31.  78
    Indication and Adaptation.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1992 - Synthese 92 (2):283-312.
    This paper examines the relationship between a family of concepts involving reliable correlation, and a family of concepts involving adaptation and biological function, as these concepts are used in the naturalistic semantic theory of Dretske's "Explaining Behavior." I argue that Dretske's attempt to marry correlation and function to produce representation fails, though aspects of his failure point the way forward to a better theory.
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  32.  58
    Information in Biology.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103--119.
    The concept of information has acquired a strikingly prominent role in contemporary biology. This trend is especially marked within genetics, but it has also become important in other areas, such as evolutionary theory and developmental biology, particularly where these fields border on genetics. The most distinctive biological role for informational concepts, and the one that has generated the most discussion, is in the description of the relations between genes and the various structures and processes that genes play a role in (...)
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  33.  32
    Signs and Symbolic Behavior.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (1):78-88.
  34.  51
    Explanation in Evolutionary Biology: Comments on Fodor.Peter Godfrey-smith - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (1):32–41.
  35. Goodman's Problem and Scientific Methodology.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (11):573 - 590.
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  36. Philosophy of Biology.Peter Godfrey-Smith - unknown
    • "Conditions for Evolution by Natural Selection " (2007) . Evolution by natural selection is usually said to require three ingredients: variation, heredity, and fitness differences. But things are not so simple. Here I discuss various problem cases and their consequences.
     
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  37.  78
    Misinformation.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1989 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):533-50.
  38. Environmental Complexity and the Evolution of Cognition.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - In Robert J. Sternberg & J. Kaufman (eds.), The Evolution of Intelligence. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 233--249.
    One problem faced in discussions of the evolution of intelligence is the need to get a precise fix on what is to be explained. Terms like "intelligence," "cognition" and "mind" do not have simple and agreed-upon meanings, and the differences between conceptions of intelligence have consequences for evolutionary explanation. I hope the papers in this volume will enable us to make progress on this problem. The present contribution is mostly focused on these basic and foundational issues, although the last section (...)
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  39.  67
    Adaptationism and the Adaptive Landscape.Jon F. Wilkins & Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):199-214.
    Debates over adaptationism can be clarified and partially resolved by careful consideration of the ‘grain’ at which evolutionary processes are described. The framework of ‘adaptive landscapes’ can be used to illustrate and facilitate this investigation. We argue that natural selection may have special status at an intermediate grain of analysis of evolutionary processes. The cases of sickle-cell disease and genomic imprinting are used as case studies.
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  40.  9
    Postscript on the Baldwin Effect and Niche Construction.Peter Godfrey-Smith, Daniel Dennett & Terrence W. Deacon - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 107.
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  41.  92
    Adaptationism and the Power of Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):181-194.
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  42. Biological Information.Peter Godfrey-Smith & Kim Sterelny - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  43. Group Fitness and Multi-Level Selection: Replies to Commentaries. [REVIEW]Peter Godfrey-Smith & Benjamin Kerr - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):539-549.
  44. Mental Representation, Naturalism, and Teleosemantics.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2004 - In David Papineau & Graham MacDonald (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The "teleosemantic" program is part of the attempt to give a naturalistic explanation of the semantic properties of mental representations. The aim is to show how the internal states of a wholly physical agent could, as a matter of objective fact, represent the world beyond them. The most popular approach to solving this problem has been to use concepts of physical correlation with some kinship to those employed in information theory (Dretske 1981, 1988; Fodor 1987, 1990). Teleosemantics, which tries to (...)
     
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  45.  58
    Dewey on Naturalism, Realism and Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S25-S35.
    An interpretation of John Dewey’s views about realism, science, and naturalistic philosophy is presented. Dewey should be seen as an unorthodox realist, with respect to both general metaphysical debates about realism and with respect to debates about the aims and achievements of science.
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  46.  90
    Explanatory Symmetries, Preformation, and Developmental Systems Theory.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):331.
    Some central ideas associated with developmental systems theory (DST) are outlined for non-specialists. These ideas concern the nature of biological development, the alleged distinction between "genetic" and "environmental" traits, the relations between organism and environment, and evolutionary processes. I also discuss some criticisms of the DST approach.
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  47. Metaphysics and the Philosophical Imagination.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):97-113.
    Methods and goals in philosophy are discussed by first describing an ideal, and then looking at how the ideal might be approached. David Lewis’s work in metaphysics is critically examined and compared to analogous work by Mackie and Carnap. Some large-scale philosophical systematic work, especially in metaphysics, is best treated as model-building, in a sense of that term that draws on the philosophy of science. Models are constructed in a way that involves deliberate simplification, or other imaginative modification of reality, (...)
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  48. The Evolution of the Individual.Peter Godfrey-Smith - manuscript
    Sometimes themes can be found in common across very different systems in which change occurs. Imre Lakatos developed a theory of change in science, and one involving entities visible at different levels. There are theories defended at a particular time, and there are also research programs, larger units that bundle together a sequence of related theories and within which many scientists may work. Research programs are competing higher-level units within a scientific field. Scientific change involves change within research programs, and (...)
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  49.  42
    Folk Psychology Under Stress: Comments on Susan Hurley's Animal Action in the Space of Reasons.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):266-272.
    My commentary on Hurley is concerned with foundational issues. Hurley's investigation of animal cognition is cast within a particular framework—basically, a philosophically refined version of folk psychology. Her discussion has a complicated relationship to unresolved debates about the nature and status of folk psychology, especially debates about the extent to which folk psychological categories are aimed at picking out features of the causal organization of the mind.
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  50. Why Octopuses Matter to Philosophy.Peter Godfrey-Smith - unknown
    Why do octopuses matter to philosophy? They matter to the part of philosophy concerned with the mind. To see why, we step back and think about the evolutionary connections between all living things. Biologists think of these relationships in terms of a tree of life. This is a huge tree-like pattern, marking which species are close relatives and which are distantly connected. The vertebrates form one branch of the tree, and that is where we find nearly all the animals with (...)
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