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Profile: Alex Rosenberg (Duke University)
  1.  3
    Sociobiology and the Preemption of Social Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1980 - Johns Hopkins University Press, C1980.
  2. Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection.Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
    We argue that a fashionable interpretation of the theory of natural selection as a claim exclusively about populations is mistaken. The interpretation rests on adopting an analysis of fitness as a probabilistic propensity which cannot be substantiated, draws parallels with thermodynamics which are without foundations, and fails to do justice to the fundamental distinction between drift and selection. This distinction requires a notion of fitness as a pairwise comparison between individuals taken two at a time, and so vitiates the interpretation (...)
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  3.  39
    Instrumental Biology, or, the Disunity of Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1994 - University of Chicago Press.
    Do the sciences aim to uncover the structure of nature, or are they ultimately a practical means of controlling our environment? In Instrumental Biology, or the Disunity of Science, Alexander Rosenberg argues that while physics and chemistry can develop laws that reveal the structure of natural phenomena, biology is fated to be a practical, instrumental discipline. Because of the complexity produced by natural selection, and because of the limits on human cognition, scientists are prevented from uncovering the basic structure of (...)
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  4.  59
    Economics: Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns?Alexander Rosenberg - 1992 - University of Chicago Press.
    Economics today cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than it could in the time of Adam Smith. This is Alexander Rosenberg's controversial challenge to the scientific status of economics. Rosenberg explains that the defining characteristic of any science is predictive improvability--the capacity to create more precise forecasts by evaluating the success of earlier predictions--and he forcefully argues that because economics has not been able to increase its predictive power for over two centuries, it is not a (...)
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  5.  79
    Darwinian Reductionism, or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology.Alexander Rosenberg - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.
    After the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, scientists working in molecular biology embraced reductionism—the theory that all complex systems can be understood in terms of their components. Reductionism, however, has been widely resisted by both nonmolecular biologists and scientists working outside the field of biology. Many of these antireductionists, nevertheless, embrace the notion of physicalism—the idea that all biological processes are physical in nature. How, Alexander Rosenberg asks, can these self-proclaimed physicalists also be antireductionists? With clarity and (...)
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  6.  7
    Microeconomic Laws: A Philosophical Analysis.Alexander Rosenberg - 1976 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
    Rosenberg applies current thinking in philosophy of science to neoclassical economics in order to assess its claims to scientific standing. Although philosophers have used history and psychology as paradigms for the examination of social science, there is good reason to believe that economics is a more appropriate subject for analysis: it is the most systematized and quantified of the social sciences; its practitioners have reached a measure of consensus on important aspects of their subject; and it encompasses a large number (...)
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  7.  31
    Philosophy of Social Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1995 - Westview Press.
    This is an expanded and thoroughly revised edition of the widely adopted introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences. Ranging from cultural anthropology to mathematical economics, Alexander Rosenberg leads the reader through behaviorism, naturalism, interpretativism about human action, and macrosocial scientific perspectives, illuminating the motivation and strategy of each.Rewritten throughout to increase accessibility, this new edition retains the remarkable achievement of revealing the social sciences’ enduring relation to the fundamental problems of philosophy. It includes new discussions of positivism, (...)
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  8.  13
    Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction.Alexander Rosenberg - 2008 - Routledge.
    EM Music Education /EM is a collection of thematically organized essays that present an historical background of the picture of education first in Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, then Early-Modern Europe. The bulk of the book focuses on American education up to the present. This third edition includes readings by Orff, Kodály, Sinichi Suzuki, William Channing Woodbridge, Allan Britton, and Charles Leonhard. In addition, essays include timely topics on feminism, diversity, cognitive psych, testing (the Praxis exam) and the No (...)
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  9. Neoliberal Governmentality.Sverre Raffnsøe, Alan Rosenberg, Alain Beaulieu, Sam Binkley, Jens Erik Kristensen, Sven Opitz, Morris Rabinowitz & Ditte Vilstrup Holm - 2009 - Foucault Studies 6:1-4.
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  10.  66
    Can There Be A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection?Marc Lange & Alexander Rosenberg - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):591 - 599.
    Sober 2011 argues that, contrary to Hume, some causal statements can be known a priori to be true?notably, some ?would promote? statements figuring in causal models of natural selection. We find Sober's argument unconvincing. We regard the Humean thesis as denying that causal explanations contain any a priori knowable statements specifying certain features of events to be causally relevant. We argue that not every ?would promote? statement is genuinely causal, and we suggest that Sober has not shown that his examples (...)
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  11.  29
    Coefficients, Effects, and Genic Selection.Alexander Rosenberg - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (2):332-338.
  12. In Defense of Convergent Realism.Clyde L. Hardin & Alexander Rosenberg - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (4):604-615.
    Many realists have maintained that the success of scientific theories can be explained only if they may be regarded as approximately true. Laurens Laudan has in turn contended that a necessary condition for a theory's being approximately true is that its central terms refer, and since many successful theories of the past have employed central terms which we now understand to be non-referential, realism cannot explain their success. The present paper argues that a realist can adopt a view of reference (...)
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  13. Matthen and Ariew's Obituary for Fitness: Reports of its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. [REVIEW]Alex Rosenberg & Frederic Bouchard - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):343-353.
    Philosophers of biology have been absorbed by the problem of defining evolutionary fitness since Darwin made it central to biological explanation. The apparent problem is obvious. Define fitness as some biologists implicitly do, in terms of actual survival and reproduction, and the principle of natural selection turns into an empty tautology: those organisms which survive and reproduce in larger numbers, survive and reproduce in larger numbers. Accordingly, many writers have sought to provide a definition for ‘fitness’ which avoid this outcome. (...)
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  14.  50
    The Supervenience of Biological Concepts.Alexander Rosenberg - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):368-386.
    In this paper the concept of supervenience is employed to explain the relationship between fitness as employed in the theory of natural selection and population biology and the physical, behavioral and ecological properties of organisms that are the subjects of lower level theories in the life sciences. The aim of this analysis is to account simultaneously for the fact that the theory of natural selection is a synthetic body of empirical claims, and for the fact that it continues to be (...)
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  15.  32
    Fitness.Alexander Rosenberg - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (8):457-473.
    The diversity, complexity and adaptation of the biological realm is evident. Until Darwin, the best explanation for these three features of the biological was the conclusion of the “argument from design.” Darwin's theory of natural selection provides an explanation of all three of these features of the biological realm without adverting to some mysterious designing entity. But this explanation's success turns on the meaning of its central explanatory concept, ‘fitness’. Moreover, since Darwinian theory provides the resources for a purely causal (...)
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  16.  78
    Are Homologies (Selected Effect or Causal Role) Function Free?Alex Rosenberg & Karen Neander - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (3):307-334.
    This article argues that at least very many judgments of homology rest on prior attributions of selected‐effect (SE) function, and that many of the “parts” of biological systems that are rightly classified as homologous are constituted by (are so classified in virtue of) their consequence etiologies. We claim that SE functions are often used in the prior identification of the parts deemed to be homologous and are often used to differentiate more restricted homologous kinds within less restricted ones. In doing (...)
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  17. Intentional Psychology and Evolutionary Biology, Part II: The Crucial Disanalogy.Alexander Rosenberg - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (2):125-138.
     
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  18.  74
    Empirical Equivalence, Underdetermination, and Systems of the World.Carl Hoefer & Alexander Rosenberg - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (4):592-607.
    The underdetermination of theory by evidence must be distinguished from holism. The latter is a doctrine about the testing of scientific hypotheses; the former is a thesis about empirically adequate logically incompatible global theories or "systems of the world". The distinction is crucial for an adequate assessment of the underdetermination thesis. The paper shows how some treatments of underdetermination are vitiated by failure to observe this distinction, and identifies some necessary conditions for the existence of multiple empirically equivalent global theories. (...)
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  19.  54
    Solving the Circularity Problem for Functions: A Response to Nanay.Karen Neander & Alex Rosenberg - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (10):613-622.
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  20. Evolutionary Biology and Intentional Psychology: Part One, The Uneasy Analogy.A. Rosenberg - 1986 - Behaviorism 14:15-27.
  21.  52
    Hume and the Problem of Causation.Tom L. Beauchamp & A. Rosenberg - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
  22. How to Reconcile Physicalism and Antireductionism About Biology.Alex Rosenberg & David Michael Kaplan - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):43-68.
    Physicalism and antireductionism are the ruling orthodoxy in the philosophy of biology. But these two theses are difficult to reconcile. Merely embracing an epistemic antireductionism will not suffice, as both reductionists and antireductionists accept that given our cognitive interests and limitations, non-molecular explanations may not be improved, corrected or grounded in molecular ones. Moreover, antireductionists themselves view their claim as a metaphysical or ontological one about the existence of facts molecular biology cannot identify, express, or explain. However, this is tantamount (...)
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  23.  47
    Is Indeterminism the Source of the Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory?Leslie Graves, Barbara L. Horan & Alex Rosenberg - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (1):140-157.
    We argue that Brandon and Carson's (1996) "The Indeterministic Character of Evolutionary Theory" fails to identify any indeterminism that would require evolutionary theory to be a statistical or probabilistic theory. Specifically, we argue that (1) their demonstration of a mechanism by which quantum indeterminism might "percolate up" to the biological level is irrelevant; (2) their argument that natural selection is indeterministic because it is inextricably connected with drift fails to join the issue with determinism; and (3) their view that experimental (...)
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  24. Normative Naturalism and the Role of Philosophy.Alexander Rosenberg - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (1):34-43.
    The prescriptive force of methodological rules rests, I argue, on the acceptance of scientific theories; that of the most general methodological rules rests on theories in the philosophy of science, which differ from theories in the several sciences only in generality and abstraction. I illustrate these claims by reference to methodological disputes in social science and among philosophers of science. My conclusions substantiate those of Laudan except that I argue for the existence of transtheoretical goals common to all scientists and (...)
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  25.  16
    Why Do Spatiotemporally Restricted Regularities Explain in the Social Sciences?A. Rosenberg - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):1-26.
    Employing a well-known local regularity from macroeconomics, the Phillips curve, I examine Woodward’s ([2000], [2003]) account of the explanatory power of such historically restricted generalizations and the mathematical models with which they are sometimes associated. The article seeks to show that, pace Woodward, to be explanatory such generalizations need to be underwritten by more fundamental ones, and that rational choice theory would not avail in this case to provide the required underwriting. Examining how such explanatory restricted regularities are underwritten in (...)
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  26.  94
    How is Biological Explanation Possible?Alex Rosenberg - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):735-760.
    That biology provides explanations is not open to doubt. But how it does so must be a vexed question for those who deny that biology embodies laws or other generalizations with the sort of explanatory force that the philosophy of science recognizes. The most common response to this problem has involved redefining law so that those grammatically general statements which biologists invoke in explanations can be counted as laws. But this terminological innovation cannot identify the source of biology's explanatory power. (...)
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  27. A New Beginning and a Continuation….Sverre Raffnsøe, Alan Rosenberg, Alain Beaulieu, Morris Rabinowitz & Kevin Turner - 2008 - Foucault Studies 5:1-4.
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  28. Introducing Foucault Studies.Stuart Elden, Clare O'Farrell & Alan Rosenberg - 2006 - Foucault Studies 1:1-4.
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  29.  6
    On the Very Idea of Ideal Theory in Political Philosophy.Alexander Rosenberg - 2016 - Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):55-75.
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  30. If Economics Isn't Science, What Is It?Alexander Rosenberg - 1983 - Philosophical Forum 14 (3):296.
     
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  31. Reductionism Redux: Computing the Embryo. [REVIEW]Alex Rosenberg - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):445-470.
    This paper argues that the consensus physicalist antireductionism in the philosophy of biology cannot accommodate the research strategy or indeed the recent findings of molecular developmental biology. After describing Wolperts programmatic claims on its behalf, and recent work by Gehring and others to identify the molecular determinants of development, the paper attempts to identify the relationship between evolutionary and developmental biology by reconciling two apparently conflicting accounts of bio-function – Wrights and Nagels (as elaborated by Cummins). Finally, the paper seeks (...)
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  32.  95
    A Field Guide to Recent Species of Naturalism.A. Rosenberg - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):1-29.
    This review of recent work in the philosophy of science motivated by a commitment to 'naturalism' begins by identifying three key axioms and one theorem shared by philosophers thus self-styled. Owing much to Quine and Ernest Nagel, these philosophers of science share a common agenda with naturalists elsewhere in philosophy. But they have disagreed among themselves about how the axioms and the theorems they share settle long-standing disputes in the philosophy of science. After expounding these disagreements in the work of (...)
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  33.  63
    Reductionism in a Historical Science.Alex Rosenberg - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (2):135-163.
    Reductionism is a metaphysical thesis, a claim about explanations, and a research program. The metaphysical thesis reductionists advance (and antireductionists accept) is that all facts, including all biological facts, are fixed by the physical and chemical facts; there are no non-physical events, states, or processes, and so biological events, states and processes are “nothing but” physical ones. The research program can be framed as a methodological prescription which follows from the claim about explanations. Antireductionism does not dispute reductionism’s metaphysical claim, (...)
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  34.  52
    Fitness.Alexander Rosenberg - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy.
    The diversity, complexity and adaptation of the biological realm is evident. Until Darwin, the best explanation for these three features of the biological was the conclusion of the “argument from design.” Darwin's theory of natural selection provides an explanation of all three of these features of the biological realm without adverting to some mysterious designing entity. But this explanation's success turns on the meaning of its central explanatory concept, ‘fitness’. Moreover, since Darwinian theory provides the resources for a purely causal (...)
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  35. An End, and a New Beginning..Stuart Elden, Clare O'Farrell, Alan Rosenberg & Sylvain Meyet - 2007 - Foucault Studies 4:1-2.
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  36.  25
    Discussion Note: Indeterminism, Probability, and Randomness in Evolutionary Theory.Alex Rosenberg - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):536-544.
  37. Darwin's Nihilistic Idea: Evolution and the Meaninglessness of Life. [REVIEW]Tamler Sommers & Alex Rosenberg - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):653-668.
    No one has expressed the destructive power of Darwinian theory more effectively than Daniel Dennett. Others have recognized that the theory of evolution offers us a universal acid, but Dennett, bless his heart, coined the term. Many have appreciated that the mechanism of random variation and natural selection is a substrate-neutral algorithm that operates at every level of organization from the macromolecular to the mental, at every time scale from the geological epoch to the nanosecond. But it took Dennett to (...)
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  38.  59
    The Biological Justification of Ethics: A Best-Case Scenario.Alex Rosenberg - 2009 - Social Philosophy and Policy 8 (1):86.
    Social and behavioral scientists - that is, students of human nature - nowadays hardly ever use the term ‘human nature’. This reticence reflects both a becoming modesty about the aims of their disciplines and a healthy skepticism about whether there is any one thing really worthy of the label ‘human nature’.
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  39.  18
    Philosophy of Biology.Robert Brandon & Alexander Rosenberg - 2003 - In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of Science Today. Oxford University Press. pp. 147--180.
  40.  60
    On the Priority of Intellectual Property Rights, Especially in Biotechnology.Alex Rosenberg - 2004 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):77-95.
    This article argues that considerations about the role and predictability of intellectual innovation make the protection of intellectual property morally obligatory even when it greatly reduces short-term welfare. Since the provision of good new ideas is the only productive input not subject to decreasing marginal productivity, welfarist considerations require that no impediment to its maximal provision be erected and the potentially substantial welfare losses imposed by a patent system be mitigated by taxation of other sources of wealth and income. Key (...)
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  41.  58
    Solving the Circularity Problem for Functions.Karen Neander & Alex Rosenberg - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (10):613-622.
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  42. Naturalistic Epistemology for Eliminative Materialists.A. Rosenberg - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):335-358.
    This paper defends and extends Quine’s version of a naturalistic epistemology, and defends it against criticism, especially that offered by Kim, according to which Quine’s naturalism deprives epistemology of its normative role, and indeed of its relevance to psychological states, such as beliefs, whose warrant epistemology aims to assess. I defend Quinean epistemology’s objections to the epistemic pluralism associated with other self-styled naturalistic epistemologies, and show how recent theories in the philosophy of psychology which fail to account for the intentionality (...)
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  43.  40
    How Jerry Fodor Slid Down the Slippery Slope to Anti-Darwinism, and How We Can Avoid the Same Fate.Alex Rosenberg - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):1-17.
    There is only one physically possible process that builds and operates purposive systems in nature: natural selection. What it does is build and operate systems that look to us purposive, goal directed, teleological. There really are not any purposes in nature and no purposive processes ether. It is just one vast network of linked causal chains. Darwinian natural selection is the only process that could produce the appearance of purpose. That is why natural selection must have built and must continually (...)
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  44.  29
    Lakatosian Consolations for Economics.Alexander Rosenberg - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (1):127.
    The F-twist is giving way to the methodology of scientific research programs. Milton Friedman's “Methodology for Economics” is being supplanted as the orthodox rationale for neoclassical economics by Imre Lakatos' account of scientific respectability. Friedman's instrumentalist thesis that theories are to be judged by the confirmation of their consequences and not the realism of their assumptions has long been widely endorsed by economists, under Paul Samuelson's catchy rubric “the F-twist.” It retains its popularity among economists who want no truck with (...)
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  45. Russell Versus Steiner on Physics and Causality.Alexander Rosenberg - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (2):341-347.
    In "Events and Causality" Mark Steiner argues that though Bertrand Russell was right to claim that the laws of physics do not express causal relations, nevertheless, Russell was wrong to suppose that therefore causality plays no role in physics. I argue that Steiner misses the point of Russell's argument for the first of these claims, and because of this Steiner's argument against the second fails to controvert it. Steiner fails to see that Russell's argument against causation, is in fact an (...)
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  46. Fitness as Primitive and Propensity.Alexander Rosenberg & Mary Williams - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (3):412-418.
  47. The Explanatory Role of Existence Proofs.Alexander Rosenberg - 1986 - Ethics 97 (1):177-186.
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  48. "Fitness" in Fact and Fiction: A Rejoinder to Sober.Mary B. Williams & Alexander Rosenberg - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (12):738 - 749.
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  49.  24
    Fascism as a Mass-Movement (1934).Arthur Rosenberg - 2012 - Historical Materialism 20 (1):144-189.
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  50.  19
    The Aesthetic and Ascetic Dimensions of an Ethics of Self-Fashioning: Nietzsche and Foucault.Alan Milchman & Alan Rosenberg - 2007 - Parrhesia 2 (55):11.
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