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Stephen M. Downes [49]Stephen Downes [21]Stephen Matthew Downes [1]Stephen C. Downes [1]
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  1. The Importance of Models in Theorizing: A Deflationary Semantic View.Stephen M. Downes - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:142 - 153.
    I critically examine the semantic view of theories to reveal the following results. First, models in science are not the same as models in mathematics, as holders of the semantic view claim. Second, when several examples of the semantic approach are examined in detail no common thread is found between them, except their close attention to the details of model building in each particular science. These results lead me to propose a deflationary semantic view, which is simply that model construction (...)
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  2.  28
    Models and Modelling in the Sciences: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen M. Downes - 2020 - Routledge.
    Biologists, climate scientists, and economists all rely on models to move their work forward. In this book, I explore the use of models in these and other fields to introduce readers to the various philosophical issues that arise in scientific modeling. I show that paying attention to models plays a crucial role in appraising scientific work. -/- After surveying a wide range of models from a number of different scientific disciplines, I demonstrate how focusing on models sheds light on many (...)
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  3.  30
    Heritability.Stephen M. Downes & Lucas J. Matthews - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Lucas Matthews and I substantially revised my SEP entry on Heritability. This version includes discussion of the missing heritability problem and other issues that arise from the use of Genome Wide Association Studies by Behavioral Geneticists.
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  4. Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen M. Downes - 2017 - In Lee McIntyre & Alex Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 330-339.
  5. Scientific Models.Stephen M. Downes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):757-764.
    This contribution provides an assessment of the epistemological role of scientific models. The prevalent view that all scientific models are representations of the world is rejected. This view points to a unified way of resolving epistemic issues for scientific models. The emerging consensus in philosophy of science that models have many different epistemic roles in science is presented and defended.
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  6. Arguing About Human Nature: Contemporary Debates.Stephen M. Downes & Edouard Machery (eds.) - 2013 - Routledge.
    Arguing About Human Nature covers recent debates--arising from biology, philosophy, psychology, and physical anthropology--that together systematically examine what it means to be human. Thirty-five essays--several of them appearing here for the first time in print--were carefully selected to offer competing perspectives on 12 different topics related to human nature. The context and main threads of the debates are highlighted and explained by the editors in a short, clear introduction to each of the 12 topics. Authors include Louise Anthony, Patrick Bateson, (...)
     
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  7. Heritability.Stephen M. Downes - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  8. Evolutionary Psychology, Adaptation and Design.Stephen M. Downes - 2014 - In P. Huneman & M. Silberstein (eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Springer. pp. 659-673.
    I argue that Evolutionary Psychologists’ notion of adaptationism is closest to what Peter Godfrey-Smith (2001) calls explanatory adaptationism and as a result, is not a good organizing principle for research in the biology of human behavior. I also argue that adopting an alternate notion of adaptationism presents much more explanatory resources to the biology of human behavior. I proceed by introducing Evolutionary Psychology and giving some examples of alternative approaches to the biological explanation of human behavior. Next I characterize adaptation (...)
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  9. Socializing Naturalized Philosophy of Science.Stephen M. Downes - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (3):452-468.
    I propose an approach to naturalized philosophy of science that takes the social nature of scientific practice seriously. I criticize several prominent naturalistic approaches for adopting "cognitive individualism", which limits the study of science to an examination of the internal psychological mechanisms of scientists. I argue that this limits the explanatory capacity of these approaches. I then propose a three-level model of the social nature of scientific practice, and use the model to defend the claim that scientific knowledge is socially (...)
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  10. Models, Pictures, and Unified Accounts of Representation: Lessons From Aesthetics for Philosophy of Science.Stephen M. Downes - 2009 - Perspectives on Science 17 (4):417-428.
    Several prominent philosophers of science, most notably Ron Giere, propose that scientific theories are collections of models and that models represent the objects of scientific study. Some, including Giere, argue that models represent in the same way that pictures represent. Aestheticians have brought the picturing relation under intense scrutiny and presented important arguments against the tenability of particular accounts of picturing. Many of these arguments from aesthetics can be used against accounts of representation in philosophy of science. I rely on (...)
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  11.  17
    The Role of Ancient DNA Research in Archaeology.Stephen M. Downes - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):285-293.
    In this paper I briefly introduce work on ancient-DNA and give some examples of the impact this work has had on responses to questions in archaeology. Next, I spell out David Reich’s reasons for his optimism about the contribution aDNA research makes to archaeology. I then use Robert Chapman and Alison Wylie’s framework to offer an alternative to Reich’s view of relations between aDNA research and archaeology. Finally, I develop Steven Mithen’s point about the different questions archaeologists and geneticists ask, (...)
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  12. Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen M. Downes - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is an updated version of my Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Evolutionary Psychology. The 2018 version contains a new section on Human Nature as well as some new material on recent developments in Evolutionary Psychology.
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  13.  88
    Some Recent Developments in Evolutionary Approaches to the Study of Human Cognition and Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 16 (5):575-94.
    In this paper I review some theoretical exchanges and empiricalresults from recent work on human behavior and cognition in thehope of indicating some productive avenues for critical engagement.I focus particular attention on methodological debates between Evolutionary Psychologists and behavioral ecologists. I argue for a broader and more encompassing approach to the evolutionarily based study of human behavior and cognition than either of these two rivals present.
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  14. No Magic Bullet Explains the Evolution of Unique Human Traits.Stephen M. Downes - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):15-19.
    Here I outline the argument in Kim Sterelny’s book The Evolved Apprentice. I present some worries for Sterelny from the perspective of modelers in behavioral ecology. I go on to discuss Sterelny’s approach to moral psychology and finally introduce some potential new applications for his evolved apprentice view.
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  15.  43
    Heredity and Heritability.Stephen M. Downes - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  16. How Much Work Do Scientific Images Do?Stephen Downes - 2012 - Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):115-130.
    In this paper, I defend the view that there are many scientific images that have a serious epistemic role in science but this role is not adequately accounted for by the going view of representation and its attendant theoretical commitments. The relevant view of representation is Laura Perini’s account of representation for scientific images. I draw on Adina Roskies’ work on scientific images as well as work on models in science to support my conclusion.
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  17. Scientific Imperialism and Explanatory Appeals to Evolution in the Social Sciences.Stephen M. Downes - 2018 - In Uskali Mäki, Adrian Walsh & Manuela Fernández Pinto (eds.), Scientific Imperialism: Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity. New York, NY, USA: pp. 224-236.
  18. The Basic Components of the Human Mind Were Not Solidified During the Pleistocene Epoch.Stephen M. Downes - 2010 - In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell.
    There are a number of competing hypotheses about human evolution. For example, Homo habilis and Homo erectus could have existed together, or one could have evolved from the other, and paleontological evidence may allow us to decide between these two hypotheses (see, e.g., Spoor et al., 2007). For most who work on the biology of human behavior, there is no question that human behavior is in some large part a product of evolution. But, there are competing hypotheses in this area (...)
     
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  19.  12
    Confronting Variation in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.Stephen M. Downes - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):909-920.
    I pose problems for the views that human nature should be the object of study in the social and behavioral sciences and that a concept of human nature is needed to guide research in these sciences. I proceed by outlining three research programs in the social sciences, each of which confronts aspects of human variation. Next, I present Elizabeth Cashdan and Grant Ramsey’s related characterizations of human nature. I go on to argue that the research methodologies they each draw on (...)
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  20.  15
    Variability of Aggression.Stephen M. Downes & James Tabery - 2017 - In T. Shackleford & V. Weekes-Shackleford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Dordrecht, Netherlands:
    Variability of aggression: human aggressive behavior varies on a number of dimensions. We argue that this variability is best understood through an interdisciplinary evolutionary approach.
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  21.  44
    Truth, Selection and Scientific Inquiry.Stephen M. Downes - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):425-442.
    In this paper I examine various ways in whichphilosophers have made connections between truth andnatural selection. I introduce several versions ofthe view that mechanisms of true belief generationarise as a result of natural selection and argue thatthey fail to establish a connection between truth andnatural selection. I then turn to scientific truthsand argue that evolutionary accounts of the origin ofscientific truth generation mechanisms also fail. Iintroduce David Hull's selectionist model ofscientific development and argue that his account ofscientific success does not (...)
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  22.  21
    Moving Past the Levels of Selection Debates: Samir Okasha, Evolution and the Levels of Selection, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.Stephen M. Downes - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):703-709.
  23.  37
    Integrating the Multiple Biological Causes of Human Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):177-190.
    I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of human behavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
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  24.  68
    Can Scientific Development and Children's Cognitive Development Be the Same Process?Stephen M. Downes - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):565-578.
    In this paper I assess Gopnik and Meltzoff's developmental psychology of science as a contribution to the understanding of scientific development. I focus on two specific aspects of Gopnik and Meltzoff's approach: the relation between their views and recapitulationist views of ontogeny and phylogeny in biology, and their overall conception of cognition as a set of veridical processes. First, I discuss several issues that arise from their appeal to evolutionary biology, focusing specifically on the role of distinctions between ontogeny and (...)
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  25. Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge.Stephen Downes - 2010 - In Harrison Hao Yang & Steve Chi-Yin Yuen (eds.), Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0: Implications of Web-Based Communities and Networking. IGI Global.
    The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning environments. Part of this thinking is centered around the theory of connectivism, which asserts that knowledge - and therefore the learning of knowledge - is distributive, that is, not located in any given place (and therefore not 'transferred' or 'transacted' per se) but rather consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interactions with a knowing community. And (...)
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  26. The Theory Theory Thrice Over: The Child as Scientist, Superscientist or Social Institution?Michael A. Bishop & Stephen M. Downes - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):117-132.
    Alison Gopnik and Andrew Meltzoff have argued for a view they call the ‘theory theory’: theory change in science and children are similar. While their version of the theory theory has been criticized for depending on a number of disputed claims, we argue that there is a fundamental problem which is much more basic: the theory theory is multiply ambiguous. We show that it might be claiming that a similarity holds between theory change in children and (i) individual scientists, (ii) (...)
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  27. Evolutionary Psychology is Not the Only Productive Evolutionary Approach to Understanding Consumer Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2013 - Journal of Consumer Psychology 23 (3):400-403.
    I respond to Vladas Griskevicius and Douglas T. Kendrick (G&K) and Gad Saad's (S) defenses of the view that Consumer Studies would benefit from the appeal to evolution in all work aimed at understanding consumer behavior. I argue that G&K and S's reliance on one theoretical perspective, that of evolutionary psychology, limits their options. Further, I point out some specific problems with the theoretical perspective of evolutionary psychology. Finally, I introduce some alternative evolutionary approaches to studying human behavior that could (...)
     
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  28.  23
    Agents and Norms in the New Economics of Science.Stephen M. Downes - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (2):224-238.
    In this article, the author focuses on Philip Kitcher's and Alvin Goldman's economic models of the social character of scientific knowledge production. After introducing some relevant methodological issues in the social sciences and characterizing Kitcher's and Goldman's models, the author goes on to show that special problems arise directly from the concept of an agent invoked in the models. The author argues that the two distinct concepts of agents, borrowed from economics and cognitive psychology, are inconsistent. Finally, the author discusses (...)
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  29.  6
    An Early History of the Heritability Coefficient Applied to Humans.Stephen M. Downes & Eric Turkheimer - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-12.
    Fisher’s 1918 paper accomplished two distinct goals: unifying discrete Mendelian genetics with continuous biometric phenotypes and quantifying the variance components of variation in complex human characteristics. The former contributed to the foundation of modern quantitative genetics; the latter was adopted by social scientists interested in the pursuit of Galtonian nature-nurture questions about the biological and social origins of human behavior, especially human intelligence. This historical divergence has produced competing notions of the estimation of variance ratios referred to as heritability. Jay (...)
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  30.  87
    Biological Information.Stephen M. Downes - 2005 - In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. New York, NY, USA:
    This paper discussses various concepts of biological information with particular attention being paid to genetic information.
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  31. Moving Past the Levels of Selection Debates: Review of Samir Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):417-423.
  32. Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Aggression.Elizabeth Cashdan & Stephen M. Downes - 2012 - Human Nature 23 (1):1-4.
    The papers in this volume present varying approaches to human aggression, each from an evolutionary perspective. The evolutionary studies of aggression collected here all pursue aspects of patterns of response to environmental circumstances and consider explicitly how those circumstances shape the costs and benefits of behaving aggressively. All the authors understand various aspects of aggression as evolved adaptations but none believe that this implies we are doomed to continued violence, but rather that variation in aggression has evolutionary roots. These papers (...)
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  33.  10
    Herbert Simon's Computational Models of Scientific Discovery.Stephen Downes - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:97-108.
    In this paper I evaluate Herbert Simon 's important computational approach to scientific discovery, which can be characterized as a contribution to both the "cognitive science of science" and to naturalized philosophy of science. First, I tackle the empirical adequacy of Simon 's account of discovery, arguing that his claims about the discovery process lack evidence and, even if substantiated, they disregard the important social dimension of scientific discovery. Second, I discuss the normative dimension of Simon 's account, here I (...)
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  34. An Introduction to Connective Knowledge.Stephen Downes - 2008 - In Theo Hug (ed.), Media, Knowledge & Education - Exploring new Spaces, Relations and Dynamics in Digital Media Ecologies. Innsbruck University Press.
    This paper provides an overview of connective knowledge. It is intended to be an introduction, expressed as non-technically as possible.
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  35.  83
    Human Nature: An Overview.Stephen M. Downes - 2018 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 155-166.
    Debates about human nature inform every philosophical tradition from their inception (see Stevenson 2000 for many examples). Evolutionarily based criticisms of human nature are of much more recent origin. Ironically, most evolutionarily based criticisms of human nature are directed at work whose avowed goal is to biologicize human nature and even to place human nature within an evolutionary frame. Here I will focus on accounts of human nature that begin with and come after E.O. Wilson’s sociobiology. I will also focus (...)
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  36. How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism by Livingstone Smith, David (Ed.). [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2017 - Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture 1:149-152.
     
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  37.  4
    Baldwin Effects and the Expansion of the Explanatory Repertoire in Evolutionary Biology.Stephen Downes - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 33--351.
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  38. Alternative Splicing, the Gene Concept, and Evolution.Stephen Downes - 2004 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (1):91 - 104.
    Alternative splicing allows for the production of many gene products from a single coding sequence. I introduce the concept of alternative splicing via some examples. I then discuss some current hypotheses about the explanatory role of alternative splicing, including the claim that splicing is a significant contributor to the difference in complexity between the human genome and proteosome. Hypotheses such as these bring into question our working concepts of the gene. I examine several gene concepts introduced to cope with processes (...)
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  39.  8
    Book Review: Conquest of Abundance: A Tale of Abstraction Versus the Richness of Being, The Worst Enemy of Science? Essays in Memory of Paul Feyerabend. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2002 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 27 (1):160-167.
  40. Diversifying Tenure-Line Faculty.Stephen M. Downes - 2020 - American Philosophical Association Blog.
    A blog post in the APA series on diversity in the profession. This post outlines some suggested practices for hiring and retention of tenure-line faculty with a particular focus on hiring women.
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  41.  26
    Review of Maria Kronfeldner, What's Left of Human Nature. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Review of Books.
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  42.  48
    Responses to 'Pathologies of Science'.Sven Andersson, Elazar Barkan, Kenneth Caneva, Randall Collins, Stephen Downes, Henry Etzkowitz, Steve Fuller, David Gorman, Frederick Grinnell, David Hollinger, Anne Holmquest & Charles Willard - 1987 - Social Epistemology 1 (3):249-281.
  43. Cynthia Macdonald, Mind-Body Identity Theories Reviewed By.Stephen Downes - 1994 - Philosophy in Review 14 (6):409-410.
  44. Cynthia Macdonald, Mind-Body Identity Theories. [REVIEW]Stephen Downes - 1994 - Philosophy in Review 14:409-410.
     
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  45. Getting Over Science Wars. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2001 - Social Epistemology 15 (4):384-387.
     
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  46. Models and Modality.Stephen Downes - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 6.
     
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  47.  2
    Szymanowski, Eroticism and the Voices of Mythology.Stephen C. Downes - 2003 - Routledge.
    Szymanowski's work exhibits a complex negotiation between a nostalgia founded in Romanticism that seeks utopian redemption and a modernist agony that is characterized by a struggle with the negation of the certainties of faith in unified meaning or to postmodern pleasures in decentred possiblities.
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  48. The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power by Peter Galison; David J. Stump. [REVIEW]Stephen Downes - 1997 - Isis 88:517-518.
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  49. Are You Experienced? What You Don't Know About Your Climbing Experience.Stephen M. Downes - 2010 - In Stephen E. Schmid (ed.), Climbing - Philosophy for Everyone: Because It's There. Wiley-Blackwell.
     
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  50. Similarity: A Cognitive Foundation for Artificial Intelligence.Stephen Downes - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 12.
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