•  122
    Religion as an Evolutionary Byproduct: A Critique of the Standard Model
    with R. Powell
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3): 457-486. 2012.
    The dominant view in the cognitive science of religion (the ‘Standard Model’) is that religious belief and behaviour are not adaptive traits but rather incidental byproducts of the cognitive architecture of mind. Because evidence for the Standard Model is inconclusive, the case for it depends crucially on its alleged methodological superiority to selectionist alternatives. However, we show that the Standard Model has both methodological and evidential disadvantages when compared with selectionis…Read more
  •  31
    The lies remain the same: A reply to Chalmers
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (1). 1995.
    In her 1983 work How the Laws of Phyiscs Lie [1] Nancy Cartwright argued for antirealism about fundamental laws alongside realism about phenomenological laws. Her position was considerably altered by 1989 when, in Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement [2], she argued for a realist construal of capacities (close relations of Powers, natures, tendencies, propensities and disptısitions), which she took fundamental laws to be about. Most realists about capaeities, and their ilk, are realist abou…Read more
  •  56
    When to Believe in Miracles
    American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1). 1997.
    Brierley et al argue that in cases where it is medically futile to continue providing life-sustaining therapies to children in intensive care, medical professionals should be allowed to withdraw such therapies, even when the parents of these children believe that there is a chance of a miracle cure taking place. In reasoning this way, Brierley et al appear to implicitly assume that miracle cures will never take place, but they do not justify this assumption and it would be very difficult for the…Read more