•  8
    Scientific Pluralism (edited book)
    with Stephen H. Kellert and Helen Longino
    University of Minnesota Press. 1956.
    Scientific pluralism is an issue at the forefront of philosophy of science. This landmark work addresses the question, Can pluralism be advanced as a general, philosophical interpretation of science? Scientific Pluralism demonstrates the viability of the view that some phenomena require multiple accounts. Pluralists observe that scientists present various—sometimes even incompatible—models of the world and argue that this is due to the complexity of the world and representational limitations. In…Read more
  • Introduction: The Pluralist Stance
    with Stephen H. Kellert and Helen Longino
    In Stephen H. Kellert, Helen Longino & C. Kenneth Waters (eds.), Scientific Pluralism, University of Minnesota Press. 2006.
  •  21
    An Epistemology of Scientific Practice
    Philosophy of Science 86 (4): 585-611. 2019.
    Philosophers’ traditional emphasis on theories, theoretical modeling, and explanation misguides research in philosophy of science. Articulating and applying core theories is part of scientific practice, but it is not the essence of scientific practice. Insofar as science has an essence, it is to systematically investigate and learn about what is not yet understood. This lecture analyzes genetics to articulate a broad-practice-centered approach to philosophy of science. It concludes by arguing th…Read more
  •  23
    Ask Not "What is an Individual?"
    In O. Bueno, M. B. Fagan & R. Chen (eds.), Individuation Across Experimental and Theoretical Sciences, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Philosophers of biology typically pose questions about individuation by asking “what is an individual?” For example, we ask, “what is an individual species”, “what is an individual organism”, and “what is an individual gene?” In the first part of this chapter, I present my account of the gene concept and how it is used in investigative practices in order to motivate a more pragmatic approach. Instead of asking “what is a gene?”, I ask: “how do biologists individuate genes?”, “for what purposes?”…Read more
  •  107
    Why Genic and Multilevel Selection Theories Are Here to Stay
    Philosophy of Science 72 (2): 311-333. 2005.
    I clarify the difference between pluralist and monist interpretations of levels of selection disputes. Lloyd has challenged my claim that a plurality of models correctly accounts for situations such as maintenance of the sickle-cell trait, and I revisit this example to show that competing theories don’t disagree about the existence of ‘high-level’ or ‘lowlevel’ causes; rather, they parse these causes differently. Applying Woodward’s theory of causation, I analyze Sober’s distinction between ‘sel…Read more
  •  35
    Okasha’s Unintended Argument for Toolbox Theorizing
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1): 232-240. 2011.
    Okasha claims at the outset of his book "Evolution and the Levels of Selection" that the Price equation lays bare the fundamentals underlying all selection phenomena. However, the thoroughness of his subsequent analysis of multi-level selection theories leads him to abandon his fundamentalist commitments. At critical points he invokes cost benefit analyses that sometimes favors the Price approach and sometimes the contextual approach, sometimes favors MLS1 and sometimes MLS2. And although he doe…Read more
  • The Language of Nature: Reassessing the Mathematization of Natural Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century (edited book)
    with B. Hill, G. Gorham, and E. Slowik
    University of Minnesota Press. 2016.
  • Models of Natural Selection: From Darwin to Dawkins
    Dissertation, Indiana University. 1985.
    One would think that after one hundred years of earnest work, Darwinians would know what it is that nature selects for. Yet while some Darwinians argue that nature selects only for genes, others insist that the units being selected for are organisms and groups of organisms. Darwinians have also had difficulty identifying the fundamental principles of their theory. Some think the basic principle is the survival of the fittest; others deny that this principle is an important part of their theory. …Read more
  •  37
    Relevance logic brings hope to hypothetico-deductivism
    Philosophy of Science 54 (3): 453-464. 1987.
    Clark Glymour has argued that hypothetico-deductivism, which many take to be an important method of scientific confirmation, is hopeless because it cannot be reconstructed in classical logic. Such reconstructions, as Glymour points out, fail to uphold the condition of relevance between theory and evidence. I argue that the source of the irrelevant confirmations licensed by these reconstructions lies not with hypothetico-deductivism itself, but with the classical logic in which it is typically re…Read more
  • 1. From the New Editor From the New Editor (p. iii)
    with Michael Dickson, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Matthew Dunn, Jennifer Cianciollo, Costas Mannouris, Richard Bradley, and James Mattingly
    Philosophy of Science 72 (2). 2005.
  •  52
    Tempered realism about the force of selection
    Philosophy of Science 58 (4): 553-573. 1991.
    Darwinians are realists about the force of selection, but there has been surprisingly little discussion about what form this realism should take. Arguments about the units of selection in general and genic selectionism in particular reveal two realist assumptions: (1) for any selection process, there is a uniquely correct identification of the operative selective forces and the level at which each impinges; and (2) selective forces must satisfy the Pareto-style requirement of probabilistic causa…Read more
  •  49
    Natural selection without survival of the fittest
    Biology and Philosophy 1 (2): 207-225. 1986.
    Susan Mills and John Beatty proposed a propensity interpretation of fitness (1979) to show that Darwinian explanations are not circular, but they did not address the critics' chief complaint that the principle of the survival of the fittest is either tautological or untestable. I show that the propensity interpretation cannot rescue the principle from the critics' charges. The critics, however, incorrectly assume that there is nothing more to Darwin's theory than the survival of the fittest. Whi…Read more
  •  127
    What was classical genetics?
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (4): 783-809. 2004.
    I present an account of classical genetics to challenge theory-biased approaches in the philosophy of science. Philosophers typically assume that scientific knowledge is ultimately structured by explanatory reasoning and that research programs in well-established sciences are organized around efforts to fill out a central theory and extend its explanatory range. In the case of classical genetics, philosophers assume that the knowledge was structured by T. H. Morgan’s theory of transmission and t…Read more
  •  36
    Taking Analogical Inference Seriously: Darwin's Argument from Artificial Selection
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986. 1986.
    Although historians have carefully examined exactly what role the analogy between artificial and natural selection might have played in Charles Darwin's discovery of natural selection, philosophers have not devoted much attention to the way Darwin employed the analogy to justify his theory. I suggest that philosophers tend to belittle the role that analogies play in the justification of scientific theories because they don't understand the special nature of analogical inference. I present a nove…Read more
  • Julian Huxley: Biologist and Statesman of Science
    with Albert Van Helden and Julian Huxley
    Journal of the History of Biology 27 (2): 363-366. 1994.
  • ¸ Itekellersetal:Sp
    with Stephen H. Kellert and Helen E. Longino
    . 2006.
  •  55
    Rosenberg's rebellion
    Biology and Philosophy 5 (2): 225-239. 1990.
  •  291
    Causes That Make a Difference
    Journal of Philosophy 104 (11): 551-579. 2007.
    Biologists studying complex causal systems typically identify some factors as causes and treat other factors as background conditions. For example, when geneticists explain biological phenomena, they often foreground genes and relegate the cellular milieu to the background. But factors in the milieu are as causally necessary as genes for the production of phenotypic traits, even traits at the molecular level such as amino acid sequences. Gene-centered biology has been criticized on the grounds t…Read more
  •  31
    Molecules Made Biological
    Revue Internationale de Philosophie 54 (214(4)): 539--564. 2000.
  •  108
    Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA led to developments that transformed many biological sciences. But what were the relevant developments and how did they transform biology? Much of the philosophical discussion concerning this question can be organized around two opposing views: theoretical reductionism and layer-cake antireductionism. Theoretical reductionist and their anti-reductionist foes hold two assumptions in common. First, both hold that biological knowledge is structur…Read more
  •  54
    Philosophers now treat the relationship between classical genetics and molecular biology as a paradigm of nonreduction and this example is playing an increasingly prominent role in debates about the reducibility of theories in other sciences. This paper shows that the anti-reductionist consensus about genetics will not withstand serious scrutiny. In addition to defusing the main anti-reductionist objections, this critical analysis uncovers tell-tale signs of a significant reduction in progress. …Read more