•  5
    The study of social justice asks: what sorts of social arrangements are equitable ones? But also: how do we derive the inequitable arrangements we often observe in human societies? In particular, in spite of explicitly stated equity norms, categorical inequity tends to be the rule rather than the exception. The cultural Red King hypothesis predicts that differentials in group size may lead to inequitable outcomes for minority groups even in the absence of explicit or implicit bias. We test this …Read more
  •  75
    According to Grice's `Cooperative Principle', human communicators are involved in a cooperative endeavor. The speaker attempts to make herself understood and the listener, in turn, assumes that the speaker is trying to maximize the ease and effectiveness of communication. While pragmatists recognize that people do not always behave in such a way, the Cooperative Principle is generally assumed to hold. However, it is often the case that the interests of speakers and listeners diverge, at least to…Read more
  •  12
    Recently, game theory and evolutionary game theory - mathematical frameworks from economics and biology designed to model and explain interactive behavior - have proved fruitful tools for philosophers in areas such as ethics, philosophy of language, social epistemology, and political philosophy. This methodological osmosis is part of a trend where philosophers have blurred disciplinary lines to import the best epistemic tools available. In this vein, experimental philosophers have drawn on pract…Read more
  •  31
    The ‘phenotypic gambit,’ the assumption that we can ignore genetics and look at the fitness of phenotypes to determine the expected evolutionary dynamics of a population, is often used in evolutionary game theory. However, as this paper will show, an overlooked genotype to phenotype map can qualitatively affect evolution in ways the phenotypic approach cannot predict or explain. This gives us reason to believe that, even in the long-term, correspondences between phenotypic predictions and dynami…Read more
  •  35
    Discrimination and Collaboration in Science
    with Cailin O’Connor
    Philosophy of Science 85 (3): 380-402. 2018.
    We use game theoretic models to take an in-depth look at the dynamics of discrimination and academic collaboration. We find that in collaboration networks, small minority groups may be more likely to end up being discriminated against while collaborating. We also find that discrimination can lead members of different social groups to mostly collaborate with in-group members, decreasing the effective diversity of the social network. Drawing on previous work, we discuss how decreases in the divers…Read more
  •  19
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise---when there are more than two states for ac…Read more
  •  25
    The Debate over Inclusive Fitness as a Debate over Methodologies
    Philosophy of Science 85 (1): 1-30. 2018.
    This article analyzes the recent debate surrounding inclusive fitness and argues that certain limitations ascribed to it by critics—such as requiring weak selection or providing dynamically insufficient models—are better thought of as limitations of the methodological framework most often used with inclusive fitness. In support of this, I show how inclusive fitness can be used with the replicator dynamics. I conclude that much of the debate is best understood as being about the orthogonal issue …Read more
  •  35
    While prior models of the evolution of altruism have assumed that organisms reproduce asexually, this paper presents a model of the evolution of altruism for sexually reproducing organisms using Hardy–Weinberg dynamics. In this model, the presence of reciprocal altruists allows the population to evolve to a stable polymorphic population where the majority of organisms are altruistic. Further, adding stochasticity leads to even larger numbers of altruists, while adding stochasticity to an analogo…Read more
  •  36
    Inclusive Fitness and the Problem of Honest Communication
    with Justin P. Bruner
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1): 115-137. 2020.
    Inclusive fitness has been under intense scrutiny in recent years, with many critics claiming the framework leads to incorrect predictions. We consider one particularly influential heuristic for estimating inclusive fitness in the context of the very case that motivated reliance on it to begin with: the Sir Philip Sidney signalling game played with relatives. Using a neighbour-modulated fitness model, we show when and why this heuristic is problematic. We argue that reliance on the heuristic res…Read more
  •  654
    David Lewis in the lab: experimental results on the emergence of meaning
    with Justin Bruner, Cailin O’Connor, and Simon M. Huttegger
    Synthese 195 (2): 603-621. 2018.
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for acto…Read more