•  121
    Sustainability science seeks to extend scientific investigation into domains characterized by a distinct problem-solving agenda, physical and social complexity, and complex moral and ethical landscapes. In this endeavor it arguably pushes scientific investigation beyond its usual comfort zones, raising fundamental issues about how best to structure such investigation. Philosophers of science have long scrutinized the structure of science and scientific practices, and the conditions under which t…Read more
  •  501
    Social norms and human normative psychology
    Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (1): 54-76. 2018.
    Our primary aim in this paper is to sketch a cognitive evolutionary approach for developing explanations of social change that is anchored on the psychological mechanisms underlying normative cognition and the transmission of social norms. We throw the relevant features of this approach into relief by comparing it with the self-fulfilling social expectations account developed by Bicchieri and colleagues. After describing both accounts, we argue that the two approaches are largely compatible, but…Read more
  •  10
    Group Selection in the Evolution of Religion: Genetic Evolution or Cultural Evolution?
    Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4): 235-253. 2015.
    In the scientific literature on religious evolution, two competing theories appeal to group selection to explain the relationship between religious belief and altruism, or costly, prosocial behavior. Both theories agree that group selection plays an important role in cultural evolution, affecting psychological traits that individuals acquire through social learning. They disagree, however, about whether group selection has also played a role in genetic evolution, affecting traits that are inheri…Read more
  •  25
    One World, Multiple Organisms: Specificity /Autocatakinetics versus Enactivism/Autopoiesis
    with M. T. Turvey
    Constructivist Foundations 11 (2): 330-332. 2016.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Perception-Action Mutuality Obviates Mental Construction” by Martin Flament Fultot, Lin Nie & Claudia Carello. Upshot: We extend the authors’ arguments on direct perception, specificity, and foundational principles to concerns for theories of joint action. We argue for the usefulness of the affordance concept in an ecological theory of social interaction; highlighting linkages between theories of affordance-based behavior and fundamental, physical principles.Read more
  •  13
    The Goldberg Exaptation Model: Integrating Adaptation and By-Product Theories of Religion
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3): 687-708. 2017.
    The literature on the evolution of religion has been divided by a fundamental debate between adaptation theories, which explain religious traits as products of selection for religion, and byproduct theories, which explain religious traits as products of selection for other, non-religious functions. Recently, however, a new position has emerged in this debate, as an influential new theory based on cultural selection claims to integrate adaptation theories with byproduct theories, yielding a singl…Read more