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  1. A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
    The propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF) is commonly taken to be subject to a set of simple counterexamples. We argue that three of the most important of these are not counterexamples to the PIF itself, but only to the traditional mathematical model of this propensity: fitness as expected number of offspring. They fail to demonstrate that a new mathematical model of the PIF could not succeed where this older model fails. We then propose a new formalization of the PIF that (...)
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  2.  69
    Three Kinds of Niche Construction.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Grant Ramsey - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):351-372.
    Niche construction theory concerns how organisms can change selection pressures by altering the feature–factor relationship between themselves and their environment. These alterations are standardly understood to be brought about through two kinds of organism–environment interaction: perturbative and relocational niche construction. We argue that a reconceptualization is needed on the grounds that if a niche is understood as the feature–factor relationship, then there are three fundamental ways in which organisms can engage in niche construction: constitutive, relational, and external niche construction. We (...)
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  3. How to Do Digital Philosophy of Science.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):930-941.
    Philosophy of science is expanding via the introduction of new digital data and tools for their analysis. The data comprise digitized published books and journal articles, as well as heretofore unpublished material such as images, archival text, notebooks, meeting notes, and programs. The growth in available data is matched by the extensive development of automated analysis tools. The variety of data sources and tools can be overwhelming. In this article, we survey the state of digital work in the philosophy of (...)
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  4. Is Cultural Fitness Hopelessly Confused?Grant Ramsey & Andreas De Block - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    Fitness is a central concept in evolutionary theory. Just as it is central to biological evolution, so, it seems, it should be central to cultural evolutionary theory. But importing the biological fitness concept to CET is no straightforward task—there are many features unique to cultural evolution that make this difficult. This has led some theorists to argue that there are fundamental problems with cultural fitness that render it hopelessly confused. In this essay, we defend the coherency of cultural fitness against (...)
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  5. evoText: A new tool for analyzing the biological sciences.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:83-87.
    We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...)
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  6.  95
    Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):484-498.
    There are three related criteria that a concept of fitness should be able to meet: it should render the principle of natural selection non-tautologous and it should be explanatory and predictive. I argue that for fitness to be able to fulfill these criteria, it cannot be a property that changes over the course of an individual's life. Rather, I introduce a fitness concept--Block Fitness--and argue that an individual's genes and environment fix its fitness in such a way that each individual's (...)
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  7. Human Nature in a Post-essentialist World.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):983-993.
    In this essay I examine a well-known articulation of human nature skepticism, a paper by Hull. I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery, which argues for an account of human nature that he claims is both useful and scientifically robust. I challenge Machery’s account and introduce an alternative account—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—that I hold is scientifically sound and makes sense of our intuitions about—and desiderata for—human nature.
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  8. Sameness in Biology.Grant Ramsey & Anne Siebels Peterson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):255-275.
    Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
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  9. Causal Inference from Noise.Nevin Climenhaga, Lane DesAutels & Grant Ramsey - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):152-170.
    "Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...)
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  10.  85
    Culture in humans and other animals.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):457-479.
    The study of animal culture is a flourishing field, with culture being recorded in a wide range of taxa, including non-human primates, birds, cetaceans, and rodents. In spite of this research, however, the concept of culture itself remains elusive. There is no universally assented to concept of culture, and there is debate over the connection between culture and related concepts like tradition and social learning. Furthermore, it is not clear whether culture in humans and culture in non-human animals is really (...)
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  11. The Causal Structure of Evolutionary Theory.Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):421-434.
    One contentious debate in the philosophy of biology is that between the statisticalists and causalists. The former understand core evolutionary concepts like fitness and selection to be mere statistical summaries of underlying causal processes. In this view, evolutionary changes cannot be causally explained by selection or fitness. The causalist side, on the other hand, holds that populations can change in response to selection—one can cite fitness differences or driftability in causal explanations of evolutionary change. But, on the causalist side, it (...)
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  12.  57
    The proximate-ultimate distinction and the active role of the organism in evolution.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Grant Ramsey - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-20.
    The validity and utility of the proximate-ultimate distinction in biology have recently been under debate. Opponents of the distinction argue that it rules out individual-level organismic processes from evolutionary explanations, thereby leading to an unfounded separation between organismic causation and evolutionary causation. Proponents of the proximate-ultimate distinction, on the other hand, argue that it serves an important epistemological role in forming different kinds of explanation-seeking questions in biology. In this paper we offer an interpretation the proximate-ultimate distinction not only as (...)
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  13.  85
    Driftability.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3909-3928.
    In this paper, I argue (contra some recent philosophical work) that an objective distinction between natural selection and drift can be drawn. I draw this distinction by conceiving of drift, in the most fundamental sense, as an individual-level phenomenon. This goes against some other attempts to distinguish selection from drift, which have argued either that drift is a population-level process or that it is a population-level product. Instead of identifying drift with population-level features, the account introduced here can explain these (...)
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  14.  88
    Is Organismic Fitness at the Basis of Evolutionary Theory?Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1081-1091.
    Fitness is a central theoretical concept in evolutionary theory. Despite its importance, much debate has occurred over how to conceptualize and formalize fitness. One point of debate concerns the roles of organismic and trait fitness. In a recent addition to this debate, Elliott Sober argues that trait fitness is the central fitness concept, and that organismic fitness is of little value. In this paper, by contrast, we argue that it is organismic fitness that lies at the bases of both the (...)
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  15.  59
    What's wrong with the emergentist statistical interpretation of natural selection and random drift.Robert N. Brandon & Grant Ramsey - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66--84.
  16.  76
    Animal innovation defined and operationalized.Grant Ramsey, Meredith L. Bastian & Carel van Schaik - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):393-407.
    Innovation is a key component of most definitions of culture and intelligence. Additionally, innovations may affect a species' ecology and evolution. Nonetheless, conceptual and empirical work on innovation has only recently begun. In particular, largely because the existing operational definition (first occurrence in a population) requires long-term studies of populations, there has been no systematic study of innovation in wild animals. To facilitate such study, we have produced a new definition of innovation: Innovation is the process that generates in an (...)
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  17.  88
    Guilt by association?Michael Deem & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):570-585.
    Recent evolutionary perspectives on guilt tend to focus on how guilt functions as a means for the individual to self-regulate behavior and as a mechanism for reinforcing cooperative tendencies. While these accounts highlight important dimensions of guilt and provide important insights into its evolutionary emergence, they pay scant attention to the large empirical literature on its maladaptive effects on individuals. This paper considers the nature of guilt, explores its biological function, and provides an evolutionary perspective on whether it is an (...)
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  18. Organisms, Traits, and Population Subdivisions: Two Arguments against the Causal Conception of Fitness?Grant30 Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):589-608.
    A major debate in the philosophy of biology centers on the question of how we should understand the causal structure of natural selection. This debate is polarized into the causal and statistical positions. The main arguments from the statistical side are that a causal construal of the theory of natural selection's central concept, fitness, either (i) leads to inaccurate predictions about population dynamics, or (ii) leads to an incoherent set of causal commitments. In this essay, I argue that neither the (...)
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  19.  73
    The Nature of Programmed Cell Death.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):30-41.
    In multicellular organisms, cells are frequently programmed to die. This makes good sense: cells that fail to, or are no longer playing important roles are eliminated. From the cell’s perspective, this also makes sense, since somatic cells in multicellular organisms require the cooperation of clonal relatives. In unicellular organisms, however, programmed cell death poses a difficult and unresolved evolutionary problem. The empirical evidence for PCD in diverse microbial taxa has spurred debates about what precisely PCD means in the case of (...)
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  20.  23
    Organisms, Traits, and Population Subdivisions: Two Arguments against the Causal Conception of Fitness?Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):589-608.
    A major debate in the philosophy of biology centers on the question of how we should understand the causal structure of natural selection. This debate is polarized into the causal and statistical positions. The main arguments from the statistical side are that a causal construal of the theory of natural selection's central concept, fitness, either (i) leads to inaccurate predictions about population dynamics, or (ii) leads to an incoherent set of causal commitments. In this essay, I argue that neither the (...)
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  21. What are the ‘levels’ in levels of selection?Markus Ilkka Eronen & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The levels of selection debate is generally taken to be a debate about how natural selection can occur at the various levels of biological organization. In this paper, we argue that questions about levels of selection should be analyzed separately from questions about levels of organization. In the deflationary proposal we defend, all that is necessary for multilevel selection is that there are cases in which particles are nested in collectives, and that both the collectives and the particles that compose (...)
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  22. Can fitness differences be a cause of evolution?Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 5 (20130604):1-13.
    Biological fitness is a foundational concept in the theory of natural selection. Natural selection is often defined in terms of fitness differences as “any consistent difference in fitness (i.e., survival and reproduction) among phenotypically different biological entities” (Futuyma 1998, 349). And in Lewontin’s (1970) classic articulation of the theory of natural selection, he lists fitness differences as one of the necessary conditions for evolution by natural selection to occur. Despite this foundational position of fitness, there remains much debate over the (...)
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  23.  28
    What's Wrong with the Emergentist Statistical Interpretation of Natural Selection and Random Drift?Robert N. Brandon & Grant Ramsey - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 66-84.
    Population-level theories of evolution—the stock and trade of population genetics—are statistical theories par excellence. But what accounts for the statistical character of population-level phenomena? One view is that the population-level statistics are a product of, are generated by, probabilities that attach to the individuals in the population. On this conception, population-level phenomena are explained by individual-level probabilities and their population-level combinations. Another view, which arguably goes back to Fisher but has been defended recently, is that the population-level statistics are sui (...)
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  24.  80
    Chance in Evolution.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence (eds.) - 2016 - Chicago: University of Chicago.
    Evolutionary biology since Darwin has seen a dramatic entrenchment and elaboration of the role of chance in evolution. It is nearly impossible to discuss contemporary evolutionary theory in any depth at all without making reference to at least some concept of “chance” or “randomness.” Many processes are described as chancy, outcomes are characterized as random, and many evolutionary phenomena are thought to be best described by stochastic or probabilistic models. Chance is taken by various authors to be central to the (...)
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  25.  51
    What is animal culture?Grant Ramsey - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge.
    Culture in humans connotes tradition, norms, ritual, technology, and social learning, but also cultural events like operas or gallery openings. Culture is in part about what we do, but also sometimes about what we ought to do. Human culture is inextricably intertwined with language and much of what we learn and transmit to others comes through written or spoken language. Given the complexities of human culture, it might seem that we are the only species that exhibits culture. How, then, are (...)
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  26.  12
    What is animal culture?Grant Ramsey - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge.
    Culture in humans connotes tradition, norms, ritual, technology, and social learning, but also cultural events like operas or gallery openings. Culture is in part about what we do, but also sometimes about what we ought to do. Human culture is inextricably intertwined with language and much of what we learn and transmit to others comes through written or spoken language. Given the complexities of human culture, it might seem that we are the only species that exhibits culture. How, then, are (...)
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  27. The concepts and origins of cell mortality.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2023 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 45 (23):1-23.
    Organismal death is foundational to the evolution of life, and many biological concepts such as natural selection and life history strategy are so fashioned only because individuals are mortal. Organisms, irrespective of their organization, are composed of basic functional units—cells—and it is our understanding of cell death that lies at the heart of most general explanatory frameworks for organismal mortality. Cell death can be exogenous, arising from transmissible diseases, predation, or other misfortunes, but there are also endogenous forms of death (...)
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  28. Programmed cell death as a black queen in microbial communities.Andrew Ndhlovu, Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2021 - Molecular Ecology 30:1110-1119.
    Programmed cell death (PCD) in unicellular organisms is in some instances an altruistic trait. When the beneficiaries are clones or close kin, kin selection theory may be used to explain the evolution of the trait, and when the trait evolves in groups of distantly related individuals, group or multilevel selection theory is invoked. In mixed microbial communities, the benefits are also available to unrelated taxa. But the evolutionary ecology of PCD in communities is poorly understood. Few hypotheses have been offered (...)
     
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  29.  81
    How Human Nature Can Inform Human Enhancement: a Commentary on Tim Lewens's Human Nature: the Very Idea.Grant Ramsey - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):479-483.
    In this commentary on Lewens, I argue that although his criticisms of Machery's conception of human nature are sound, I disagree with his conclusion that human nature cannot inform us regarding issues of human enhancement. I introduce a framework for understanding human nature, the “life history trait cluster account,” which aligns the concept of human nature with the human sciences and allows human nature to inform questions of human enhancement.
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  30. Why reciprocal altruism is not a kind of group selection.Grant Ramsey & Robert Brandon - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):385-400.
    Reciprocal altruism was originally formulated in terms of individual selection and most theorists continue to view it in this way. However, this interpretation of reciprocal altruism has been challenged by Sober and Wilson (1998). They argue that reciprocal altruism (as well as all other forms of altruism) evolves by the process of group selection. In this paper, we argue that the original interpretation of reciprocal altruism is the correct one. We accomplish this by arguing that if fitness attaches to (at (...)
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  31.  18
    Developmental Channeling and Evolutionary Dappling.Grant Ramsey & Cristina Villegas - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    The developmental properties of organisms play important roles in the generation of variation necessary for evolutionary change. But how can individual development steer the course of evolution? To answer this question, we introduce developmental channeling as a disposition of individual organisms that shapes their possible developmental trajectories and evolutionary dappling as an evolutionary outcome in which the space of possible organismic forms is dappled—it is only partially filled. We then trace out the implications of the channeling-dappling framework for contemporary debates (...)
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  32. The Manifold Challenges to Understanding Human Success.Hugh Desmond & Grant Ramsey - 2023 - In Hugh Desmond & Grant Ramsey (eds.), Human Success: Evolutionary Origins and Ethical Implications. Oxford University Press.
    Claims that our species is an “evolutionary success” typically do not feature prominently in academic articles. However, they do seem to be a recurring trope in science popularization. Why do we seem to be attracted to viewing human evolution through the lense of “success”? In this chapter we discuss how evolutionary success has both causal-descriptive and ethical-normative components, and how its ethical status is ambiguous, with possible hints of anthropocentrism. We also place the concept of “success” in a wider context (...)
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  33.  77
    What Is human nature for?Grant Ramsey - unknown
    Questions about what human nature is and how we can learn about it are difficult to answer. They are difficult not just because humans are complex creatures whose behavior is deeply embedded in the cultural environment that they are a part of, but also because it is not obvious what a concept of human nature is supposed to do or what it is for. The concept of human nature is often used as a normative concept, one that can serve as (...)
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  34. Fitness: Philosophical Problems.Grant Ramsey & Charles Pence - 2013 - eLS.
    Fitness plays many roles throughout evolutionary theory, from a measure of populations in the wild to a central element in abstract theoretical presentations of natural selection. It has thus been the subject of an extensive philosophical literature, which has primarily centered on the way to understand the relationship between fitness values and reproductive outcomes. If fitness is a probabilistic or statistical quantity, how is it to be defined in general theoretical contexts? How can it be measured? Can a single conceptual (...)
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  35.  29
    Can altruism be unified?Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:32 - 38.
    There is clearly a plurality of forms of altruism. Classically, biological altruism is distinguished from psychological altruism. Recent discussions of altruism have attempted to distinguish even more forms of altruism. I will focus on three altruism concepts, biological altruism, psychological altruism, and helping altruism. The questions I am concerned with here are, first, how should we understand these concepts? and second, what relationship do these concepts bear to one another? In particular, is there an essence to altruism that unifies these (...)
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  36.  13
    The Organism-Centered Approach to Cultural Evolution.Grant Ramsey & Andreas Block - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):283-290.
    In this paper, we distinguish two different approaches to cultural evolution. One approach is meme-centered, the other organism-centered. We argue that in situations in which the meme- and organism-centered approaches are competing alternatives, the organism-centered approach is in many ways superior. Furthermore, the organism-centered approach can go a long way toward understanding the evolution of institutions. Although the organism-centered approach is preferable for a broad class of situations, we do leave room for super-organismic (group based) or sub-organismic (meme-based) explanations of (...)
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  37.  13
    What is human nature for?Grant Ramsey - 2016 - In Agustin Fuentes & Aku Visala (eds.), Verbs, Bones, and Brains: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Nature. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
    During the battle of Iwo Jima in June 1944, Private First Class Jackylin Harold Lucas and three other U.S. Marines came under attack while making their way along a ravine. Upon seeing two grenades thrown near the soldiers, Lucas dove onto one grenade and pulled the other under his body, saving his companions from serious injury or death. Lucas survived, but his injuries were so grave that his companions left him for dead. Lucas’s act was one of spectacular and nearly (...)
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  38. The fundamental constraint on the evolution of culture.Grant Ramsey - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):401-414.
    This paper argues that there is a general constraint on the evolution of culture. This constraint – what I am calling the Fundamental Constraint – must be satisfied in order for a cultural system to be adaptive. The Fundamental Constraint is this: for culture to be adaptive there must be a positive correlation between the fitness of cultural variants and their fitness impact on the organisms adopting those variants. Two ways of satisfying the Fundamental Constraint are introduced, structural solutions and (...)
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  39. Trait bin and trait cluster accounts of human nature.Grant Ramsey - 2018 - In Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (eds.), Why We Disagree About Human Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  40.  53
    The Organism-Centered Approach to Cultural Evolution.Andreas De Block & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):283-290.
    In this paper, we distinguish two different approaches to cultural evolution. One approach is meme-centered, the other organism-centered. We argue that in situations in which the meme- and organism-centered approaches are competing alternatives, the organism-centered approach is in many ways superior. Furthermore, the organism-centered approach can go a long way toward understanding the evolution of institutions. Although the organism-centered approach is preferable for a broad class of situations, we do leave room for super-organismic or sub-organismic explanations of some cultural phenomena.
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  41.  23
    The Evolutionary Puzzle of Guilt: Individual or Group Selection?Michael J. Deem & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Understanding Guilt.
    Some unpleasant emotions, like fear and disgust, appear straightforwardly susceptible to evolutionary explanation on account of the benefits they seem to provide to individuals. But guilt is more puzzling in this respect. Like other unpleasant emotions, guilt is often associated with a host of negative effects on the individual, such as psychological suffering and social withdrawal. Moreover, many guilt-induced behaviors, such as revealing one’s offenses and placing oneself before the mercy of others, could levy a cost to individuals that is (...)
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  42.  82
    Can altruism be unified?Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:32-38.
    There is clearly a plurality of forms of altruism. Classically, biological altruism is distinguished from psychological altruism. Recent discussions of altruism have attempted to distinguish even more forms of altruism. I will focus on three altruism concepts, biological altruism, psychological altruism, and helping altruism. The questions I am concerned with here are, first, how should we understand these concepts? and second, what relationship do these concepts bear to one another? In particular, is there an essence to altruism that unifies these (...)
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  43.  23
    Adaptationism and Trait Individuation.James DiFrisco & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-15.
    Adaptationism is often taken to be the thesis that most traits are adaptations. In order to assess this thesis, it seems we must be able to establish either an exhaustive set of all traits or a representative sample of this set. Either task requires a more systematic and principled way of individuating traits than is currently available. Moreover, different trait individuation criteria can make adaptationism turn out true or false. For instance, individuation based on natural selection may render adaptationism true, (...)
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  44.  89
    Empathy and the Evolutionary Emergence of Guilt.Grant Ramsey & Michael J. Deem - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):434-453.
    Guilt poses a unique evolutionary problem. Unlike other dysphoric emotions, it is not immediately clear what its adaptive significance is. One can imagine thriving despite or even because of a lack of guilt. In this article, we review solutions offered by Scott James, Richard Joyce, and Robert Frank and show that although their solutions have merit, none adequately solves the puzzle. We offer an alternative solution, one that emphasizes the role of empathy and posttransgression behavior in the evolution of guilt. (...)
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  45.  8
    Recolonization of bigleaf maple branches by epiphytic bryophytes following experimental disturbance.Alexander Cobb, Nalini Nadkarni, Grant Ramsey & Abraham Svoboda - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Botany 79 (1):1-8.
    The dynamics of epiphytic bryophyte communities following natural and human disturbance have rarely been quantified. We describe the response of bryophyte communities on bigleaf maple trees in Olympia, Washington, following their experimental removal. Approximately 8% of the exposed area was recolonized by bryophytes 1 year after clearing, and 27% after 3 years. Lateral encroachment from bryophytes on the sides of the 20-cm-long plots accounted for 75% of this recolonization, with growth from residual plant parts or aerially dispersed diaspores accounting for (...)
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  46.  18
    Human Success: Evolutionary Origins and Ethical Implications.Hugh Desmond & Grant Ramsey (eds.) - 2023 - New York, US: OUP Usa.
    What does it mean for our species—or for any species—to be successful? Human Success: Evolutionary Origins and Ethical Implications examines the concept of human success from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with contributions from leading paleobiologists, anthropologists, geologists, philosophers of science, and ethicists. It tells the tale of how the human species grew in success-linked metrics, such as population size and geographical range, and how it came to dominate ecological systems across the globe. It explores how culture, technology, and creativity (...)
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  47.  70
    Human Nature.Grant Ramsey - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Human nature is frequently evoked to characterize our species and describe how it differs from others. But how should we understand this concept? What is the nature of a species? Some take our nature to be an essence and argue that because humans lack an essence, they also lack a nature. Others argue for non-essentialist ways of understanding human nature, which usually aim to provide criteria for sorting human traits into one of two bins, the one belonging to our nature (...)
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  48.  64
    On the concept of animal innovation and the challenge of studying innovation in the wild.Grant Ramsey, Meredith L. Bastian & Carel van Schaik - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):425-432.
    The commentaries have both drawn out the implications of, and challenged, our definition and operationalization of innovation. In this response, we reply to these concerns, discuss the differences between our operationalization and the preexisting operationalization if innovation, and make suggestions for the advancement of the challenging and exciting field of animal innovation.
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  49.  34
    Trait bin and trait cluster accounts of human nature.Grant Ramsey - 2018 - In Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (eds.), Why We Disagree About Human Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Conceptions of human nature fall under two broad categories, trait bin accounts and trait cluster accounts. Trait bin accounts take there to be a special bin of traits, one composed of all and only those traits constituting our nature. For those arguing for a trait bin account of human nature, the challenge is to articulate what it is that marks a trait as being in or outside of the bin. For some, the bin is filled by the traits essential to (...)
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    The dynamics of science: computational frontiers in history and philosophy of science.Grant Ramsey & Andreas de Block (eds.) - 2022 - Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press.
    Millions of scientific articles are published each year, making it difficult to stay abreast of advances within even the smallest subdisciplines. Traditional approaches to the study of science, such as the history and philosophy of science, involve closely reading a relatively small set of journal articles. And yet many questions benefit from casting a wider net: Is most scientific change gradual or revolutionary? What are the key sources of scientific novelty? Over the past several decades, a massive effort to digitize (...)
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