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Justin P. Bruner [18]Justin Bruner [16]
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Justin Bruner
University of Arizona
  1.  77
    In Epistemic Networks, is Less Really More?Sarita Rosenstock, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):234-252.
    We show that previous results from epistemic network models showing the benefits of decreased connectivity in epistemic networks are not robust across changes in parameter values. Our findings motivate discussion about whether and how such models can inform real-world epistemic communities. As we argue, only robust results from epistemic network models should be used to generate advice for the real-world, and, in particular, decreasing connectivity is a robustly poor recommendation.
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  2.  51
    Experimentation by Industrial Selection.Bennett Holman & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1008-1019.
    Industry is a major source of funding for scientific research. There is also a growing concern for how it corrupts researchers faced with conflicts of interest. As such, the debate has focused on whether researchers have maintained their integrity. In this article we draw on both the history of medicine and formal modeling to argue that given methodological diversity and a merit-based system, industry funding can bias a community without corrupting any particular individual. We close by considering a policy solution (...)
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  3.  73
    How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policymakers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks.James Owen Weatherall, Cailin O’Connor & Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1157-1186.
    In their recent book, Oreskes and Conway describe the ‘tobacco strategy’, which was used by the tobacco industry to influence policymakers regarding the health risks of tobacco products. The strategy involved two parts, consisting of promoting and sharing independent research supporting the industry’s preferred position and funding additional research, but selectively publishing the results. We introduce a model of the tobacco strategy, and use it to argue that both prongs of the strategy can be extremely effective—even when policymakers rationally update (...)
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  4. David Lewis in the Lab: Experimental Results on the Emergence of Meaning.Justin Bruner, Cailin O’Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon M. Huttegger - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):603-621.
    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 actors to transfer (...)
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  5.  29
    Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities.Cailin O’Connor & Justin Bruner - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):101-119.
    Bruner shows that in cultural interactions, members of minority groups will learn to interact with members of majority groups more quickly—minorities tend to meet majorities more often as a brute fact of their respective numbers—and, as a result, may come to be disadvantaged in situations where they divide resources. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this effect for epistemic communities. We use evolutionary game theoretic methods to show that minority groups can end up disadvantaged in academic interactions like (...)
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  6. The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):459-477.
    Social contract theorists often take the ideal contract to be the agreement or bargain individuals would make in some privileged choice situation. Recently, experimental philosophers have explored this kind of decision-making in the lab. One rather robust finding is that the exact circumstances of choice significantly affect the kinds of social arrangements experimental subjects unanimously endorse. Yet prior work has largely ignored the question of which of the many competing descriptions of the original position subjects find most compelling. This paper (...)
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  7.  31
    The Problem of Intransigently Biased Agents.Bennett Holman & Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):956-968.
    In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect of an epistemically impure agent on a community of honest truth seekers. Extending a formal model of network epistemology pioneered by Zollman, we conclude that an intransigently biased agent prevents the community from ever converging to the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network formation in which agents choose whom to trust. We contend that our (...)
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  8.  22
    Minority (Dis)Advantage in Population Games.Justin Bruner - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):413-427.
    We identify a novel ‘cultural red king effect’ that, in many cases, results in stable arrangements which are to the detriment of minority groups. In particular, we show inequalities disadvantaging minority groups can naturally arise under an adaptive process when minority and majority members must routinely determine how to divide resources amongst themselves. We contend that these results show how inequalities disadvantaging minorities can likely arise by dint of their relative size and need not be a result of either explicit (...)
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  9.  47
    Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities.Cailin O’Connor & Justin Bruner - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):101-119.
    Bruner shows that in cultural interactions, members of minority groups will learn to interact with members of majority groups more quickly—minorities tend to meet majorities more often as a brute fact of their respective numbers—and, as a result, may come to be disadvantaged in situations where they divide resources. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this effect for epistemic communities. We use evolutionary game theoretic methods to show that minority groups can end up disadvantaged in academic interactions like (...)
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  10. Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration.Justin Bruner & Cailin O'Connor - 2016 - In T. Boyer, C. Mayo-Wilson & M. Weisberg (eds.), Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge.
    Collaboration is increasingly popular across academia. Collaborative work raises certain ethical questions, however. How will the fruits of collaboration be divided? How will the work for the collaborative project be split? In this paper, we consider the following question in particular. Are there ways in which these divisions systematically disadvantage certain groups? -/- We use evolutionary game theoretic models to address this question. First, we discuss results from O'Connor and Bruner (unpublished). In this paper, we show that underrepresented groups in (...)
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  11.  43
    Policing Epistemic Communities.Justin P. Bruner - 2013 - Episteme 10 (4):403-416.
    I examine how particular social arrangements and incentive structures encourage the honest reporting of experimental results and minimize fraudulent scientific work. In particular I investigate how epistemic communities can achieve this goal by promoting members to police the community. Using some basic tools from game theory, I explore a simple model in which scientists both conduct research and have the option of investigating the findings of their peers. I find that this system of peer policing can in many cases ensure (...)
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  12.  50
    Locke, Nozick and the State of Nature.Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):705-726.
    Recently, philosophers have drawn on tools from game theory to explore behavior in Hobbes’ state of nature. I take a similar approach and argue the Lockean state of nature is best conceived of as a conflictual coordination game. I also discuss Nozick’s famous claim regarding the emergence of the state and argue the path to the minimal state is blocked by a hitherto unnoticed free-rider problem. Finally, I argue that on my representation of the Lockean state of nature both widespread (...)
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  13.  30
    Bargaining and the Dynamics of Divisional Norms.Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):407-425.
    Recently, philosophers have investigated the emergence and evolution of the social contract. Yet extant work is limited as it focuses on the use of simple behavioral norms in rather rigid strategic settings. Drawing on axiomatic bargaining theory, we explore the dynamics of more sophisticated norms capable of guiding behavior in a wide range of scenarios. Overall, our investigation suggests the utilitarian bargaining solution has a privileged status as it has certain stability properties other social arrangements lack.
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  14.  11
    Convention, correlation and consistency.Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1707-1718.
    Peter Vanderschraaf’s Strategic Justice provides a defense of the egalitarian bargaining solution. Vanderschraaf’s discussion of the egalitarian solution invokes three arguments typically given to support the Nash bargaining solution. Overall, we reinforce Vanderschraaf’s criticism of arguments in favor of the Nash solution and point to potential weaknesses in Vanderschraaf’s positive case for the egalitarian solution.
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  15.  44
    Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration.Justin Bruner & Cailin O'Connor - 2017
    Collaboration is increasingly popular across academia. Collaborative work raises certain ethical questions, however. How will the fruits of collaboration be divided? How will the work for the collaborative project be split? In this paper, we consider the following question in particular. Are there ways in which these divisions systematically disadvantage certain groups? We use evolutionary game theoretic models to address this question. First, we discuss results from O'Connor and Bruner showing that underrepresented groups in academia can be disadvantaged in collaboration (...)
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  16.  40
    Responsiveness and Robustness in the David Lewis Signaling Game.Carl Brusse & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1068-1079.
    We consider modifications to the standard David Lewis signaling game and relax a number of unrealistic implicit assumptions that are often built into the framework. In particular, we motivate and explore various asymmetries that exist between the sender and receiver roles. We find that endowing receivers with a more realistic set of responses significantly decreases the likelihood of signaling, while allowing for unequal selection pressure often has the opposite effect. We argue that the results of this article can also help (...)
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  17.  38
    Inclusive Fitness and the Problem of Honest Communication.Justin P. Bruner & Hannah Rubin - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):115-137.
    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 rests on a misunderstanding of what (...)
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  18.  59
    Diversity, Tolerance, and the Social Contract.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (4):429-448.
    Philosophers and social scientists have recently turned to game theory and agent-based models to better understand social contract formation. The stag hunt game is an idealization of social contract formation. Using the stag hunt game, we attempt to determine what, if any, barrier diversity is to the formation of an efficient social contract. We uncover a deep connection between tolerance, diversity, and the social contract. We investigate a simple model in which individuals possess salient traits and behave cooperatively when the (...)
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  19.  37
    The Handicap Principle Is an Artifact.Simon M. Huttegger, Justin P. Bruner & Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):997-1009.
    The handicap principle is one of the most influential ideas in evolutionary biology. It asserts that when there is conflict of interest in a signaling interaction signals must be costly in order to be reliable. While in evolutionary biology it is a common practice to distinguish between indexes and fakable signals, we argue this dichotomy is an artifact of existing popular signaling models. Once this distinction is abandoned, we show one cannot adequately understand signaling behavior by focusing solely on cost. (...)
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  20.  39
    The Evolution of Intersectional Oppression.Cailin O'Connor, Liam Kofi Bright & Justin Bruner - unknown
    Intersectionality theory explores the special sorts of disadvantage that arise as the result of occupying multiple disadvantaged demographic categories. One significant methodological problem for the quantitative study of intersectionality is the difficulty of acquiring data sets large enough to produce significant results when one is looking for intersectional effects. For this reason, we argue, simulation methods may be particularly useful to this branch of theorizing because they can generate precise predictions and causal dependencies in a relatively cheap way, and can (...)
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  21.  55
    Self-Correction in Science: Meta-Analysis, Bias and Social Structure.Justin P. Bruner & Bennett Holman - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78:93-97.
  22.  8
    Nash, Bargaining and Evolution.Justin P. Bruner - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1185-1198.
    Evolutionary accounts of morality consider behavior in rather simple scenarios. Evolutionary work on fairness focuses on the division of a windfall and, importantly, assumes that the positions of those involved are entirely symmetric. I consider more complicated strategic settings and find that there is a strong tendency for evolution to produce divisions consistent with the so-called Nash bargaining solution. I also uncover the evolutionary importance of comprehensiveness, an often-overlooked feature of division problems.
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  23.  28
    Cost, Expenditure and Vulnerability.David Kalkman, Carl Brusse & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):357-375.
    The handicap principle stipulates that signal reliability can be maintained if signals are costly to produce. Yet empirical biologists are typically unable to directly measure evolutionary costs, and instead appeal to expenditure as a sensible proxy. However the link between expenditure and cost is not always as straightforward as proponents of HP assume. We consider signaling interactions where whether the expenditure associated with signaling is converted into an evolutionary cost is in some sense dependent on the behavior of the intended (...)
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  24.  35
    Disclosure and Information Transfer in Signaling Games.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):649-666.
    One of the major puzzles in evolutionary theory is how communication and information transfer are possible when the interests of those involved conflict. Perfect information transfer seems inevitable if there are physical constraints, which limit the signal repertoire of an individual, effectively making bluffing an impossibility. This, I argue, is incorrect. Unfakeable signals by no means guarantee information transfer. I demonstrate the existence of a so-called pooling equilibrium and discuss why the traditional argument for perfect information transfer does not hold (...)
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  25.  77
    Communication Without the Cooperative Principle: A Signaling Experiment.Hannah Rubin, Justin Bruner, Cailin O'Connor & Simon Huttegger - unknown
    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 some degree. Communication can (...)
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  26. No Harm Done? An Experimental Approach to the Nonidentity Problem.Matthew Kopec & Justin Bruner - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):169-189.
    Discussions of the non-identity problem presuppose a widely shared intuition that actions or policies that change who comes into existence don't, thereby, become morally unproblematic. We hypothesize that this intuition isn’t generally shared by the public, which could have widespread implications concerning how to generate support for large-scale, identity-affecting policies relating to matters like climate change. To test this, we ran a version of the well-known dictator game designed to mimic the public's behavior over identity-affecting choices. We found the public (...)
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  27.  2
    Cost, Expenditure and Vulnerability.Justin Bruner, Brusse P., Kalkman Carl & David - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):357--375.
    The handicap principle stipulates that signal reliability can be maintained if signals are costly to produce. Yet empirical biologists are typically unable to directly measure evolutionary costs, and instead appeal to expenditure as a sensible proxy. However the link between expenditure and cost is not always as straightforward as proponents of HP assume. We consider signaling interactions where whether the expenditure associated with signaling is converted into an evolutionary cost is in some sense dependent on the behavior of the intended (...)
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  28.  20
    David Lewis in the Lab: An Experimental Study of Signaling Convention.Justin Bruner, Cailin O'Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon Huttegger - unknown
    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 actors to transfer (...)
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  29.  21
    Inequality and Majority Rule.Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):617-629.
    I provide a novel argument in favour of majority rule. In particular, I consider the distribution of voter satisfaction in response to the outcome of a vote and prove that under certain conditions majority rule minimizes the level of inequality present in the distribution of voter satisfaction. This finding is reinforced by a computer simulation as well as an analysis of over four decades of polling data. Results complement existing procedural justifications of majority rule, demonstrating that majority rule ensures equality (...)
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  30.  13
    Correction To: The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):479-481.
    The citations of Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 were placed after the figures in the original publication of the article. However, they should be placed prior the placement of figures.
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  31.  7
    Communication Without Common Interest: A Signaling Experiment.Hannah Rubin, Justin P. Bruner, Cailin O'Connor & Simon Huttegger - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 83:101295.
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  32.  14
    Experimental Economics for Philosophers.Hannah Rubin, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - unknown
    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 practices from the social sciences, and especially from psychology, to expand (...)
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  33.  14
    Coordination, Conflict, and Externalization.Justin P. Bruner - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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  34.  1
    Cooperation, Correlation and the Evolutionary Dominance of Tag-Based Strategies.Justin P. Bruner - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-20.
    Cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma is possible if interactions are sufficiently correlated. We show that when conditions favorable to the evolution of cooperation hold tag-based strategies dominate. Thus, well-meaning interventions aimed at promoting cooperation may succeed but will often lead to in-group favoritism and ethnocentric behavior. Exploring ways that promote cooperation but do not usher in tag-based strategies should be a focal point of future work on the evolution of cooperation.
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