Browsing All Posts filed under »Biology«

ESF funding application

May 10, 2010


It’s another of those cases where I wish I were more superstitious. I have submitted an application to the European Science Foundation for funding to organise a workshop on dual inheritance models of religion and now have to wait till November to find out if my application was successful. The attraction to cross my fingers […]

Review of dual-inheritance models

March 3, 2010


Everyone understands the feeling of excitement that a child feels upon seeing presents under the Christmas tree. Far fewer can understand that such a feeling can be caused by finding out that a particular academic article has been published. Still, I hope that some can understand or even share my joy at finding out that […]

Embarrassingly bad philosophy on public show

February 25, 2010


There is a lot of bad philosophy out there. Every philosophical tradition also has its typical bad philosophy, with bad continental philosophy tending to use obscure language to make trivial points and bad analytic philosophy tending to split conceptual hairs in a way that has nothing to do with reality. Very often philosophers do lack […]

Discussion of group selection

February 21, 2010


Due to my interest in the work of David Sloan Wilson, I have found myself on the edge of the group selection controversy. Without necessarily wanting to take a stance on the issue of whether such a phenomenon exists, I have found the issue of interest in itself. As luck would have it, some of […]

O’Hear’s Tensions

February 17, 2010


As I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts, I attended a conference toward the end of last year during which Anthony O’Hear presented a paper. Afterwards, I wrote a lengthy paper, “Evolution, cognition, value: the ingredients for a naturalist philosophy”, critiquing his views and putting forward an alternative, naturalist view. The paper will probably be […]

Heuristics, induction and evolution, oh my!

March 27, 2009


Gave a talk yesterday at my department in Lublin. The talk was on the connection between the boundedness of human reasoning, its evolutionary roots and the problem of induction.  It’s title, in English, was “Evolution, generative entrenchment and the bounds of rationality” (in Polish: Ewolucja, twórcze zakorzenienie i granice racjonalności). Basically, it was an extended […]

Journal of Mind Theory

February 21, 2009


Ricardo Sanz, who is working on autonomous systems at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, is working on putting together a new journal to be called Journal of Mind Theory. The focus of this publication is to be on formal theories of mind. While in Madrid last year I had a chat with him about this […]

St Andrews is nicer anyway

February 3, 2009


Received a reply from the Venice Summer School for Science and Religion. Their conclusion was that my “proposal does not fit well the direction the school plans to venture”. Given that I was going to argue that religious beliefs are basically exapted superstitions, I can’t say that I disagree. I would have been fairly surprised […]

Bristol sounds like a nice place in September

December 14, 2008


At the very least, they keep organising very interesting conferences. This one, in particular, goes right to the top of my list of ones I’d like to attend next year: Evolution, Co-operation and Rationality Conference, September 18-20th 2009 Confirmed Speakers: Cristina Bicchieri, Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; Ken Binmore, Economics, University College London, University of Bristol; […]

Groups, religions and evolution

December 1, 2008


As part of my course on superstitions, I’ve been looking at DS Wilson’s 2005 Human Nature article testing evolutionary hypotheses and find that the more I think about it, the more worried I am about its soundness. In particular, I am concerned about the methodology Wilson uses in that study. He’s looking at a sample […]