Philosophy of Science

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    The Philosophy of Social Evolution Part 2: Relatedness and Altruism

The Philosophy of Social Evolution Part 2: Relatedness and Altruism

13 November 2017|

How can we explain the evolution of altruism? In part 2 of this series, Jonathan Birch considers “Hamilton’s Rule”.

  • Permalink Fruiting bodies of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum (Photograph by Usman Bashir, CC-BY-SA 4.0 licensed)Gallery

    The Philosophy of Social Evolution Part 1: Altruism in Nature

The Philosophy of Social Evolution Part 1: Altruism in Nature

6 November 2017|

In the first installment of this five-part series, Jonathan Birch looks at biological altruism, a key concept from his new book The Philosophy of Social Evolution.

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    Weathering catastrophic storms: the science and philosophy of hurricane prediction

Weathering catastrophic storms: the science and philosophy of hurricane prediction

4 September 2017|

The science of predicting hurricanes is crucial for disaster management and insurance, but also raises difficult methodological and philosophical questions. In this post, Joe Roussos asks whether hurricane modellers should average the results from different models of hurricane frequency.

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    The scientific limits of understanding complex social phenomena

The scientific limits of understanding complex social phenomena

9 January 2017|

Can we give accurate scientific explanations for social phenomena? In this post, CPNSS Research Fellow Alexander Krauss looks at the proposed link between economic inequality and democratic change.

What makes humans special?

3 March 2016|

What separates human beings from their animal ancestors? Andrew Buskell examines the concept of “cumulative culture”.

The Placebo Effect and Evidence-Based Policy

13 January 2016|

What’s so bad about the placebo effect? John Worrall examines the recent Nurofen labelling “scandal”.

Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Policy

7 January 2016|

With the UK government considering a ban on the prescription of homeopathic remedies on the NHS, John Worrall examines the rationale for such a proposal and suggests that the decision is not as simple as it might initially seem.

Weak interactions and the curious little arrow of time

21 December 2015|

In this talk from ETH Zurich’s Workshop on Time in Physics, Bryan Roberts introduces weak interactions and argues that the laws of nature are directed in time.

The evolution of cultures, human and microbial

9 November 2015|

What can microbiology teach us about cultural evolution? Philosopher of Biology, Jonathan Birch, discusses “horizontal transmission”.

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    Jonathan Birch: “Time and Relatedness in Microbes and in Humans”

Jonathan Birch: “Time and Relatedness in Microbes and in Humans”

11 September 2015|

Listen to Dr Jonathan Birch’s recent talk at The University of Oxford.