Models of Scientific Communities and Social Epistemology:

I am building formal models of scientific communities to answer questions like: how can industry influence the public understanding of science?  How do communication structures impact the emergence of scientific consensus?  And: What can idealized models tell us about complicated scientific communities?  In addition to the work here, look under the next heading for models of diverse groups in science.  And see my book projects The Misinformation Age and Modeling Scientific Communities.

Fake News!, with James Weatherall, for Philosophy Compass

The Best Paper You’ll Read Today: Media Bias and the Public Understanding of Science, with Aydin Mohseni and James Weatherall, Philosophical Topics, forthcoming

Can Confirmation Bias Improve Group Learning?, with Nathan Gabriel, Philosophy of Science, forthcoming

How Should We Promote Transient Diversity in Science?, (official link) with Jingyi Wu, Synthese, 2023

The Cultural Evolution of Science, with Jingyi Wu and Paul Smaldino, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Evolution, forthcoming

Interdisciplinarity Can Aid the Spread of Better Methods Between Scientific Communities (official link) with Paul Smaldino, Collective Intelligence, 2022

The Dynamics of Retraction in Epistemic Networks, with Travis LaCroix and Anders Geil, Philosophy of Science, 2021 (see a related talk)

Modeling How False Beliefs Spread, with Jim Weatherall, The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology, 2021

Social Epistemology, with Alvin Goldman, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2019

False Beliefs and the Social Structure of Science: Some Models and Case Studies, with James Owen Weatherall, In Groupthink in Science, 2020

How to Beat Science and Influence People, (official link) with James Owen Weatherall and Justin P. Bruner, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2018 (a talk on this paper) (and a related talk)

Endogenous Epistemic Factionalization, (official link) with James Owen Weatherall, Synthese, 2020 (a talk on this paper, and a related talk)

Conformity in Scientific Networks, (official link) with James Owen Weatherall, Synthese, 2020, NOTE, this version was updated in 2023 to correct a small error

The Natural Selection of Conservative Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A, 2019

Scientific Polarization, (official link) with James Owen Weatherall, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 2018 (a talk on this paper)

In Epistemic Networks, Is Less Really More?, (official link) with Sarita Rosenstock and Justin P. Bruner, Philosophy of Science, 2017

Intellectual Vice and Social Networks, (official link) for the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 2020

Modeling Inequality:

I’m using evolutionary modeling to understand issues related to diversity such as: How do discriminatory norms arise between social groups?  How does power influence strategic behavior between academics?  How do gender and class emerge in societies?  Also, check out my book project The Origins of Unfairness.

Why Natural Social Contracts are Not Fair, for New Social Contract Theory, forthcoming

On the Stability of Racial Capitalism, with Liam K. Bright, Nathan Gabriel, and Olufemi Taiwo, Ergo, Forthcoming

Measuring Conventionality, (official link) Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2021

Inequality and Inequity in the Emergence of Conventions. (official link) with Calvin Cochran, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 2019

Power By Association, with Travis Lacroix, Ergo, Forthcoming

Modeling Minimal Conditions for Social Ills, Working Paper 2021

 Promoting Diverse Collaborations, with Michael Schneider and Hannah Rubin,  In The Dynamics of Science: Computational Frontiers in History and Philosophy of Science, Forthcoming

The Emergence of Intersectional Disadvantage, (official link) with Liam K. Bright and Justin P. Bruner, Social Epistemology, 2019 (a talk on this paper)

Discrimination and Collaboration in Science, (official link) with Hannah Rubin, Philosophy of Science, 2018 (also see this video of a talk on this paper)

The Cultural Red King Effect, (official linkJournal of Mathematical Sociology, 2017, note this version was updated in 2019 to correct a small error

Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities, (official link) with Justin P. Bruner, Erkenntnis, 2017

Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration, with Justin P. Bruner, in Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge, 2017

Moral Emotions and Naturalized Ethics:

I’m using tools from evolutionary modeling to assess and expand work in philosophy on the evolution of moral emotions.

Methods Models and the Evolution of Moral Psychology, in Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology, 2022

The Evolution of Guilt: a Model Based Approach, (official linkPhilosophy of Science, 2015

When it’s Good to Feel Bad: An Evolutionary Model of Guilt and Apology, (official link) with Sarita Rosenstock, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 2018

Guilt, Games, and Evolution, (official link) for Emotions Researcher, 2016

Deus Ex Machina: a Cautionary Tale For Naturalists , (official link) with P. Kyle Stanford, Elliott Wagner, and Nathan Fulton, Analyse & Kritik, 2012

Categories, Generalization, and Vagueness:

In my thesis project, I completed a cluster of related papers which applied the same game theoretic model – the sim-max game – to several interrelated problems including the evolution of linguistic vagueness, linguistic ambiguity, perceptual categories, learning generalization, and cluster kinds terms.

The Evolution of Vagueness, (official link), Erkenntnis, 2014 (a talk on this paper)

Evolving Perceptual Categories, (official linkPhilosophy of Science, 2014

Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed, (official linkBJPS, 2017

Ambiguity is Kinda Good, Sometimes, (official linkPhilosophy of Science, 2015

Games and Kinds, (official linkBJPS, 2017

Experimental Philosophy:

I use methods from behavioral economics and social psychology to investigate philosophical questions.

Moral Judgments Impact Perceived Risks from COVID-19 Exposure, (official version) with Daniel P. Relihan, Ashley Thomas, Peter H. Ditto, P. Kyle Stanford, and James O. Weatherall, Collabra 2023

Communication without Common Interest: A Signaling Experiment, with Hannah Rubin, Justin P. Bruner, and Simon Huttegger, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science C, 2020

On the Emergence of Minority Disadvantage: Testing the Red King Hypothesis, (official version) with Aydin Mohseni and Hannah Rubin, Synthese, 2019

Experimental Economics for Philosophers, (link to volume) with Hannah Rubin and Justin Bruner, in Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy, 2019

David Lewis in the Lab: Experimental Results on the Emergence of Meaning, (official link) with Justin Bruner, Hannah Rubin, and Simon Huttegger, Synthese, 2014


Review of Samir Okasha’s Agents and Goals in Evolution, (official link) Philosophy of Science, 2020

Black Holes, Black-Scholes, and Prairie Voles: as Essay Review of Simulation and Similarity by Michael Weisberg, (official link) with Jim Weatherall, Philosophy of Science, 2017

Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Philosophy of Biology, (official linkPhilosophy of Science, 2015

Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Darwinian Populations, (official linkPhilosophy of Science, 2012

White Papers and Policy Recommendations:

Technology and Democracy, science for policy report for the JRC, the European Commission’s knowledge service, with twelve interdisciplinary authors, 2020

Fair Elections During a Crisis, white paper with twenty-five interdisciplinary authors, 2020

White Paper: Deep Fakery – an Action Plan, with fifteen interdisciplinary researchers, 2020

Sexual Selection: a NESCent Catalyst Meeting, with fifteen interdisciplinary researchers, 2013