publications

My research is primarily concerned with modeling, particularly in biology. A major theme of recent work is that I believe we need to draw on resources from extended modal logic (e.g., with impossible worlds) to fully capture the sort of counterfactual reasoning that scientists engage in when they think about highly-idealized models. I'm also working on projects about the explanatory scope of natural selection, the role that models can (and can't) play in confirmation, stochastic evolutionary dynamics, and health span dynamics.

Publications

McLoone, B. (under review) "What Can Natural Selection Explain?" .pdf

McLoone, B., Orzack, S.H., and Sober, E. (under review) "Trade-offs and Robustness in Model Building: The Debate about Richard Levins's 'Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology'" .pdf

McLoone, B. (under review) "How to Think about Indirect Confirmation" .pdf

Stuart, M.T., McLoone, B., and Grützner, C. (in revision) "Counterpossibles in Science: An Experimental Study" .pdf

McLoone, B. (2021) "Calculus and Counterpossibles in Science," in Synthese, 198, 12153-12174. link

McLoone, B. (2020) "Population and Organismal Perspectives on Trait Origins," in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C , 83, 101288. link

McLoone, B. (2019) "Thumper the Infinitesimal Rabbit: A Fictionalist Perspective on Some 'Unimaginable' Model Systems in Biology," in Philosophy of Science, 86(4): 662-671. .pdf

Orzack, S.H. and McLoone, B. (2019) "Modeling in Biology: Looking Backward and Looking Forward," invited contribution to Studia Metodologiczne, special issue on "Culture(s) of Modelling in Science(s)," 39: 73-98. .pdf

McLoone, B. (2018) "Why A Convincing Argument for Causalism Cannot Entirely Eschew Population-Level Properties: Discussion of Otsuka," in Biology and Philosophy, 33:11. link

McLoone, B., Fan, W.T., Pham, A., Smead, R., Loewe, L. (2018) "Stochasticity, Selection, and the Evolution of Cooperation in a Two-Level Moran Model of the Snowdrift Game," in Complexity, Volume 2018, Article ID 9836150. .pdf

Loewe et al. (2017) "Evolvix BEST Names for semantic reproducibility across code2brain interfaces," invited contribution to Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, special issue on Data Science, Learning, and Applications to Biomedical and Health Sciences, 1387: 124-144. .pdf

McLoone, B. (2015) "Some Criticism of the Contextual Approach, and a Few Proposals," in Biological Theory, 10(2):116-124. link

McLoone, B. and Smead, R. (2014) "The Evolution and Ontogeny of Human Collaboration," in Biology and Philosophy, 29:559-576. link

McLoone, B. (2013) "Selection Explanations of Token Traits," in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C, 44: 342-346. link

Barrett, M., Clatterbuck, H., Goldsby, M., McLoone, B., Pearce, T., Sober, E., Stern, R., and Weinberger, N. (2012) "Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon's Zero Force Evolutionary Law," in Biology and Philosophy, 27(5):724-735. link

(essay review) McLoone, B. (2012) "Collaboration and Human Social Evolution: Review of Michael Tomasello's Why We Cooperate, in Biology and Philosophy, 27(5): 724-735. link