Teleogy and genes

Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):289-300 (1996)
Abstract
My aim in this paper is to quickly sketch a teleological approach to the problem of isolating the impact of genes on phenotypic characters. I begin by arguing that it is a mistake to think that there will be only one analysis of genetic input suitable for all theoretical interests. My principle focus is Richard Dawkins' argument for genic selectionism. I argue that a teleological analysis of genetic input is what Dawkins requires to establish the right kind of mapping of gene onto phenotype. This comes at a certain cost, however. Accepting the analysis will threaten Dawkins' claims about the teleogogical priority of gene over phenotype.
Keywords Active germ-line replicator  extended phenotype  genic selectionism  phenotype
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