Graduate studies at Western
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):51-78 (2009)
|Abstract||This paper describes a pattern of explanation prevalent in the biological sciences that I call a ‘lineage explanation’. The aim of these explanations is to make plausible certain trajectories of change through phenotypic space. They do this by laying out a series of stages, where each stage shows how some mechanism worked, and the differences between each adjacent stage demonstrates how one mechanism, through minor modifications, could be changed into another. These explanations are important, for though it is widely accepted that there is an ‘incremental constraint’ on evolutionary change, in an important class of cases it is difficult to see how to satisfy this constraint. I show that lineage explanations answer important questions about evolutionary change, but do so by demonstrating differences between individuals rather than invoking population processes, such as natural selection.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Richard C. Francis (1990). Causes, Proximate and Ultimate. Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):401-415.
Francisco J. Ayala (1970). Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 37 (1):1-15.
Anya Plutynski (2004). Explanation in Classical Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1201-1214.
Philippe Huneman (2010). Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences. Synthese 177 (2):213-245.
Daniel Little (2000). Explaining Large-Scale Historical Change. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (1):89-112.
Jeffry L. Ramsey (2008). Mechanisms and Their Explanatory Challenges in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):970-982.
Joel Press (2009). Physical Explanations and Biological Explanations, Empirical Laws and a Priori Laws. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):359-374.
Karl-Dieter Opp (2005). Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives. Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
Added to index2009-02-14
Total downloads57 ( #20,990 of 750,480 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #62,995 of 750,480 )
How can I increase my downloads?