Newtonian forces and evolutionary biology: A problem and solution for extending the force interpretation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 76 (5):774-783 (2009)
There has recently been a renewed interest in the “force” interpretation of evolutionary biology. In this article, I present the general structure of the arguments for the force interpretation and identify a problem in its overly permissive conditions for being a Newtonian force. I then attempt a solution that (1) helps to illuminate the difference between forces and other types of causes and (2) makes room for random genetic drift as a force. In particular, I argue that forces are not different in kind from other types of causes but rather that forces are situated on a continuum of causes distinguished by their unifying power. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 5185 Helen C. White Hall, Madison, WI 53706; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hayley Clatterbuck, Elliott Sober & Richard Lewontin (2013). Selection Never Dominates Drift (nor Vice Versa). Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):577-592.
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