Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339 (2009)
|Abstract||Recent papers by a number of philosophers have been concerned with the question of whether natural selection is a causal process, and if it is, whether the causes of selection are properties of individuals or properties of populations. I shall argue that much confusion in this debate arises because of a failure to distinguish between causal productivity and causal relevance. Causal productivity is a relation that holds between events connected via continuous causal processes, while causal relevance is a relationship that can hold between a variety of different kinds of facts and the events that counterfactually depend upon them. I shall argue that the productive character of natural selection derives from the aggregation of individual processes in which organisms live, reproduce and die. At the same time, a causal explanation of the distribution of traits will necessarily appeal both to causally relevant properties of individuals and to causally relevant properties that exist only at the level of the population.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Jennifer Mckitrick (2005). Are Dispositions Causally Relevant? Synthese 144 (3):357 - 371.
Elliott Sober (2011). A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):571 - 589.
Marc Lange & Alexander Rosenberg (2011). Can There Be A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):591 - 599.
J. Barrett (1995). Causal Relevance and Nonreductive Physicalism. Erkenntnis 42 (3):339-62.
Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick (2011). Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (3):344-355.
Agustin Vicente (2002). How Dispositions Can Be Causally Relevant. Erkenntnis 56 (3):329-344.
Matthew C. Haug (2007). Of Mice and Metaphysics: Natural Selection and Realized Population‐Level Properties. Philosophy of Science 74 (4):431-451.
Roberta L. Millstein (2006). Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
Philippe Huneman (2012). Natural Selection: A Case for the Counterfactual Approach. Erkenntnis 76 (2):171-194.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads26 ( #47,684 of 549,119 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #63,361 of 549,119 )
How can I increase my downloads?