Problems for Natural Selection as a Mechanism

Philosophy of Science 78 (3):512-523 (2011)
Abstract
Skipper and Millstein analyze natural selection and mechanism, concluding that natural selection is not a mechanism in the sense of the new mechanistic philosophy. Barros disagrees and provides his own account of natural selection as a mechanism. This discussion identifies a missing piece of Barros's account, attempts to fill in that piece, and reconsiders the revised account. Two principal objections are developed: one, the account does not characterize natural selection; two, the account is not mechanistic. Extensive and persistent variability causes both of these difficulties, so further attempts to describe natural selection as a mechanism are also unlikely to succeed.
Keywords Mechanism  Natural Selection
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PhilPapers Archive Joyce C. Havstad, Problems for Natural Selection as a Mechanism
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References found in this work BETA
Björn Brunnander (2007). What is Natural Selection? Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):231-246.
Lindley Darden (2005). Relations Among Fields: Mendelian, Cytological and Molecular Mechanisms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):349-371.
Stuart Glennan (2002). Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.

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Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein (2005). Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
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