Can There be A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):591 - 599 (2011)
Abstract
Sober 2011 argues that, contrary to Hume, some causal statements can be known a priori to be true?notably, some ?would promote? statements figuring in causal models of natural selection. We find Sober's argument unconvincing. We regard the Humean thesis as denying that causal explanations contain any a priori knowable statements specifying certain features of events to be causally relevant. We argue that not every ?would promote? statement is genuinely causal, and we suggest that Sober has not shown that his examples of ?would promote? statements manage to achieve a priori status without sacrificing their causal character
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References found in this work BETA
David Braine & Michael Clark (1972). Varieties of Necessity. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 46:139 - 187.
David Lewis (2000). Causation as Influence. Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
David Lewis (1997). Finkish Dispositions. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.

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Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober (2011). A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):571 - 589.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1986). Evaluation of Evidence in Group Selection Debates. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:483 - 493.
Roberta L. Millstein (2006). Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
Riccardo Viale (1999). Causal Cognition and Causal Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):151 – 167.
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