Natural Selection and Multi-Level Causation

Philosophy and Theory in Biology 3 (20130604) (2011)
Abstract
In this paper, using a multilevel approach, we defend the positive role of natural selection in the generation of organismal form. Despite the currently widespread opinion that natural selection only plays a negative role in the evolution of form, we argue, in contrast, that the Darwinian factor is a crucial (but not exclusive) factor in morphological organization. Analyzing some classic arguments, we propose incorporating the notion of ‘downward causation’ into the concept of ‘natural selection.’ In our opinion, this kind of causation is fundamental to the operation of selection as a creative evolutionary process
Keywords Natural Selection  Downward Causation  Levels of Organization  Positive and Negative views  Units of Selection
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Roberta L. Millstein (2006). Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
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Bence Nanay (2001). A More Pluralist Typology of Selection Processes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):547-548.
Robert Brandon (1982). The Levels of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:315 - 323.
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