David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):201-220 (2001)
Does natural selection explain why individual organisms have the traits that they do? According to "the Negative View," natural selection does not explain why any individual organism has the traits that it does. According to "the Positive View," natural selection at least sometimes does explain why an individual organism has the traits that it does. In this paper, I argue that recent arguments for the Positive View fail in virtue of running afoul of the doctrine of origin essentialism and I demonstrate that other recent defenses of the Negative View depend upon my own for their plausibility.
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Citations of this work BETA
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.
Jonathan Birch (2012). The Negative View of Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):569-573.
Bence Nanay (2010). Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism. Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2010). What Can Natural Selection Explain? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (1):61-66.
Brian McLoone (2013). Selection Explanations of Token Traits. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):342-346.
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