Heritability and causality

Philosophy of Science 60 (3):396-418 (1993)
Abstract
The critics of "hereditarianism" often claim that any attempt to explain human behavior by invoking genes is confronted with insurmountable methodological difficulties. They reject the idea that heritability estimates could lead to genetic explanations by pointing out that these estimates are strictly valid only for a given population and that they are exposed to the irremovable confounding effects of genotype-environment interaction and genotype-environment correlation. I argue that these difficulties are greatly exaggerated, and that we would be wrong to regard them as presenting a fundamental obstacle to the search for genetic explanations. I also show that, to the extent they are cogent, these objections may prove to be even more damaging to the "environmentalist" standpoint
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