David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 54 (2):215-233 (2001)
Genic selectionism holds that all selection can be understood as operating on particular genes. Critics (and conventional biological wisdom) insist that this misrepresents the actual causal structure of selective phenomena at higher levels of biological organization, but cannot convincingly defend this intuition. I argue that the real failing of genic selectionism is pragmatic – it prevents us from adopting the most efficient corpus of causal laws for predicting and intervening in the course of affairs – and I offer a Pragmatic account of causation itself which ultimately bears out the claim that genic selectionism misrepresents the causal structure of selective contexts.
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