David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):645-664 (2009)
Philosophers of science have developed an account of causal-mechanical explanation that captures regularity, but this account neglects variation. In this article I amend the philosophy of mechanisms to capture variation. The task is to explicate the relationship between regular causal mechanisms responsible for individual development and causes of variation responsible for variation in populations. As it turns out, disputes over this relationship have rested at the heart of the nature–nurture debate. Thus, an explication of the relationship between regular causal mechanisms and causes of variation and between individual development and variation offers both the necessary amendment to the philosophy of mechanisms and the resources to mediate the dispute.
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Citations of this work BETA
Arnon Levy (2013). Three Kinds of New Mechanism. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson (2012). What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.
Jacob Stegenga (2013). Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
Michael Joffe (2013). The Concept of Causation in Biology. Erkenntnis 78 (2):179-197.
Karola Stotz (2012). Murder on the Development Express: Who Killed Nature/Nurture? Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):919-929.
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