David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):399-411 (2005)
I want to exhibit the deeper metaphysical reasons why some common ways of describing the causal role of genes in development and evolution are problematic. Specifically, I show why using the concept of information in an intentional sense in genetics is inappropriate, even given a naturalistic account of intentionality. Furthermore, I argue that descriptions that use notions such as programming, directing or orchestrating are problematic not for empirical reasons, but because they are not strictly causal. They are intentional. By contrast, other notions that are part of the received view in genetics and evolutionary theory are defensible if understood correctly, in particular the idea that genes are the main replicators in evolution. The paper concludes that dropping all intentional or intentionally laden concepts does not force us to accept the so-called causal parity thesis, at least not in its stronger form.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2012). Varieties of Parity. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):903-918.
Similar books and articles
Kim Sterelny, Kelly C. Smith & Michael Dickison (1996). The Extended Replicator. Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):377-403.
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2009). Dna, Inference, and Information. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):1-17.
Anthonie W. M. Meijers (2000). Mental Causation and Searle's Impossible Conception of Unconscious Intentionality. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8 (2):155-170.
Margaret A. Boden (1970). Intentionality and Physical Systems. Philosophy of Science 32 (June):200-214.
Stephen F. Barker (1982). Intensionality and Intentionality. Philosophy Research Archives 8:95-109.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2007). Information in Biology. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press 103--119.
Benjamin Jarvis (2012). Norms of Intentionality: Norms That Don't Guide. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25.
Peter J. Beurton, Raphael Falk & Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (eds.) (2000). The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution: Historical and Epistemological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
Brant Pridmore (2008). Review of Genes in Development: Re-Reading the Molecular Paradigm. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):579-586.
Holmes Rolston (2006). What is a Gene? From Molecules to Metaphysics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (6):471-497.
Uriah Kriegel (2010). Intentionality and Normativity. Philosophical Issues 20 (1):185-208.
Tareq Syed, Michael Bölker & Mathias Gutmann (2008). Genetic “Information” or the Indomitability of a Persisting Scientific Metaphor. Poiesis and Praxis 5 (3-4):193-209.
Michael Wheeler (2007). Traits, Genes, and Coding. In Michael Ruse (ed.), Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books 369--401.
Anders Nes (2008). Are Only Mental Phenomena Intentional? Analysis 68 (299):205–215.
Dale Jacquette (1989). Searle's Intentionality Thesis. Synthese 80 (August):267-75.
Added to index2012-08-18
Total downloads57 ( #42,570 of 1,699,575 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #47,237 of 1,699,575 )
How can I increase my downloads?